It’s summer in London! Sure, the weather might be unpredictable but there will be the guarantee of a throng of visitors who are looking for a diverse menu of accommodation options. From 4th June 2014 there is a well-appointed addition to those choices.
Cheval Harrington Court is a residential hotel or an aparthotel or a boutique hotel that feels like home …if your home happens to be luxurious, that is. Its location is unbeatable. Fleets of red London buses are just yards away and some apartments even have views of South Kensington station, or at least the Underground sign above the tube entrance. Some hotels boast ‘within walking distance’ of an Underground station, and for once, that statement is true. I would suggest it’s no more than a 2 minute stroll.
Cheval Residences recently opened another aparthotel at Tower Hill. I was struck by its quality and thoughtful design so I was expecting something similar at Cheval Harrington Court. I am beginning to see the company ethos. It seems to be about providing a real alternative to high-end hotels and offering something rather unique to those who want to stay for an extended period. Their guests expect the best and Cheval is providing a polished product.
Yes, there are differences between these two aparthotels but there is a theme and it’s London. One obviously has the view from the sitting room window, and in the case of Harrington Court that could be of the upper part of the Natural History Museum which is only a couple of blocks away. The pictures on the walls of the public spaces are iconic black-and-white shots of the ‘Swinging Sixties’. There is kitchen linen sporting images of the London skyline. The globe-trotting traveller will never wake and wonder if he is in Brussels.
Our apartment was just like a regular flat. We had the impression that this truly could be a real home. The furniture was attractive and well-proportioned. The kitchen was for which to die. The bathrooms, for we had a 2-bed apartment with a brace of washing facilities, were contemporary and gleaming. Yes, it was as if we were just moving in and the only things left on the back of the van were books that one would likely never need, and those chachkies that collect dust: Auntie Win’s luminous green Art Deco vase and the half-dead potted palm, for instance. This is home, but improved.
This building has been artfully transformed into a stylish collection of 33 short-let and 17 extended-stay serviced apartments (three-month minimum stay). The contemporary rooms still retain the Victorian-style sash-windows although guests will appreciate the air-conditioning. There is the necessary free Wi-Fi access, along with complimentary daily newspapers, flat-screen TV and access to music in every room.
This is a real apartment with a kitchen and one is able to cook …or more likely plate-up a take-away. Guests are welcomed with a tray of practical nibbles, both savoury and sweet, tea and coffee and fruit, along with muesli for breakfast the following day. There is a 24-hour concierge available to assist guests with everything from laundry to restaurant table booking. There is a Monday-to-Friday daily maid service, twice-weekly bed linen and thrice-weekly towel change, as well as access to a local gym on Harrington Road. In short there is everything a hotel might offer but with the addition of freedom.
South Kensington is an ideal spot for a family holiday base. There is so much to do and it’s all within a short distance. There is the aforementioned Natural History Museum which is famed for both its architecture and its exhibits. There is the Science Museum for the boys and the celebrated Victoria and Albert Museum (the V&A) which has an outstanding collection of textiles and clothes – that might be the preferred destination for the ladies in the party.
The neighbourhood offers many dining opportunities and there will be something for every taste. One can indulge in Lebanese grilled meats, European classics or just relax and enjoy some of London’s café culture. Legendary hotels are within easy reach and they offer traditional afternoon tea.
If retail is what relaxes then Harrods is not far away. Designer shops abound as well as the usual high-street chains. There are theatres for which London is famed and river cruises that will give a different perspective to the City. South Kensington offers easy access to everything that a tourist or businessman/woman might need and it’s all only minutes away from your London home in Cheval Harrington Court.
Cheval Harrington Court
13 Harrington Road
London SW7 3ES
Hotel review by Chrissie Walker © 2018