Wonderland spends the night in SW1…

We’d heard rumours of Eccleston Square Hotel, a potentially precious, little boutique space in Belgravia that was run by two, young Parisian siblings. A brief online search rewarded us with glowing TripAdvisor reports and endless award listings – it was named The Best Hotel in London by the relevant outlets and such like – so we had to put it to the test. On the outside, Eccleston Square Hotel is quite easy to miss – set on a residential square just a few steps away from Victoria, it is actually two beautiful and immaculate, but subtly advertised Grade II listed, Georgian Townhouses; one was once the palatial home of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter. But what actually what lies within these historic walls is an Aladdin’s Cave, a luxuriance of sophisticated treats and modern surprises.  

In 2010, siblings Olivia and James Byrne acquired numbers 36 and 37 Eccleston Square and began a £6.5 million refurbishment. They and their design team went on to create what is clearly a decidedly brand new ‘hi-class’ London boutique hotel category. As it transpires, the hotel is also one of the most technologically advanced in the world: every one of its 39 rooms oozes awesomeness, with some of the most experience-enhancing hotel products and services that money can buy. 

Let’s start with the beds, because, let’s face it, hotels are selling sleep. Each room has a handmade Swedish Hästens massage bed. Retailing at well over £12,000, these beds are fully adjustable and have their own remote control and relaxing, vibrating massage settings – and are gift wrapped in the coolest, smoothest Italian bed linen. Elsewhere 3D TV’s grace the walls of every bedroom, and hyper responsive touch-pad controls by the bed do everything from closing the curtains, to illuminating the do-not-disturb sign (no lousy cardboard in this place). Aside the bed complementary iPad2s are provided for your stay – a preloaded, slick butler and concierge app is included, making cocktail orders room service dangerously easy. Also available through the app is a list of over 100 complementary 3D movies that are delivered tout-de-suite, accompanied by some very hi-tech 3D specs.

The latest addition to the hotel’s collection of OMG services is a handy smart phone (again, in every room) which allow guests to make free calls to landlines and mobiles worldwide (pretty much), with unlimited free 3G. Free roaming and all sorts.

In the bathrooms – marble, naturally – we loved the smart glass walls, turning transparent at the touch of a switch; and the televisions hidden in the bathroom mirrors. But, the truth is whilst it’s brilliant at being technologically advanced, Eccleston Square Hotel’s luxuries and unfussy, calm décor actually appeal to all who have an appetite for design and quality. Not a tech fan? IRL chat is likewise encouraged.

One of the most unique aspects of the hotel is its accessibility to the private, residential Eccleston Square Gardens. Back in the day, these gardens were filled with elite residents, connected royals and high-society celebrities like Oscar Wilde – today, they are still strictly for residents of the square (and hotel guests, obvs). The Gardens offer an immaculately kept tennis court, dappled shade and numerous picnic spots – ultimately it’s a calm, botanical oasis away from the prying eyes and stimulation of this capital city. Quite miraculous given this hotel is in the heart of central London. While the city may have no shortage of luxury spots, the Eccleston Square Hotel boasts the kind of warm hospitality, keen attention to detail and convenient in-room technology to make any stay too short. Wonderland will be making a return, asap.

For more info on the Eccleston Square Hotel, head here.


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