The Berkeley, London, England, UK

Discussion in 'Luxury Hotels' started by uggboy, Feb 26, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. uggboy
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    Jan/Feb. 2014, 2 nights

    Having passed The Berkeley numerous times and always tried to figure out what was behind the facade we researched if it was suitable for us and booked it finally. We also were aware it belongs to the Maybourne Group, which includes The Claridges and The Connaught.

    The original site of The Berkeley was at the corner of Berkeley Street and Piccadilly. On 21.02.1972 the location moved to Wilton Place, where it is still today.

    The doorman was already busy with other guests when we arrived. When entering we were greeted by an open fire and two club chairs in front of it. We turned left, passing the Blue Bar and found an attractive reception.

    It was modern with a lot of space. We were asked to take a seat to check in. Our reservation was retrieved from a steamer trunk and we were offered a welcome drink of our choice. There was a fridge right beside the check in clerk from where he retrieved our Rauch orange juice. We were also asked what times we would like to have our room made up. The formalities completed we were given a quick tour of the hotel and brought to our room.

    The room was large and facing Knightsbridge, Starwood's Luxury Collection Park Tower and the Mandarin Oriental. We had a little bet going on before checking in at The Berkeley and I had it right. Some people prefer views over St. Paul's Church of Knightsbridge. I assume it is quieter. We had just the one we wanted, spying on the "competition" and watch the comings and goings at our own hotel.

    The decoration was masculine and art deco in brown, white, beige and gold tones. It felt warm and inviting and was very tasteful.

    We had a huge king sized bed with Pratesi linen (very soft), a small wardrobe (definitely not suitable for long stays) and a writing desk, an octagonal coffee table, arm chair, credenza with mini bar, stocked with a half bottle of Krug Champagne (155 GBP / ca. 188.30 Euro / ca. 258.60 USD), Laurent Perrier for 36 GBP (ca. 43.80 Euro / ca. 60.05 USD), Evian water, Firefly soft drinks, Sunraysia juices, ranging from 4.60 GBP to 5 GBP (ca. 5.60 Euro to 6.10 Euro / ca. 7.70 USD to 8.35 USD) and much more.

    The flat screen TV was from Philipps and matched the alarm clock. It was a bit too small to watch from the table, but it was ideal from the bed. The channel selection was very good, offering local, international and foreign language channels.

    The tapestry was intricate with flower and plant prints. The details continued on one of the frames of the artwork - all depicting flowers.

    The details continued throughout the room, for example there were black octagonal coasters and the sticker on the toilet paper was the same shape and colour.

    The night stands were designed like miniature classic writing desks.

    There were also Maybourne Group magazines and a Singaporean magazine for gentlemen.

    The bathroom was large, fully marbled, with a bidet, toilet, bath tub and shower combination and a sink.

    The amenities were by Bamford, all organic and made in England. It was our first time we came in contact with the company. We loved to use the products.

    The bath tub wasn't very high, so climbing in and out was easy. There was also a function we have never seen before. There was a "waste" tap. To release the bath water it has to be lifted and turned anti clockwise.

    The bath tub was comfortable and the shower easy to use.

    When we requested more bath gel we received two bottles and in a larger size than before.

    Turn down arrived every evening during our two night stay and included two free bottles of water.

    There was also 24 hour room service available. A set breakfast started from 26 GBP (ca. 31.50 Euro or 43.25 USD), starters and desserts from 13 GBP (ca. 15.75 Euro or 21.65 USD) and main courses from 26 GBP.

    We had breakfast here and it was absolutely delicious. All products were locally sourced and the breakfast is made in Pierre Koffmann's kitchen. My better half had the Continental Breakfast with hot chocolate, carrot juice, croissants, muffins, Danish, granary toast, butter and Berkeley own branded jams. I had a la carte Cappuccino, also a carrot juice and a Corned Beef Hash. The jams were slightly larger than usual. Overall the Continental Breakfast was deemed the best so far by him. I have to agree, having tried a few items.

    The carrot juice was sweet and smooth.

    The cappuccino just right - strong, smooth and an indulgent milky foam on top.

