Hotel Review: Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Knightsbridge in London
Overlooking Cadogan Gardens, Harrods and with suites that you won’t ever want to leave, Jumeirah Carlton Tower, in the heart of Knightsbridge, encompasses all that you would want from a luxury hotel.
If it weren’t for the fact that this hotel is in the centre of one of the most exciting cities in the world then you really wouldn’t have to leave it. London’s 5 star home of luxury, Jumeirah Carlton Tower is like a village – there are 216 top quality rooms including 58 opulent suites, restaurants, private dining rooms, a health club and spa, meeting rooms, a menswear store, hairdressers and a grand ballroom that holds 700 guests!
Sitting alongside Sloane Street, it would be very easy to make some luxury purchases, drop them back to your room, grab a bite to eat and pop back out for more! If relaxing is more your thing, the 9th floor Peak Health Club and Spa holds a 20 metre organically treated indoor swimming pool with a glass roof, a fully equipped gym with state of the art equipment, a sauna, steam room and the club also hosts more than 70 fitness classes a week.
The hotel has welcomed guests for more than 50 years and has sister hotels in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Frankfurt, Kuwait, Maldives, Mallorca, Shanghai and Bahrain with more currently being developed across China, in St Petersburg, Indonesia and Jordan.
There a number of places where you can enjoy a bite to eat at the hotel, all of which offer something different. The Club Room, based at the hotel’s spa, serves up healthy international cuisine and majestic views in a casual setting, whereas The Rib Room offers hearty food and drinks in a sumptuous atmosphere. At Chinoiserie you can enjoy something light at any time of day or night. Situated on the ground floor this spacious and elegant lounge areas serves up the most exquisite afternoon teas and light bites.
The Rib Room Bar and Restaurant was the most welcoming place for a Friday night drink and meal. Live music, the low buzz of fellow guests, the low lit room with its contemporary décor offered up a wonderful atmosphere. Executive chef, Simon Young has created a generous menu of British cuisine for you to enjoy throughout the day. The bar area opens at 12pm every day and closes at 1am every day but Sundays and Mondays. You can take your food or drink to the outside terrace, when the sun shines, or enjoy the refined indoor surroundings.
I’m a sucker for a beetroot, goat’s cheese and nut combo so I couldn’t see past the Heritage beetroot salad with Rosary goat’s cheese, walnuts and beetroot salad (£10.50). Served in a black dish with a generous helping of leaves, cubes of beetroot and grated cheese on top, this was a lovely way to start my meal.
Nick and I shared a bottle of William Robertson Pinot Noir (2014, NZ), which was going down really well, especially with my Longhorn fillet steak for main. At £32 the steak was butterflied (as I like my steak near to well done – yes, I know that’s bad but I’m not sorry) and served with grilled Portobello mushrooms, steak chips, oven roasted steak tomato and a sauce. I opted for Bernaise and we shared a side of roasted butternut squash with thyme and honey as well as kale with chilli and garlic and sesame oil, which is so good it’s like a drug to me! Nick chose the warm salad of Norfolk quail – slow cooked leg, curly kale, scotch egg and truffle jus (£15.50) and USDA prime sirloin (£30).
Desserts at £8 each included banana soufflé with Gianduja ice cream, flour-less orange cake with citrus fruits and almond ice cream and chocolate and caramelised popcorn brownie with popcorn brownie. We must have been really full to turn any of those down but we couldn’t eat another morsel!
There is a lot to choose from on the menu including a couple of vegetarian options – all of which are rich and fulfilling. Other main courses include monkfish and tiger prawn curry with coconut rice, toasted sesame seeds and coriander and roast loin of fallow deer with braised haunch croquette, chestnut purée and blackberries.
Breakfast is served here too, I would recommend the French brioche toast with maple syrup and streaky bacon (£15) but not so much the poached eggs on toast, especially when you asked for boiled and your poached eggs arrive on dry, crust-less toast (£12)! I was kindly presented with a basket of warm mini pastries and I happily accepted and there’s a huge selection of a la carte and buffet items to choose from – try the Omelette ‘Arnold Bennett’ or the griddled waffles with vanilla mascarpone and caramelised banana from the kitchen.
From the buffet there are juices, bread, pastries, smoked fish, meats and cheese, cereals, fruits, yogurts and Middle Eastern specialities. The traditional English breakfast is of course an option or there are a variety of healthy options to choose from such as kale, cucumber, apple and lime juice or gluten free beetroot and carrot muffins, granary or spelt toast served with Flora low fat spread and heather honeycomb.
We were very lucky to have the Belgravia Suite for the weekend. Sat on the 15th floor and with views stretching further than I could recognise, this corner suite was spacious and had everything we could possibly need for a stay. Our first impressions were ‘wow’ – we walked through every room commenting on something fabulous – the selection of sweet treats from the Valentine’s afternoon tea in the lounge, the huge bathroom with direct views of Harrods and, best of all, the balcony, which led from the bedroom and presented us with views of the London Eye to the left, Cadogan Gardens straight ahead and, as mentioned, Harrods to the right.
The décor isn’t easy to describe with each room having slightly different contemporary styles – the lounge and entrance hall has mid wood floors, a glass topped desk, lounge and dining tables and more mirrors than one of the nearby department stores. With a purple carpet, curtains and purple velvet armchair and foot stall that you could easily sink into and grab 40 winks, the lounge made use of the large windows and mirrors to give an even more spacious feeling than it had but also had a good level of comfort. A large red patterned sofa, grey/metallic walls and big orange prints on the walls finished the room and there was a mini bar, tea and coffee, a suite electronic tablet and large TV.
The bedroom oozed comfort with a mix of dark and light browns, metallics, leather and low lighting and, of course, a big cosy bed with even cosier pillows. A large TV, dressing table and all sorts of lighting options are also there to greet you along with earplugs and a torch in the drawers! The tiled and marble bathroom held the built in wardrobes, which offered up a couple of umbrellas and gorgeous, soft slippers and robes. There was a spacious double sink area, bath with a TV at one end and 2 large mirrors on either wall creating an interesting optical illusion. Behind one clouded glass door sat the spacious shower and behind another was the toilet and back towards the front door of the suite sat another small WC. I want to move in.
Being lucky enough to live in glorious Devon and to travel a lot, my preferred mode of transport is certainly train and the Trainline app has become a firm favourite of mine when travelling by rail. It has features to help at every stage of the journey and has recently launched the UK’s first price prediction tool that gives you an at-a-glance snapshot of all the opportunities to save money when buying advance tickets, if I’m sensible enough to plan ahead that is! Which is obviously the best option as you can save almost half by booking in advance with Trainline compared to others. I often buy my tickets through the app – it gives me live updates, platform info and, most importantly, is so easy to use, which, for a technophobe like me, is what I look for. It comes highly recommended from me so download the app or visit trainline.com.
IN A NUTSHELL
A hotel of sheer opulence and class, Jumeirah Carlton Tower has it all – the facilities, the dining, the large luxury suites – all in great neighbourhood – when can I book the moving van?!
Address: 1 Cadogan Pl, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 9PY
Phone: 020 7235 1234