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Milestone Hotel & Apartments, London, England - Review

Landmark Lodgings and Miles of Style

By Alain Gayot

Victorian townhouse façade of Milestone Hotel & Apartments in London
Victorian townhouse façade

The Milestone Hotel & Apartments is — dare we say it — a milestone in hotel design. Playful without being kitschy, frothy while dignified, it achieves the desired hip factor without playing to the trends.

Situated in two refurbished Victorian townhouses across from Kensington Palace and gardens, the boutique Milestone features interiors imagined by designer Bea Tollman, who exhibits both signs of a multiple personality (we consider this a compliment) and a healthy respect for the hotel’s eclectic past — previously, the property and its predecessor served as the home for a man pretending to be Shakespeare’s grandson, the model for Pushkin’s Countess in Queen of Spades, a lunatic asylum and a Jesuit seminary.

Each of the 45 bedrooms, twelve suites and six apartments has been individually and uniquely decorated, some with fireplaces, and each is worthy of its own small ode. Among our favorites, the Savile Row Room is contemporary in a natty, Michael-Caine-in-his-Alfie-heyday sort of way, while the ornate and very traditional Club Suite, with its upstairs salon and antique billiard table, invites visions of the Brideshead crew. We find the discreetly regal Prince Albert Suite, and the Tudor Suite, with its sculpted Victorian ceiling, particularly attractive, but every accommodation is sure to find a loyal enthusiast, since there’s a room to suit every type of personality.

The dashing Conservatory of Milestone Hotel & Apartments in London Every room and suite is different at Milestone Hotel & Apartments in London
The dashing Conservatory
Every room and suite is different

Of course, style doesn’t get very far without substance, and The Milestone isn’t getting by on good looks alone. Suites come with 24-hour butler service, evening canapés and the use of a Bentley for airport transfers; and the two-bedroom, two-bath apartments include welcome grocery packs, full kitchens, washing machines and DVD/CD players. While the hotel doesn’t exude the stale air of a corporate lodging, it does welcome traveling suits with Business Ready Rooms offering additional workspace and wireless high-speed Internet access, suites for corporate events and an Executive Club. The hotel also accommodates female travelers with services such as specially allocated rooms, female service staff, extra space in the bathrooms and more.

For such an intimate property, The Milestone has a notable collection of onsite facilities. The dashing Conservatory — site of traditional afternoon tea — features delightfully non-traditional black chairs, black and white checked pillows, black and white striped curtains and chic black and white prints of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. Not in touch with your inner Truman Capote? Head for the refined Park Lounge, or the Stables Bar, where the smell of saddle soap and whinny of horses is just a daydream away. The formal Cheneston’s restaurant offers an international menu with an emphasis on modern British cuisine and a solid wine list.

Beyond the dining rooms, is the fitness center. The hotel's Infinity Resistance Pool puts the fun back into health and fitness.  Swimmers can swim against the current and, if they so desire, do lengths. If you're looking to further your workout, the hotel's Health Club is an exercise, relaxation and fitness oasis with a fully equipped gym, the latest cardiovascular equipment, weights, Jacuzzi and sauna.  And if you're looking to go that extra mile, jogging across the street in Kensington Gardens is always an option. 

Across the street from Queen Victoria’s birthplace, embraced by vast gardens, adorned with leopard print carpets and awash in genteel charms, The Milestone Hotel & Apartments fuses past and present, classic and modern, to create a model for 21st-century hotel living.

The Milestone Hotel & Apartments is the crown jewel of the elegant, small Red Carnation Hotels chain, which boasts six properties in London along with one in the English countryside and one in South Africa.

The Milestone Hotel & Apartments
1 Kensington Ct.
London, W8 5DL
44 (0) 20 7917 1000
www.milestonehotel.com

 

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(Updated 09/28/10 CT)

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