Hilton Worldwide's eighth London Doubletree opened in a former Chinese embassy building on Bayswater Road in July.
The brand also recently added hotels in Dundee, Bristol and Ealing (west London), and its Liverpool debut is set for this spring.
WHAT'S IT LIKE?
The property is a lot bigger than it initially seems. The bright white lobby feels quite compact, yet above it there are 228 rooms spread over seven floors of winding corridors. The sleek, minimalist design of the public areas is unexpected after the nondescript cement exterior.
Service at check-in was friendly, and I was given a signature Doubletree cookie as a welcome gift.
Throughout the hotel, the homely, well appointed interiors and the business traveller-friendly ethos mirrored my experience at the Doubletree by Hilton Manchester Piccadilly (for a review, click here).
WHERE IS IT?
A five-minute walk from Notting Hill Gate and Queensway Tube stations. The property is across the road from the north-western corner of Hyde Park, and a half-hour stroll along the perimeter brings you to Marble Arch.
Single rooms measure 14 sqm while the rest of the categories – Twin, Queen, King, King Deluxe and King Junior Suite – range from 18 sqm to 24 sqm.
I stayed in a King Deluxe room on the sixth floor, which was modern, unfussy and stylish, with dark wood surfaces, taupe walls and a subtle injection of colour from patterned cushions and a throw, edged with burnt orange. The white leather chair beside the long desk was comfortable for working.
The Doubletree brand excels in practicality, and I was pleased to find strategically located plug sockets – one below a full-length mirror, three just above the workdesk, and one each side of the king-size bed – this was comfy, with a plush mattress topper. (Reading lamps and light switches were also on either side.)
The bathroom was similarly practical and pleasant, with an anti-mist mirror, a high-pressure shower over the bath, and lemon-scented Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries. Bathrooms in categories below this are smaller and have walk-in showers only. Combs, razors, shaving cream, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant and shower caps can all be requested from reception.
A 40-inch flatscreen Samsung TV was fixed to the wall above the desk, and the large wooden wardrobe provided ample storage space for clothes. There was a good level of sound-proofing, though the windows didn’t open.
Rooms at the front of the hotel on the top few floors offer views across Hyde Park towards Kensington Palace.
Standard amenities include free wifi in the bedrooms and public areas (though it will begin charging for in-room connection in the near future), a Nespresso machine, an iPod dock, a laptop safe, an iron and ironing board, a hairdryer (my room didn’t have one but I phoned reception and it was brought up promptly), two free bottles of water, an empty fridge, and tea and coffee facilities.
Room service operates 24 hours, with a more extensive menu available 11am-11pm. I ordered the burrata, toasted focaccia and parsley pesto (£7.95), which was fresh and tasty. A £5 charge is added for service, which seemed rather pricey.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
Urban Meadow is located just off the lobby and has its own street entrance.
A buffet breakfast is served from 6.30am to 10am (7am-11am weekends), with à la carte options such as spinach and ricotta omelette, and sourdough rolls with egg, bacon or sausage also available. Like the lobby, the restaurant is bright and white, and the glass-walled frontage lets in plenty of light during the day.
Dishes for lunch and dinner include British classics such as potted rabbit (£7), and mutton chops with braised red cabbage and sour mint gravy (£13). In the centre of the room is a long bar.
A boardroom for ten people is both located on the ground floor.
There is a gym with Life Fitness equipment, and Hyde Park is just across the road for joggers.
The Doubletree brand prioritises the things that are important – pleasant design, a good bed and useful amenities. This hotel is a good option if you need to be close to London's West End and want get some work done in your room.
- HOW MANY ROOMS? 228 – 32 Single, 34 Twin, 45 Queen, 85 King, 31 King Deluxe and one King Junior Suite
- HIGHLIGHTS The comfortable, well-equipped rooms, and welcoming staff
- PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in March started from £169 for a Queen room
- CONTACT Doubletree by Hilton Hotel London – Hyde Park, 150 Bayswater Road; tel +44 (0)20 7229 1212; doubletree.hilton.com