Boutique hotels are my little indulgence, I love to stay for a night or two and make a change from the routine and familiarity of my abode. Yesterday I stayed at The Rockwell, an independently owned hotel with an emphasis on intimate yet understated style. Its location is just a stone's throw away from the capitals' coveted attractions including the Royal Albert Hall the Science Museum, and Harrods department store.
Although considered one of London's luxury hotels, there's nothing overly lavish about it. You won't be welcomed with a glass of rosé or receive a personalised 'enjoy your stay' note placed in your room. Instead, this hotel it prides itself on a more laid back approach, where guests are encouraged to do away with all the fancy stuff and just make yourself at home. Of course the hotel does have the essential personal touches; there's 24 hour room service available and friendly staff willing to assist in any special needs you may have.
The interior has strong contemporary finishes that you'd imagine to be somewhat out of place within the walls of this traditional Victorian town house, but you'll be pleasantly surprised. Alongside the modern furniture and clean lines, you'll also see reclaimed floor tiles to highlight some of its historical aesthetics. And the juxtaposition works well.
I stayed in a double deluxe which was a simple and smart looking room. Perhaps for some, the rooms may be considered a little compact, but in my opinion, the smart layout does well to open the space and make you feel very comfortable. Most rooms feature fresh, bright walls with bold patterned wallpapers, soft caramel and beige tones enhanced with cherry beach furniture. There's no grandeur involved at all, just contemporary, neutral resting space.
I was impressed by the small but perfectly formed restaurant and bar One-Eight-One. The menu boasts modern interpretations of classic British cuisine including sweets like lemon cheesecake and good old apple pie. The restaurant decor is simple and stylish - combining minimum fuss with a chilled atmosphere, in fact, that sums up the hotel perfectly.
The Rockwell is currently offering a great "2 for 1" weekend package until the 31st May. The offer includes two nights, breakfast and a bottle of wine for £340. For more information and reservations call: 020 7244 2000.
181-183 Cromwell Road,
London, SW5 0SF