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Friendly luxury in Mayfair


Sydney Paulden stays at Thompson’s Belgraves

Belgraves is a hotel that doesn’t fit into any narrow category. It is upmarket, but not snooty. The staff are friendly and courteous but not stuffy. They are eager to make guests feel welcome and comfortable.
Belgraves stands amongst the multi-million-pound properties of London’s Mayfair ambassador area, but guests feel the warmth and the hospitality as soon as they enter.
Not to be confused with hotels with similar names, such as The Belgrave or Belgravia, Belgraves is the only member of the Thompson group outside North America. It has five sister hotels in the USA and one in Canada.

It was taken over two years ago and only opened under the Thompson banner after a total re-modelling and refurbishment. The General Manager is Andrew Coney, who brings considerable experience and an impressive track record to the job. In his CV is GM at the 5-star Cedar Court Grand in York.

‘We have a wonderful mix of clientele at Belgraves’, he says. ‘On the one hand we are very much a neighbourhood hotel, serving the needs of the not only the embassies but also the families here. The restaurant is popular with all and many enjoy our smoking terrace. Our first floor lounge and bar are a haven for a quiet drink and conversation – and we offer freely accessible Wi-Fi with no hassle.’

The restaurant is graced by the UK’s youngest female Executive Chef, Sophie Michell. The smoking terrace has a roof that slides open in temperate weather, but, even when the roof is closed, air flows freely through ivy-covered trellis walls.

The 8-storey property has 85 rooms and suites, including a Penthouse and two Thompson Suites. Up to 20 rooms in one single category can provide identical accommodation for a small group.

Also on the first floor, linked to the lounge, is a smart private function room that can seat 22 for a brainstorming meeting or a meal.

The guestrooms are luxurious. The beds are large and comfortable. Tea and coffee-making facilities are available on request. Wardrobe space is more than ample. However, the highlight, with other guests re-affirming ITCM’s opinion, is the bathroom. Designed expressly by Tara Bernerd, there is nothing elsewhere in London to equal stepping into the very large bath. It is double sided, with a comfortable slope for head and shoulders at either end, the taps located in the centre. Relaxation was emphasised all the more as you could bathe with Ren toiletries and, at the same time, look through the window all across Knightsbridge or down into the streets of Chesham Place.

I first feared it would take some time to fill such a large volume bath, but the force of the water meant that it was no more than a couple of minutes at most. Similarly, the huge outlet in the centre of the bath permitted the water to flow out within seconds.

The shower facility was almost as impressive. It was a spaciois walk-in area with the most efficient of showers operated by the most simple of controls. One tap turned left for the hand shower and to the right for the overhead monsoon shower, whilst a second tap set the temperature for both. That is the kind of set-up that anyone, old or young, with or without good eyesight, can happily control.

Continuing with the range of clientele, Andrew said that weekends are busy as Belgraves is well situated for anyone visiting London’s attractions or enjoying an upmarket incentive. It is in walking distance of Hyde Park and mid-way between Sloane Square and Knightsbridge tube stations, with a choice of several lines.

‘A major benefit’, he went on, ‘ is our proximity to Harrods and to Sloane Street, where one alongside the other the top designer brands are a feast to the eyes of so many guests. The area is a shopping paradise’.

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