Classy hotel with crisp English country style in one of London's most privileged neighbourhoods
If Kensington is the funky duchess, then Knightsbridge is the
gracious princess - this is Lady Di territory. And like her, the
Knightsbridge Hotel is a modern English rose - charming,
fashionable, with a blush of decorum in her furnishings. Think
linen drapes, marble fireplaces, swishy sofas piled with pillows,
tasteful art on warm pink walls. And that's just the
bedrooms. Add in a polished blonde wood, Africa-chic
drawing room and an exquisite book-lined library in lavender, all
set over 3 classic Victorian terraced houses on a tranquil
tree-lined street and you’ve got a palace fit for a
Staff regard you royally too: whether you’re a tourist, business traveller or treating yourself to a posh weekend, service is genial and professional. The traditional turn-down ritual is mixed with contemporary courtesies like an honesty bar. With some of the city’s most elite shops and supping places on your doorstep, this mid-size hotel is a metropolitan jewel and another bright link in the Firmdale group of London boutique hotels.
All the rooms in the Knightsbridge Hotel are refurbished every 18
months - and it shows. Our elegant Junior Suite had
beautiful pink and green floral themed fabric and the walls were
covered in tactile grey felt, plus there was space for a sofa, 2
armchairs and a writing desk.
Many of the rooms look onto the tree lined street in front of the hotel, including a pretty lilac-themed Deluxe Double on the fifth floor that looks onto the tree-tops, and has a fireplace and a sitting area. The smaller Luxury Double is without a fireplace but is still roomy enough for a desk and a smart high-winged chair. Both can be made up with twin beds - as can the Junior Suite.
The rooms at the hotel’s back face a particular London skyline of Knightsbridge apartments, watched over by Harrods’ distinctive dome and chimney. A Superior Double with this view was wallpapered in a fetching leafy lime-mauve and, like all the rooms, had double-door wardrobe space. Standard Double rooms are perhaps a little small (15 sq.m.), though i-escape guests get a room upgrade if availability permits, so you could chance it.
The first floor rooms have the biggest windows so if you like light rooms with high ceilings; these are the ones for you. The ground and lower ground floor rooms are larger but have smaller windows, so if you are planning a longer stay we recommend these (005 is a huge Deluxe room). Interconnecting rooms are available for family groups and the staff will always do their very best to facilitate any specific room requests.
Bathrooms are large, with chunky granite counters and deep bathtubs. The Deluxe Doubles and Suites also have walk-in showers, and some have TVs at the end of the bathtub. Toiletries are Miller Harris; white waffle bathrobes and slippers await post-ablutions.
Perhaps guests who choose the hotel’s grand Knightsbridge Suite won’t blink at £4 for a bottle of water from Fiji in the minibar; we were more in the mood to use the 24 hour honesty bar off the library. When we came back (nightcap in hand) the turndown service had left a bottle of Hildon spring water by our bedside anyway. We then picked a DVD from the hotel’s extensive collection, swivelled the LCD TV round and watched a movie in bed… our favourite hotel indulgence.
There is no restaurant at the Knightsbridge so breakfast is
brought to your room. Make your selection the night before, leave
the card on the door and it will discreetly arrive in the morning
with your chosen newspaper. Full-bodied English breakfasts,
champagne and smoked salmon, blueberry waffles, pancakes, maple
syrup and bacon, pastries, muesli and fresh fruit along with
coffee, tea and freshly squeezed juices (try the carrot).
The extremely varied room service menu is available 24 hours, so late night hankerings for Caesar salads, shrimp club sandwiches, burgers, Thai green chicken curry and tiger prawn linguini won’t go unattended. You can eat in your room or have food brought to the drawing room or library if you prefer.
For a quintessential London experience, take afternoon tea (with or without champagne) in the drawing room or the library - if you can't bear to leave the comfort of your room, have it brought to you instead. The English Breakfast blend is created especially for the hotel by The Rare Tea Company.
There is no shortage of good restaurants in the area and the room’s helpful information binder has a long descriptive list of them, with a KH by the name if they are within walking distance. Want high society? Try Daphne’s. Prefer bourgeois cuisine? Head to Bibendum. Montpeliano does honest Italian; Racine, simple French. We went for the straightforward gastropub around the corner, Beauchamp Place, and had delicious crispy pork 'n' mash.
London is a year-round destination. Shoppers might want to come for Christmas at Harrods; royalists should aim for August/September when Buckingham Palace opens its doors; museum lovers should choose the more queue-free months in autumn and spring.
Bring a not-too-maxed credit card so you can shop and sup your way around the hotel's very posh neighbourhood. Good walking shoes will ensure that you're not stuck in black cabs and traffic jams all day.
Children are welcome and cots or extra beds are available, but this is really a grown-up city hotel.
The Knightsbridge Hotel is on Beaufort Gardens, 5 minutes' walk from Knightsbridge (Piccadilly Line) and South Kensington (Piccadilly, Circle & District Lines) tube stations.
Most international airlines fly into London Heathrow (23km) and London Gatwick (50km).
From the Airport
From Heathrow, you can catch a taxi to the hotel, but it's just as easy to hop on the Piccadilly line which goes directly from the airport to Knightsbridge tube station. From Gatwick, cabs are expensive so you're probably better off taking the train.
