As a Londoner, I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that each area of the city has it’s own unique and distinctive personality, spawned by its notable historical past. Creative and edgy Clerkenwell; sophisticated and elegant South Kensington, colourful and eclectic Notting Hill. And then there is chic and tech-trending Belgravia. An area of London that I never visited often, but rediscovered by my recent visit London’s most high-tech boutique hotel.
Situated in between Knightsbridge and Chelsea, Belgravia is an affluent area of London. Once an area of meadows and pastureland, the estate was purchased in the 17th century by Thomas Grosvenor, a family ancestry traced back to William the Conqueror. Used previously for market gardening, the area was developed by master builder Thomas Cubitt (1788-1855), with the aim to build a series of garden squares ‘…to let a little of the country-side into the town’.
Set in one of Belgravia’s most elegant garden squares, where previous residents included Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill, is Eccleston Square Hotel. A boutique hotel with a historic striking white stucco façade, and an interior that is contemporary and exciting in high-tech appeal, yet equally discrete and personable.
As a good nights sleep is so important to me, I was instantly attracted to the ‘world’s best beds’ by Swedish brand Hästens. These luxurius beds are electronically adjustable and have variable massage features. Retailing at around £12,000, it’s not surprise that this bed provides you with the best sleep one could possible imagine.
From the comfort of your Hästens bed, you can also experience 3D TV and operate the entire room using the in-room iPad, as well as room service, spa bookings and shopping guides. The whole hotel has effectively been designed to provide the guest with digital convenience, without the feeling of being ripped-off. Thankfully this hotel provides free wifi and free calls within London. Even items in the mini bar are sold at cost price. At last, a place of luxury where one can honestly say ‘I got value for money’.
In a world where technology has become a crucial part in travellers’ lives, it’s so refreshing and pleasing to experience a hotel that delivers beyond the expectations of the digital traveller. I’m sure there are many people like myself that travel with multiple digital devices, and to stay in a hotel where everything can be connected seamlessly without fuss and interruption is my ultimate definition of euphoric heaven.
The combination of high-tech pazazz and Belgravia sophistication is really an ideal hang-out spot. With over 300 thriving businesses within the area, there is an abundance of places and shops to visit. My favourite street however is Pimlico Road. The place where Mozart composed his first symphony, its unique village atmosphere offers such a wide variety of shopping attractions intertwined with a historical back drop. Mostly famously known for interiors, design and antiques, but equally renowned for its gastronomic delights. Every Saturday, you can meander around the Pimlico Farmers’ market and buy locally-produced food ranging from organic vegetables and cheeses, to delightful cakes of all flavours. Chicness appeal with a twist is what I love about Belgravia. And if my hotel bed can give me a massage while I’m sleeping, well you can’t get better than that.
Eccleston Square Hotel: 37 Eccleston Square Hotel, SW1V IPB
Tel: +44 (0)20 3489 1000 Website: www.ecclestonsquarehotel.com
Room rates start from £250 per room per night, ex VAT. Member of Design Hotels
My favourite eat-outs in Belgravia
44b Pimlico Road, SW1W 8LP Tel: 020 7730 2943
11 Pimlico Road, SW1W 8NA Tel: +44 (0)20 7730 6784
Pimlico Farmers Market
When: Saturdays, 9am – 1pm
Where: Orange Square, corner of Pimlico Road and Ebury Street, London, SW1
Eccleston Square Hotel Guest Room
Eccleston Square Hotel iPad
Eccleston Square Garden