Story by Melanie Votaw,
Photos by Melanie Votaw and Royal Park Hotel
Royal Park Hotel
The Royal Park Hotel is a 4-star property in London’s Knightsbridge section, just a block from Hyde Park and a hop, skip, and a jump from Paddington Station. Paddington is where the Heathrow Express train arrives from the airport, so the hotel couldn’t be in a more convenient location.
A small boutique property, the Royal Park contains just 48 rooms and suites, several of which have a view of the green space of Westbourne Terrace. The hotel is actually three restored 19-century townhouses.
When I was there in June 2012, the hotel had recently been purchased by a company from India and had a new manager. He showed me around and told me of some of his plans for the Royal Park. Some of his changes have since been made, including a few alterations to the garden/courtyard. It’s still quite informal, but it’s available for small gatherings. A conservatory is also planned there.
He has upgraded the included breakfast and afternoon tea as well. Breakfast includes a more diverse buffet with brioche and Greek yogurt. Afternoon tea now has new crockery to better match the décor and uses loose leaf Tregothnan tea. This tea produced in Cornwall is the only tea grown in England. The breakfast room is small, seating only about 14 people. It can be used for meetings, too.
Other new developments are that the Royal Park has just joined Preferred Hotel Group as a boutique property and recently launched a “chocolate week” with chocolate tastings.
There are a variety of room types, including the four poster suite, the deluxe version of the four poster suite, the executive double room with a king bed, the executive twin room with two single beds, and the classic double room with a queen bed.
My room had a small separate living area, a canopy bed, a desk, a dresser, two televisions, an easy chair, dual sinks, and a towel warmer. The décor is decidedly classic British. You won’t feel like you’re anywhere else but London in the Royal Park.
There is complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property – something I always appreciate – and all rooms have handmade Bellestrata beds, 24-hour room service, LCD-TV’s, 100% Irish cotton linens, minibars, safes, robes, slippers, blow dryers, and Penhaligon toiletries. You can get a DVD player if you ask, and you can dine in your room. While I didn’t have reason to use his services, I’m told the hotel’s concierge is very knowledgeable and connected.
The Royal Park serves champagne and canapés every night from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the comfortable front sitting room. The manager also hopes to soon stream music throughout the lobby. When I was there, they had created a centerpiece in tribute to Wimbledon that consisted of tennis balls with the hotel’s logo printed on them, so while the décor is classic, the Royal Park is friendly and has a sense of humor.
Obviously, the property is small, so it isn’t set up for large conferences. Besides the garden and breakfast room, there is a green room and a blue room. Small meetings and dinners are frequently held there, and eight car park spaces are available to guests.
The Royal Park is on a relatively quiet street in a busy, trendy area. It’s diminutive and unassuming. I guess I’d call it “quiet luxury,” and in a big city, that can certainly be very relaxing and welcoming.
© December 2012 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.