First night on a budget? Looking for affordability and luxury in the capital? Wersha Bharadwa says Hotel Xenia in Knightsbridge hits the spot as a romantic getaway…
What’s special about it?
Living the high life in London often comes with a hefty price tag. But for first nighters and honeymooners who don’t want their entire budget eaten up with accommodation, Hotel Xenia is just the answer. Hotel Xenia is located inside a Grade II listed Victorian building on Cromwell Road, but has a dolce vita flair because of an Italian heavy influence. It’s recently been added to the Great Hotels of The World collective, which means the service is impeccable.
Many of the staff are Italian or speak fluently, and it’s very popular with Italian guests. The hotel underwent an £8 million revamp in 2013 and everything still feels new – from the dining room tables to the plush sofas in reception and the herb garden terrace. Plus you won’t need taxi fare to access some of London’s major attractions: The Natural History Museum, Kensington Palace, The V&A and all the treasures of South Kensington are no more than a 10 minute walk away.
The foodie touches
Breakfast is a major hit, what with all the Italian pastries, fresh fruits and kick-butt Italian coffees on offer. My two-year old makes the most of the free wifi by playing alphabet games on the iPad over a steaming bowl of raisin and banana porridge too. The menu at Evoluzione restaurant specialises in healthy, tasty food: a three-course meal will only ever reach 800 calories.
Buzzing at both lunch and dinner times, you’ll find plates bursting with creative presentation and perfect for health-conscious newly-weds! In fact, this is a major pull for me too. Dr Chiara Manzi is the nutritionist at the helm of the menu and I had aubergine with buffalo mozzarella, caramelised tomatoes, passata and basil for starters, followed by stuffed Sea Bream fillet with ricotta and prawns. It felt decadent but kept my calorie allowance for the day saved for an early evening champagne cocktail at the super-sexy, low-lit bar.
What you’ll love
We’re on the second floor in a standard double. It’s reasonably small but big enough for the three of us. I have a cot in the room, as well as a seating area and apt space on the floor for books and toys. Street noise is non-existent, the décor is muted pastels and country greens, and there’s lots of light filling the room from big, airy windows.
The room comes with a Nespresso machine, a Samsung tablet on the bedside drawer, fluffy towels and cashmere blankets. There are plenty of L’Occitane goodies in the bathroom to take home too. Italians love children and so if you’re family-mooning with the kids, you’ll love how your little ones are pampered like royalty as well.
Can you get married there?
Currently the hotel are able to host wedding breakfasts and cocktail receptions for up to 65 people and private dining for 40 people in a specially designated room.
How much does it cost?
Doubles start from £135. For more information or to book, please visit www.ghotw.com/xenia-hotel or call 020 7380 3658.