The Halkin by COMO
5 Halkin St, London, England, UK
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Many of the world’s most stylish hotels are heavy on the public spaces, pouring money into lounges, libraries, drawing rooms, even private cinemas, while relegating the paying guests to cramped, uninspired rooms. How this works as a business proposition is quite beyond our understanding, but in this case it’s irrelevant — London’s Halkin hotel turns this stereotype inside out. Here the public spaces amount to little more than a small but handsome lobby and bar (and of course a restaurant, of which more later), while the rooms get the star treatment.
And what rooms they are, outfitted in what can only be described as Milanese Zen, rich leathers and soothing muted colors doing their best to expand the already generous space (which in London counts as a real luxury). Each floor takes on as its theme one of the four ancient elements (five, if you count sky), but the differences are subtle enough to avoid gimmickry; all four are as unassumingly elegant as can be. The marble bathrooms are expansive, and the COMO Shambhala bath products add to the culture shock — you may have to walk outside and see the building’s Georgian façade to reassure yourself that this is indeed London.
The location, in quietly upscale Belgravia, is a perfect match for this chic yet grown-up hotel — attractive yet not too ostentatious, and providing easy access to Knightsbridge, Hyde Park, Sloane Street and Picadilly. It also affords easy access to the Halkin’s sister hotel, the Metropolitan, whose spa is open to Halkin guests, as is its restaurant, Nobu — and repeat guests should note that the Halkin's new gym makes a trip to the Metropolitan's health club unnecessary.
But while Nobu is nice, Halkin has its own restaurant, Ametsa with Arzak Instruction. An offshoot of Elena Arzak’s famous San Sebastian temple of gastronomy, it has already been awarded a Michelin star for its bold new Basque cuisine. (Think “sea bass with leek ash and moon rocks.”) If the restaurant’s slightly odd name suggests something was lost in translation from the Basque country, it certainly doesn’t show in the dining experience; a meal here is not to be missed.
So there you have it — a haute-couture Italian-style boutique hotel, owned by Singapore’s Christina Ong, serving avant-garde Basque cuisine just steps from Hyde Park Corner tube station. If it’s Union Jacks and bangers and mash you’re after, this is clearly not your place — but for those with global tastes, it’s hard to top.
How to get there:
The Halkin hotel is a 5-minute walk from the Hyde Park Corner tube station. If you’re arriving from Heathrow Airport the most convenient transfer option to central London is the Heathrow Express train, which leaves Heathrow Airport every 15 minutes and takes 15 minutes to arrive at Paddington Station. One-way fares are available from £18 and round-trip fares from £32. By black cab, The Halkin is approximately a 45-minute ride from Heathrow Airport (depending on traffic) and can cost upwards of £50.
- Complimentary upgrade upon hotel check-in, based upon availability
- Guaranteed 4pm check-out
- Complimentary fruit arrangement on arrival (a value of £6.50)
- One complimentary glass of champagne or one cocktail, per guest, upon arrival (a value of about £17, depending on the drink)
- * Tablet Plus Benefits cannot be combined with the "Extend That Feeling" offers and "Ultimate Savings" offer
- 41 Rooms
- Style: Modern Design
- Atmosphere: Quiet
- 75 Guest Reviews
- The Halkin by COMO
- 5 Halkin St
- London, England, UK
- Neighborhood: Belgravia
Hotel amenities and services
- 100% non-smoking hotel
- 24 hour concierge
- 24 hour front desk
- 24 hour gym
- 24 hour room service
- Central air conditioning
- Free wi-fi
- Luggage storage
- Multi-lingual staff
- Pet Friendly
- Spa treatments (on request)
- Valet parking (charges apply)
- Wake-up service