Sitting pretty on a quiet, leafy street in South Kensington, 100 Queen’s Gate resides in one of London’s more well-heeled districts. Ideal for those looking for a serene retreat from the sensory overload of central London, this upmarket 5-star property has a decadent boutique feel despite boasting 228 rooms.
Once home to a globetrotting aristocrat named William Alexander, meticulous care has been taken to pay homage to the colourful ex-owners’ legacy while giving the place a contemporary sheen.
Kudos to the Curio Collection by Hilton for their efforts to maintain the Victorian theme on this historic building, which feels vibrant and organic, and never forced or stuffy.
Just off reception, there’s a vintage-style library complete with plush furniture and various trinkets and curiosities, while the Botanica tearoom is a real head-turner. Housed in a glass-roofed atrium just opposite the entrance to the restaurant, the space is filled with light and channels an ornate, quintessentially British aesthetic that instantly takes you to a classic afternoon tea.
The grand staircase with its stunning crystal chandeliers is another impressive feature that makes taking the stairs worthwhile. But it was our duplex suite at 100 Queen’s Gate that really blew us away.
All the hotel’s luxury rooms and suites are named after famous figures who once resided in the area and include icons such as Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock and Alexander Fleming. Our suite was named after Lord Robert Baden-Powell, a celebrated general who wrote Scouting for Boys, which inspired the Boys Scout movement.
Stepping in, you’re welcomed with a cosy-looking living space complete with a burnt orange crushed velvet sofa, table, mini-bar, TV and Nespresso coffee machine.
The beautiful blue shelving unit behind the sofa is packed with antiques and vintage books, ranging from Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre to Charlie Chaplin’s autobiography. Even the Marshall Bluetooth speaker blends in with the old-school glamour vibe effortlessly.
Upstairs is a beautiful marble bathroom, a sizable bedroom with an ultra-comfy king-sized bed and ample wardrobe space for longer stays. The Molton Brown diffuser and bathroom products ensure the room always smells great too. A charming suite that’s well worth the upgrade, especially if you’re here for an occasion.
Head down the winding staircase just off reception and you’ll discover the swish ESQ bar, which is warm, inviting, and just as easy on the eye as the rest of the hotel. The resident mixologists know their stuff too and served up some of the best cocktails we had during our 4-day stint in the city. If you enjoy tequila cocktails, then do try The Dragon, a sharp and refreshing mix of lychee liqueur, agave syrup, lime juice, egg white, and Pink Dragon Tequila.
The location of the hotel is excellent too. Just 5-6 minutes’ walk from South Kensington tube station, The Natural History Museum and the V&A, it’s a good base to explore some of the city’s most iconic attractions.
There are also a few local restaurants, shops, and bars on your doorstep, but don’t expect anything especially unique or groundbreaking. If you’re there to do some serious shopping, take a 20-minute stroll and you’re in Knightsbridge where you’ll find Harrods and other high-end retailers.
We dined in Cento, the hotel’s Italian restaurant, which turned out to be an excellent choice. The menu is small but packed with temptation. The calamari from the Antipasto starters menu were light, crispy, and well-complemented with the lemon mayo and black pepper.
The beef meatballs (Polpette) in puttanesca sauce are also fantastic and work well with the rather cracking bottle of Aruma Malbec. Our mains were equally as mouth-watering. The 28-day aged rump steak (£23) with parmesan shavings was rich, hearty and beautifully presented.
The lobster ravioli (£19) was deliciously creamy and elevated further with a dash of fried basil.
The Italian gelato is also a treat if you have room for dessert. The service was just as impeccable as the food, and our friendly waiter showed plenty of knowledge of not just the menu, but the local area.
The next morning, we enjoyed an exceptional full English breakfast in the same restaurant, which is served buffet style. A vast assortment of pastries and cereals are also available.
100 Queens Gate is a rare find indeed. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another 5-star hotel in such a prestigious area that offers so much in terms of value for money (rooms start at around £210). The reception team can’t do enough to ensure you have a comfortable stay, and there was genuine warmth to everyone we encountered.
The hotel itself is pure class and has plenty of quirks and unique features to ensure you won’t forget it in a hurry. Look no further if you’re looking to spoil someone without breaking the bank, this place is a bonafide gem.
Words by Fletch.