The Egerton House Hotel, part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, offers the ultimate in intimacy, style and personal service in London’s fashionable Knightsbridge neighborhood.
Fine fabrics and furnishings, exquisite original artwork, impeccable personal service….that’s the Egerton House Hotel, one of London’s premier boutique properties.
Just a stone’s throw away from Harrods in fashionable Knightsbridge, the five-star gem comprises two 19th century, brick townhouses set on a pretty, tree-lined street just minutes from smart stores, Royal Albert Hall, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Natural History and Science museums. An intimate, 28-room nest brimming with traditional British style, it’s sumptuously decorated, just like other members of the prestigious Red Carnation Hotel Collection.
“We were expecting your arrival,” the guest relations manager said as I entered the vestpocket lobby at about 9 in the morning, a little droopy after a long flight from Chicago. In minutes I was served a cup of freshly brewed tea with biscuits in the adjacent Drawing Room while I waited for my room to be ready. I was even offered breakfast.
With its crystal chandelier, fireplace and writing desk, the parlor—more like a petite living room—was so cozy that I didn’t mind the wait (and easily could have lingered longer). As guests frequently say, the Egerton House is more like a private home than a hotel, the staff more like friends than service workers. The staff-to-guest ratio is 2-1.
I returned to the Drawing Room at the end of my busy day and from the tiny bar (two stools) ordered a drink from Antonio Pizzuto, one of London’s most beloved bartenders and famous for his martinis. Before leaving for sightseeing—and upon my return—I helped myself to the complimentary candy bars and packages of nuts in the lobby.
My fourth-floor room, overlooking the street, gushed with typical Red Carnation flourishes, from thick carpeting, fresh fruit and flowers, and a selection of magazines to drapes and bedspread in florid patterns. The wooden closet had puffy satin hangers, and the marble bath, with a large tub, two types of bathrobe and a carnation in a vase, gleamed with brass fixtures.
Each guest room at the Egerton House is individually decorated. My room’s dominant piece of art was the portrait of a dashing, sword-packing British army officer. Adding to the traditional feel was the fact that I actually locked and unlocked my door with a real key, not a digital card.
Settling into one of the Drawing Room’s armchairs or pillow-accented couches for afternoon tea is a London indulgence not to be missed. Come with an appetite for delicate finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones with Devonshire clotted cream and preserves, homemade passion fruit cheesecake, fruit tartlet, blackberry macaroons, chocolate brownies and carrot cake.
At breakfast in the lower-level dining room, I savored eggs Benedict, perfectly prepared. Guests can take breakfast either in the dining room or, for lighter fare, in the Drawing Room. Order a full English breakfast and feast on eggs, hash browns, Cumberland sausage, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms and black pudding.
Other exclusive London addresses in the Red Carnation galaxy include the Milestone Hotel, a Victorian masterpiece overlooking Kensington Palace and Gardens; 41, at 41 Buckingham Palace Road in Belgravia; The Montague on the Gardens, steps from the British Museum in Bloomsbury; The Rubens at the Palace, close to Buckingham Palace; and The Chesterfield Mayfair, which made a nice home during my stay last year in the posh Mayfair district. (redcarnation.com)