When COMO The Halkin first opened in 1991, its aim was to offer uncompromising standards of service and style – a skill it very much still offers today. Meeting all our requirements for the perfect London pad, the small yet sophisticated hotel sits on a quiet street close to Hyde Park Corner with immediate access to the shops of Knightsbridge and Mayfair, the beautiful park, Victoria and its many restaurants and Sloane Square – it's in the thick of it without feeling hectic – in fact, it feels like you could be somewhere in the suburbs, with the quiet surrounding streets, shaded by trees, sheltering you from the outside world.
Conceived, created and owned by Christina Ong, the modern inspired design and technology combined with faultless service and fabulous dining are aspects that make this hotel truly special. From the exterior, the Georgian-styled façade of weathered bricks, Portland stone and arched windows gives little away, but once through the sliding doors, you’re instantly engulfed by 21st century style, where Italian architect, Laboratorio Associati, has created a hotel that meets every guest's demands. With just 41 guest rooms and suites, COMO The Halkin never feels crowded. Additionally, due to its generous size, rooms are spacious with individual design and decoration. These are reached from a striking corrugated-wood black corridor, which flows in a powerfully sculptural curve on each level. All rooms are furnished to superlative standards in an uncluttered and elegant style. Using pale cream fabrics mixed with cool taupes, the colour palate is calming and you instantly feel relaxed on entry, leaving you with that home away from home feeling. Exceptionally comfortable beds are fitted with Egyptian cotton sheets and sumptuous goose feather pillows whilst marble bathrooms, all displaying different colours on each level, create an ultra elegant space.
The Belgravia Suite Bathroom
Staying in a stunning COMO Suite, located on the hotel’s fourth floor, the space also featured a sitting area with a dining table for six. Large conservatory-style windows filled the rooms with light, whilst my fabulous marble bathroom had a wonderful deep tub, separate walk-in shower, anti-mist mirror and plenty of COMO Shambhala amenities.
Those of you who like to keep ‘well whilst away’ can also utilise the gym equipped with treadmills, cross trainer, fitness bikes and free weights. There are also yoga mats in the room for the yogi’s among you. COMO The Halkin’s guests also have access to the COMO Shambhala Urban Escape at COMO Metropolitan London, just a 10-minute walk away. Asian-inspired treatments include reflexology, facials (including Dr. Perricone, Dr. Hauschka and Guinot), Thai massage as well as reiki and yoga.
One of the main highlights when staying at COMO The Halkin is Ametsa with Arzak Instruction, the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Serving contemporary ‘New Basque’ cuisine, the restaurant excels in pairing the earthy flavours and techniques of Spain’s Basque Country with modern, surprising twists. Regularly ranked as one of the world’s best eateries, Arzak is a family-run restaurant in San Sebastian, which was brought to London by Elena Arzak, looking to expand the family network. Breakfast is a myriad of eggs and fresh fruit (the truffle eggs in particular tickled my fancy) whilst lunch and dinner offers exceptional set menus and a la carte options. All the food was fantastic with no complaints from a picky ceoliac like me.
The COMO Suite
My final note on this new favourite goes to their concierge team – for reservations at the hottest restaurants, drivers and personal shoppers, they have everything at their fingertips – all-knowing and all seeing – making every occasion fuss-free. Now that’s my idea of a city break...