Hotel Review: Baglioni Hotel London, Kensington in London
Brimming with the famous classic Italian charm and five star luxury, London’s Baglioni hotel will certainly leave you raving about their ravioli.
Based in Kensington, overlooking the gardens and palace, Baglioni Hotel London is the only one of its kind in the UK with sister hotels across Italy, France and soon-to-be The Maldives. The London branch opened in 2004 in Victorian buildings and offers the ultimate luxury experience with its unique packages, the use of a chauffeur driven Maserati and a £6,000 a night Royal Suite. If you want to go all the way for that luxury stay the Royal Suite is the one. Offering views of Kensington Palace and Hyde Park, it consists of 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and 2 living rooms over 240sqm and offers a butler service, VIP treatment, a luggage packing service and much more.
The hotel is set in a lovely area near the Albert Hall, Kensington Palace and Hyde Park. Shops, museums, eateries, parks and culture are all so close. More than just an upmarket hotel, Baglioni Hotel London offers delicious traditional Italian delights in its reimagined, Brunello Bar and Restaurant as well as a spa and some exquisite wedding packages.
Following a visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum I checked in and was immediately impressed with the attentive staff, especially the receptionist knew who I was before I even had the chance to say!
Sleek, shiny metallics, black marble, funky lighting and intricate designs make up the décor with something that catches your eye everywhere you look. Oozing elegance and a classic feel, modern features make the look contemporary and innovative.
To tailor your stay to your desires, Baglioni has already thought up a selection of packages including ‘A Royal Visit’ which offers a one night stay at the hotel with breakfast, champagne afternoon tea for two and a ticket to the private one hour morning tour of Kensington Palace.
The spa, designed by Rebioso+Spagnulo consists of male and female steam rooms, a gymnasium and three treatment rooms for a variety of massages, facials and body treatments using Natura Bisse products.
For a super smart and opulent wedding in central London, Baglioni can offer the use of the exclusive Kensington Suite, the former residence of Lady Diana or in the park opposite. The Kensington Suite can seat up to 70 people, it has its own entrance and can cater for cocktails and wedding lunches and dinners. You can meet with the chef to create your menu consisting of the luscious Italian/Mediterranean cuisine and you can end the day in one of the hotel’s luxurious suites.
In October 2016, Brunello Bar and Restaurant saw a makeover in terms of its menus and direction. Under the capable eyes of executive chef, Alberto Rossetti, a Michelin awarded chef from Italy. The restaurant has a stronger Italian influence with a focus on fresh, local produce and reduced fat, yet incredibly delicious cuisine. My guest, Nick, and I met with Alberto before our lunch reservation and he offered to provide us with a mixture of his favourite dishes from both the lunch and dinner menus, and we happily obliged! (See my exclusive Q&A with Alberto here)
First up was a pumpkin veloute with crunchy seeds and prawns in orange oil (£18). The prawns were so flavoursome, combining sweet and meaty, with the pumpkin seeds adding a crunchy texture. The orange and pumpkin complemented the fish so well, it is chef Alberto’s favourite dish and I can see why – it was delicioso! Next we had a serving of risotto with lobster, courgettes and lime, cooked and Prosecco (now we’re talking!) (£24). The creamy sauce held textureful rice and sweeter flavours again with the beautiful lobster, while the courgette and the black dish on which it was served looked striking.
In the background we were enjoying the sounds of a great combinations of songs on the piano including David Bowie’s Starman, Let It Go from Frozen and Make you feel my Love by Bob Dylan. Our next course of beef ravioli with butter and sage (£14) was simple and tasty with parmesan adding a great depth of flavour making me want more! Following on from this was a sampling of braised turbot Mediterranean style with cherry tomatoes, olives and oregano (meaty, yet delicate fish with sweet vegetables, £29) and grilled sea bass fillet with vegetables (soft flaky fish with a lovely crust – a healthy dish so full of flavour it should be a sin! £18).
A classic tiramisu (£9) and a really good glass of Muscat finished off our meal in style. The tiramisu was delicate, spongy, chocolatey creamy and boozy – just how it should be – with delicious layers.
The restaurant holds a lovely setting in the hotel and the décor goes all out glamorous art deco with shining golds and black everywhere in a very elegant style. There’s great attention to detail with a patterned black and white hard floor, large gold baubles hanging from the ceiling as well as some gold feature lighting and spotlights, which give a delicate glow across the restaurant. The lower half of the walls are black panelling with a border with intricate gold detailing and the top half have a very soft creamy gold pattern base with mirrors and contemporary artwork galore – all in matching colours, of course. A large Christmas tree took stage by the window (it was mid December) while mirrored pillars and gold partitions break up the space to create a bar area around the central bar. It’s very trendy, modern and, with views onto Hyde Park, was the perfect setting for our lunch. We were housed in a low booth with enough space for about four and deep dark brown leather seating offered a comfortable place to enjoy our meal.
Breakfast – Served in Brunello there was a wide selection of food to choose from. I had an Eggs Italian frittata with 24 months parmesan cheese and baby potatoes (£15) – it was lovely but I just couldn’t finish it. The portion was plentiful and I had already sampled a bread roll with turkey slices, 2 cheeses, a pain au chocolat and a mini chocolate tostade from the buffet. The service was great as it had been throughout our stay.
Other offerings from the kitchen included French toast, Belgian waffles or pancakes with maple syrup, Eggs Benedict, Florentine and Royal and a Traditional English breakfast plate. For £49 you could treat yourself to poached duck eggs with caviar and Holland sauce, fried quail eggs with black truffle and Eggs royale with caviar accompanied by Champagne Ruinart Rose. When’s my next visit?!
With dark wood floors, a feature gold wall in the lounge, a supremely cosy bed and a bathroom with more black marble than I could shake a stick at (yes, I just typed that) our suite for the evening reflected the charm and elegance of the rest of the hotel. Softened with low lighting and red fabrics on the furniture, the suite covered all of my requirements for a luxury stay. The envious bathroom (OK, I’m not sure if I could live with it on a long term basis – too dark and too many mirrors for me) had a huge shower adorned with cream/brown tiles (a dream to shower in), two handmade copper sinks imported from Mexico, a separate bath, loo and bidet. It was pretty stunning.
The bedroom had two-tone thick striped wallpaper in shades of brown and the large bed was adorned with large brown cushions and a throw in the same colour. At the foot of the bed stood a big trunk encased in soft red velvet and a TV, and black furniture made up the sleek room. Into the lounge where a desk and chair, small table and chairs and cabinet, all in black, sat alongside a red and brown thinly striped sofa. Black and white pictures in black frames are hung throughout the suite and the beautiful statement wall in gold held a black framed mirror and fireplace and was the centre point of the lounge. The super luxurious suite was beautifully decorated with a high attention to detail and all those lovely extras (soft, spacious robes, mini bar, espresso machine) really contributed to our stay.
An executive suite starts at £840 a night, while rooms start at just £290 on a B&B basis, excluding tax. For booking and further information, visit baglionihotels.com or call 020 7368 5700.
IN A NUTSHELL
Find a date in your diary and make sure to get booked in with a visit to Brunello. I just have to recommend the food here, it’s authentic Italian simple cooking to a high degree. Baglioni Hotel London is in a great position combining art, shopping, culture and good food, and the interior is a sight to behold – expect glamorous, super luxurious surroundings for your stay.
Address: 60 Hyde Park Gate, Kensington, London SW7 5BB / 020 7368 5700