Many of the world’s most stylish hotels are heavy on the public spaces, pouring money into lounges, libraries, drawing rooms, even private cinemas, while relegating the paying guests to cramped, uninspired rooms. How this works as a business proposition is quite beyond our understanding, but in this case it’s irrelevant—London’s Halkin hotel turns this stereotype inside out. Here the public spaces amount to little more than a small but handsome lobby and bar (and of course a restaurant, of which more later), while the rooms get the star treatment.
And what rooms they are, outfitted in what can only be described as Milanese Zen, rich leathers and soothing muted colors doing their best to expand the already generous space (which in London counts as a real luxury). Each floor takes on as its theme one of the four ancient elements (five, if you count sky), but the differences are subtle enough to avoid gimmickry; all four are as unassumingly elegant as can be. The marble bathrooms are expansive, and the COMO Shambhala bath products add to the culture shock—you may have to walk outside and see the building’s Georgian facade to reassure yourself that this is indeed London.
The location, in quietly upscale Belgravia, is a perfect match for this chic yet grown-up hotel—attractive yet not too ostentatious, and providing easy access to Knightsbridge, Hyde Park, Sloane Street and Picadilly. It also affords easy access to the Halkin’s sister hotel, the Metropolitan, whose spa is open to Halkin guests, as is its restaurant, Nobu—and repeat guests should note that the Halkin's new gym makes a trip to the Metropolitan's health club unnecessary.
But while Nobu is nice, the Halkin has its own restaurant, the pure-Thai (as in decidedly un-fusion) Nahm. This is London’s only Michelin-starred Thai restaurant, which means the French approve; though presumably the Thai do as well, given chef David Thompson’s reverence for tradition and authenticity. Not to be flip, but you could have sushi anywhere—this is possibly the best Thai food west of the Andaman Sea.
So there you have it—a haute-couture Italian-style boutique hotel, owned by Singapore’s Christina Ong, serving obsessively authentic Thai cuisine just steps from Hyde Park Corner tube station. If it’s Union Jacks and bangers and mash you’re after, this is clearly not your place—but for those with global tastes, it’s hard to top.
Guests over the age of 17 are considered adults. Some rooms accommodate 3 or more. The "2 Bedroom Suite" room sleeps up to 3 guests. For crib/cot, must book "Deluxe Room" room or larger. For 2 adults + rollaway bed, must book "Deluxe Room" or larger. For 2 adults + 2 kids beyond crib age, must book "2 Bedroom Suite" room or larger. Connecting rooms available. Can be confirmed upon reservation.
Cribs are available for an additional fee of GB£0.00. Roll-away beds available for an additional fee of GB£70.00. Extra charge in addition to crib/roll-away cost id GB£0.00
Babysitting services provided by screened outside help. The restaurant is kid-friendly with high chairs and a kids menu. Room service offers a kids menu.
5 Halkin St, London, England