The Heathrow Express travels from the airport to London Paddington every 15 minutes; see Heathrow Express for more details. From Paddington, it's a 10 minute cab ride. The Gatwick Express travels from Gatwick airport every 15 minutes, and takes 30 minutes to London Victoria; see Gatwick Express for more information. From Victoria you can catch the Circle & District line to South Kensington tube station.
The quickest way to travel around London is by tube. Buy an Oyster card for the cheapest deals.
Driving in London can be stressful but if you do want to hire car, we recommend Holiday Autos, which offers competitive prices and you can pick up a car at any of the London Airports. Metered parking is available on Beaufort Gardens and there is a public car park on Brompton Place.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to the UK and getting around
"For a weekend in the capital that feels more like popping to your elegant and spacious townhouse (very Nancy Mitford), or a birthday treat for the most established and discerning Londoner, you can't beat the understated elegance of the Knightsbridge Hotel. Located a high-heeled stroll away from retail & cultural heaven (the V&A is on your doorstep), you can shop and browse without endless cab fares. Once inside relax by reading the papers beside the library log fire, or unwind in a Miller Harris bubble bath back in your room. This hotel is very much about the little details that make a stay luxurious and relaxed. There's no restaurant but a well chosen 24 hour room service menu is available and a great variety of London's top bistrots, bars and restaurants are just around the corner - the concierge will recommend an eaterie to suit your mood."
Travel + Leisure
"Traditional English contemporary, with granite and oak bathrooms and sandstone fireplaces. Co-owner Kit Kemp keeps the place feeling forever new with an ongoing refurbishment. Two rooms a year undergo a complete makeover."
New York Times
"Owners Tim and Kit Kemp describe the Knightsbridge, which was created for style-conscious travelers on moderate budgets, as "affordable chic."
My room was cozy, even quaint. The writing desk matched the chunky wood aesthetic from the main floor, but it was topped with a miniature dressmaker's dummy, covered in red gingham. Walls were striped beige, rose and white, and the queen-size bed was cushy, with red gingham dressing and snow-white bedding. A half-tester canopy was overhead. The room was blissfully quiet. From the windows, I could see private terraces and ivy-walled gardens. I could also see the crenellated rooftop of Harrods with flags flapping in the London breeze.
The fact that the bathroom was separated not only by a heavy door but also by a few steps and a corridor, gave a deep sense of privacy. The floor was tiled in gray, black and beige speckled marble, and an elevated bathtub, deep and long, was incredibly welcoming, especially for the vain among us, since the adjacent wall has a mirror all the way to the ceiling.
At breakfast, the fresh berries were just that, the omelet was hot and fluffy, and the croissants, flaky, were accompanied by pots of jam and marmalade. The cappuccino, which I opted for that morning, proved to be much stronger and tastier than the hotel's regular brew.
What the Knightsbridge lacks in the larger amenities department, it gains in proximity to some of London's most popular destinations. Service was friendly but not obtrusive. "
"The Knightsbridge Hotel attracts visitors from all over the world seeking a small, comfortable hotel in a high-rent district. It's fabulously located, sandwiched between fashionable Beauchamp Place and Harrods, with many of the city's top theaters and museums close at hand. Built in the early 1800s as a private town house, the Knightsbridge sits on a tranquil, tree-lined -- and traffic free -- square. Kit and Tim Kemp, who have been celebrated for their upmarket boutique London hotels, have gone more affordable with a revamp of this hotel in the heart of the shopping district. All the Kemp "cult classics" are found here, including such luxe touches as granite-and-oak bathrooms, their famed honor bar, and Frette linens. Not surprisingly, the hotel was an instant hit. The beautifully furnished rooms have shower-only private bathrooms clad in marble or tile. Most bedrooms are spacious and furnished with traditional English fabrics."
"Just off glamorous Knightsbridge near Harrods and Harvey Nichols in quiet Beaufort Gardens, this chic hotel is well placed for shoppers. The balconied suites and regular rooms are wrapped in bold fabrics, the beds piled high with warm duvets. All rooms have CD players, writing desks, and large granite-and-oak bathrooms. The fully loaded honor bar in the drawing room is an excellent place to unwind amid African sculptures and modern art."
Conde Nast Traveller
"This 'chic B&B' is part of the Firmdale Hotels group which owns the nearby Charlotte Street Hotel and Covent Garden Hotel. Situated in the heart of Knightsbridge, with Harrods, Harvey Nichols and the international designer shops of Sloane Square just a minutes walk away, it prides itself on being a welcome alternative to stuffy expensive hotels in central London. Its style is modern English."
Reviews are from people who have booked through us.
“We loved our stay at Knightsbridge Hotel. The location is close to all the hustle and bustle but quietly and privately tucked away without disturbance. Our room was luxurious and stocked with everything we could need. Breakfast in bed was amazing, excellent quality food and service from staff. On the whole, it was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend spent at the Knightbsirdge Hotel. It is a little pricey but you get what you pay for, and as we booked through i-escape we got a free room upgrade!”
“Hotel location had everything: easy walk to two major underground stations, access to broad variety of restaurants, literally right around the corner from Harrods and the V & A Museum yet quiet and private. Staff extremely personable yet respectful of guests' privacy. Room impeccably clean and well-equipped. I can't imagine returning to London, which I will, from time to time, and staying anywhere else. A true gem. The Heathrow Express train is quick and direct to Paddington (and not worth a first class upgrade ticket), and from there it's a short hop by cab to the hotel. Don't even think of taking the tube with luggage. I have given a four for value because London is so expensive that it's impossible to say anything is a good value.”