    The Beef Hash looked like a cake and was served with roasted tomatoes, adding a nice acidity. It was different than the Hash I had enjoyed at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington D.C. a few years back.

    The set up was beautifully done and looked like we were in a fine dining room. There was enough space for the table. It was comfortable to sit at it after the member of staff placed the chairs for us. There was no bill to sign, but the cost was 72.50 GBP (ca. 87.95 Euro / ca. 120.80 USD).

    On the day of our arrival we had a reservation for afternoon tea. I will write a more detailed review about that soon. It was served at the Caramel Room - the interior was designed by Alexandra Champalimaud - and is called Pret-a-Portea. What can we say? It was definitely delicious, interesting, generous, creative and unusual.

    The hotel has also a Bamford Haybarn Spa on the 7th floor, massages start from 55 GBP (ca. 66.70 Euro or 91.65 USD) for a 25 minute Back, neck and shoulder massage. A full day spa experience costs 570 GBP (ca. 691.25 Euro or 949.40 USD).

    There is a rooftop pool. It was turned into a winter wonderland until end of January. The experience was open for non-guests as long as it was booked in advance. It included a movie, while sipping coffee, tea or hot chocolate and being covered in Moncler blankets.

    All restaurants, bar and the gift shop are located on the ground floor and as the receptionist said it's hard to get lost, because you always walk in a circle or square. There is the Blue Bar, which incooperates Edward Lutyents elements from the old Berkeley and was designed by David Collins, who sadly passed away last year unexpectedly. Passing through the bar leads to Pierre Koffmann.

    Marcus Wareing is closed at the moment for renovation, but re-opens in April.

    All the staff we encountered was friendly and genuinely interested in us.

    Of course the price tag was high, but worth every penny.

    The entrance category room we booked was larger than similar rooms in London or would be sold as suites in others.

    The hotel is kept up immaculately and ingredients used are of the finest quality.

    The beds are highly comfortable and softer than usual, guaranteeing a good night's rest.

    The service is attentive.

    For all this reasons we are going to return in the future.

    Would we recommend this hotel to a friend? YES!
    Would we stay again at this hotel in the future? YES!

    Thank you and safe travels. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  2. sobore
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    :)Nice review!
     
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  3. uggboy
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    Thank you. :)
     
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  4. tondoleo
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    Well done.

    Although I am a tad disappointed there are no excellent uggboy photos to accompany this HR.;)
     
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  5. uggboy
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    I've made some photos from the room and the Afternoon tea, I will add some later. [DUE TO DEMAND] :) Thanks TON!
     
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  6. uggboy
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    Here are some of our photos we made during our stay @ The Berkeley in London, Jan. / Feb. 2014:

    [​IMG]
    || SUPERIOR KING ROOM @ THE BERKELEY || WILTON PLACE || KNIGHTSBRIDGE || LONDON || ENGLAND || UK || Jan. / Feb. 2014 || Our stay at this beautiful hotel incl. Superior king room, the famous Prêt-à-Portea @ The Caramel Room and in-room breakfast ||
    by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr
    [​IMG]
    || SUPERIOR KING ROOM @ THE BERKELEY || WILTON PLACE || KNIGHTSBRIDGE || LONDON || ENGLAND || UK || Jan. / Feb. 2014 || Our stay at this beautiful hotel incl. Superior king room, the famous Prêt-à-Portea @ The Caramel Room and in-room breakfast ||
    by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr
    [​IMG]
    || SUPERIOR KING ROOM @ THE BERKELEY || WILTON PLACE || KNIGHTSBRIDGE || LONDON || ENGLAND || UK || Jan. / Feb. 2014 || Our stay at this beautiful hotel incl. Superior king room, the famous Prêt-à-Portea @ The Caramel Room and in-room breakfast ||
    by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr
    [​IMG]
    || SUPERIOR KING ROOM @ THE BERKELEY || WILTON PLACE || KNIGHTSBRIDGE || LONDON || ENGLAND || UK || Jan. / Feb. 2014 || Our stay at this beautiful hotel incl. Superior king room, the famous Prêt-à-Portea @ The Caramel Room and in-room breakfast ||
    by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr
    [​IMG]
    || SUPERIOR KING ROOM @ THE BERKELEY || WILTON PLACE || KNIGHTSBRIDGE || LONDON || ENGLAND || UK || Jan. / Feb. 2014 || Our stay at this beautiful hotel incl. Superior king room, the famous Prêt-à-Portea @ The Caramel Room and in-room breakfast ||
    by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL ||, on Flickr
     
