There’s an exciting new kid on London’s hotel block. Blending traditional British hospitality with an American attitude, Thompson Hotels have gutted and renovated this former boxy Sheraton to create its latest offering, the sleek and modern Belgraves.
On the corner of Pont Street in SW1, Belgraves is a minute or so walk from Sloane Street and right next to the picturesque boutiques and restaurants of Motcomb Street. The 85-room hotel includes an 80-seat restaurant, an intimate library bar, a fitness center and a cigar terrace. The chic lobby is full of beautiful furniture and books with cocoons of intimate space to meet for coffee or drinks. With a lovely neighbourhood hotel feel, it’s clear that Belgravia’s residents really make use of the bar and restaurant.
The property’s bold interior design is by acclaimed British designer, Tara Bernerd, who brings bags of personality to the project. The result is the feeling of a private club, without the excessive old-boy pomp. Artwork on the walls has been supplied by enchanting local gallery, Eleven, which creates an eclectic mix, but its certainly easy on the eye.
Bedrooms are characterised by low lighting, 1970s-style lamps, with red velvet, brown leather and the occasional dash of animal skin. The result is luxurious but comfortable with a soothing appeal. More importantly, rooms are a good size and practical with large windows and bags of cupboard space. King-sized beds are made up with custom-made 400 thread count SFERRA linens and the latest LCD flat-screen televisions and iHome docking stations are on offer. I was lucky enough to have Room 405 – a favourite in the hotel, I’m told – with a spectacular sunken bath in the window, which is a great spot to take a drink and watch the world go by. Along with the additional huge, white and grey marble shower and Penhaligon’s goodies, using the bathrooms feels like a proper treat and, being an American run establishment, everything worked beautifully.
The restaurant, Hix, the latest of Mark Hix’s ventures, serves good food. Only here, rather than his signature British style, the menu is a collection of Mark’s favourite dishes inspired by his travels from around the world. Like the rest of the hotel, this is a buzzing but relatively informal spot (but definitely chic!), with excellent service. It’s also a great setting for breakfast or lunch for business or otherwise. Furthermore, there are excellent private dining and meeting room facilities on the first floor, with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the local area.
Belgraves doesn’t have the Park Lane address, but it certainly doesn’t skimp on style, service and five-star facilities. An exciting and modern addition that soars above the stately squares and white stucco crescents that characterise Belgravia, Thomson’s transatlantic addition is a fun and luxurious treat to stay in, but with all the additional practicalities of a business hotel.