As hotels return to business-as-usual, and adapt to changing circumstances, Angelina Villa-Clarke investigates why the concept of luxury serviced apartments are perfect for a post-pandemic city stay…
Giving the flexibility or a private home, yet with all the design, service and (most of) the amenities of a luxury hotel – hybrid hotel-homes seem to be perfectly made for our times.
Cheval Collection is at the forefront of the trend. The brand offers a range of high-scale apartment living – from townhouses to penthouses – in various locations across London (there are nine addresses in the capital, and the company has also recently expanded into Edinburgh). Offering spacious living, beautifully-curated interiors and that much-needed seclusion (it’s top of the wish list of many travellers right now), serviced apartments are ideal for easing us back into staying somewhere new.
One of the newest additions to the brand’s portfolio is Cheval Gloucester Park, which offers 98 lavish apartments – including three sprawling five-bedroom penthouses – across 10 floors in the heart of Kensington.
Step into the lobby and you’re instantly immersed in a high-end vibe. There’s a glossy marble floor, emblazoned with bold zig-zags of green and grey, back-lit bookcases, thick rugs and velvet sofas. Reading nooks and coffee stations give a homely feel, while the check-in desk, with a ‘ta-da!’ liquid-metal finish, gives the wow factor. Furnishings with tones of rust-red, ochre, olive green and petrol blue, meanwhile, add uplifting pops of colour.
The multi-million pound interiors, which took two years to finish, were spearheaded by design studio 1508 London, which says it used both classic and contemporary design styles to give an elevated and elegant feel. “Inspired by the 1920s, we focused on the transition between different spaces and the enhancement of light and reflection,” says the company.
In the apartments, this plays out with immaculate finishing and attention to detail. Each space is infused with light and has that elusive sheen of luxury. In the living room, for instance, a contemporary Lee Broom pendant light highlights a Porta Romana dining table with mustard velvet Gubbi chairs. Marble-topped side-tables are topped with tactile ceramic vases or contemporary glass lamps, placed next to a sea-green velvet sofa. The look is straight out of Architectural Digest.
Kitchens are state-of-the-art, with Nespresso machines and Miele kitchen appliances, while bathrooms have underfloor heating, Hansgrohe rainfall showers and Bvlgari products. It feels just like a five-star hotel.
A small terrace gives a sense of place, with views over Kensington rooftops. Bedrooms, meanwhile, are supremely cocooning after a day spent exploring London – beds are huge with velvet headboards, Hermes throws and Egyptian cotton linen.
Talking of which, all within reach are some of London’s iconic spots – such as the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Royal Albert Hall and buzzy South Kensington. Ask about the Cheval picnic box, which includes a bottle of Champagne, mezze bites and picnic rug, perfect for lunch in one of the nearby Royal Parks.
Throughout the apartments and public spaces there’s also a curated selection of art, which was commissioned by consultants Verdigris Art. Most of the standout pieces are in the lobby, and you are encouraged to stroll around to discover them all – as if you are in a mini gallery. There’s portraiture by Sophie Derrick, photography by Matthew Farrar and sculptures by Rod Mireau. Many pieces, such as Elisabeth Lecourt’s Tube Map Dress, give a nod to London.
As well as underground parking and a ground-floor gym with Precor equipment, Cheval Gloucester Park boasts another hidden gem – a glam 12-seat cinema, with navy walls, neon art work and overstuffed burgundy armchairs. Guests can book it for private screenings or film evenings.
Adding to the boutique hotel vibe, Cheval offers an enhanced concierge service around the clock, with private chefs, maid and laundry services on tap. You can also dial up spa treatments and personal training with a collaboration with Viva Therapies.
If you don’t want to cook, but want to stay in, you can order from the Night Room Service, available on an App, which allows you to order direct from local restaurants. Your meal will be delivered in the private ‘butler hatch’, found next to your front door (so no need to be disturbed).
As well as ticking all the boxes for luxe design and sleek aesthetics, Cheval is also a master at offering a liveable ‘sanctuary’ in the centre of the city, which – let’s face it – will probably be better than your own home. This is the way we want to live now.
Prices start from £350 per night for a one bedroom apartment. For more information, please visit chevalcollection.com.