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  7. uggboy
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  8. uggboy
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  9. uggboy
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    Jan. / Feb. 2014 Pret-a-Portea @ the Caramel Room || Berkeley Hotel || London:

    Having heard so many good things about the Pret-a-Portea at The Berkeley we decided to try it while we were staying there.

    See also our review.

    The tea was served at the Caramel Room, which was designed by Alexandra Champalimaud. We booked online at the hotel's website ca. 4 weeks before. We were lucky seatings were still available on Friday afternoon, but Saturday and Sunday were already booked out.

    We chose consciousiously the seating at 16.30 hours, because we were checking out at the Intercontinental Park Lane (see also review) the same day and wanted to make sure we could check in at The Berkeley, photograph the room and make ourselves fresh. It was perfectly timed.

    The Pret-a-Portea was originally created in 2005 to bring in shoppers from the surrounding Knightsbridge/Mayfair area. It was only planned to be temporary, but the tea was such a success it stayed for good.

    As the name suggests Pret-a-Portea is fashion inspired, so there is a spring/summer and autumn/winter "collection".

    We had to wait a bit before our table was ready. There was a name sign in the shape of a pink high heel marking it.

    We had a table in the middle of the room.

    The clientele was international.

    Our waitress explained to us how the afternoon tea functioned since it was our first time we took part. We could have from everything second or more helpings and we could even try different teas or have refills. We were also asked for any food intolerances or allergies.

    We chose Amazing Apple and Pear Caramel Tea. One of us enjoyed also a glass of Laurent Perrier Rose Champagne.

    The china was designed by Paul Smith - a perfect fit to the exhibition ["Hello, My Name is Paul Smith"] we did visit at the Design Museum during our stay at the Berkeley Hotel.

    First arrived the sandwiches - all were fantastic and since they were so tasty we asked for another round of the egg and ham sandwiches. They were our favourites.

    One bread type was especially unusual it was made with beetroot. Another one was lemon flavoured. The shapes were round and squared.

    Next were the savouries - no scones - BBQ roast duck tartlets, goats cheese, chilled water cress soup, chestnut panna cotta and marinated sword fish.

    Everything was great. The chilled water cress soup and the goats cheese were our favourites.

    The highlight was of course the sweets. There was a Burberry Trench Coat, a Giovanni Rossi over the knee boot ginger bread, an Emporio Armani and Jean Paul Gaultier inspired cream/mousse, a Saint Laurent Victoria Sponge Cake bag, a Vivienne Westwood macaroon, a Miu Miu Polka Dot Jaconde and Gianduia Mousse, a Giles Sacher Torte and an Oscar de la Renta Orange Bavarois. All was decadent, creative and full in flavour.

    Stand outs were the Emporio Armani violet cassis mousse with light Curacao jelly and the Jean Paul Gaultier gold quilted banana and caramel cremeaux and passion fruit compote.

    It was amazing and we were totally spoiled, getting second helpings from everything and even though we said we were fine the staff double checked there wasn't really a need for third servings. It was the most generous afternoon tea we ever had.

    The staff was always there when needed, engaging and passionate - finding just the right balance between being professional and warm, but discreet. You could see they enjoyed what they were doing and seemed sad to see us go.

    We received two little carton handbags filled with a few more goodies as present before leaving.

    Cost was 108 GBP (ca. 130.50 Euro / ca. 180.80 USD) including service charge - time and money well spent.

    We would recommend the Pret-a-Portea highly. It's unique, tasty and inspirational.

    Would we recommend this Afternoon Tea to a friend? YES!
    Would we again partake at this Afternoon Tea in the future? YES!

    Thank you and safe travels. :)
     

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