silvia
Silvia Pisci
The Wellesley
11 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LY
10th December 2015

Small and intimate, The Wellesley is a bit of a secret…but now the secret’s out! Read our brand new review below.

Location
Knightsbridge is just not my favorite location in the city, although undoubtedly central - perfect for fabulous shopping, but not ideal if you're looking for cosy restaurants and bars... Having said that, the spectacular view right on Hyde Park was amazing, and if you're sensitive to noise as much as I am, this is the hotel to be holed up in!
Who stays?
I only met very few guests during my stay (there were only two other tables at breakfast – a Scandinavian couple in their 60’s and a group of young Middle Eastern ladies), while the bar was pretty crowded in the evening with a mixed clientele of locals and international travellers. This is not the hotel that want-to-be-seen people would choose, while it’s perfect for those who love intimacy and a supremely classy, retro atmosphere.
Style and Character
Art Déco style, tasteful and intimate atmosphere, lavish but never tacky.
Service
They just get it right here. The entire staff was helpful and ready not just to assist on my requests, but anticipate my wishes (“would you like us to bring some coffee with your wake up call, Ms. Pisci?” or “can we arrange your transfer by Rolls Royce?” (complimentary within 1.5 miles radius!)). I would have loved to meet Stefano, the GM, who has clearly added some Italian warmth to the British gentility of the service.
Rooms and Suites
With only 36 rooms of which there are over 20 suites, The Wellesley is the definition of a quintessential luxury boutique hotel. Rooms are spread over 6 floors and most of them feature direct (not just partial, like many other hotels in the area) gorgeous views on Hyde Park, particularly enjoyable from the big windows or even small terraces.

Suites are divided between those with a separated bedroom area (it can be closed off completely) and the open-space ones – I preferred the open rooms as they feel more spacious and bright, but it’s my personal choice.

The design is very a tasteful solid Art Déco, with dark wooden furniture lightened by gray colors, natural light and the very big mirrors (something I particularly appreciated by the way!). The striated marble bathrooms are spacious and most of them feature gorgeous free-standing tubs (facing a TV-incorporated mirror in case you plan on spending the evening watching movies from there…which you just might!) as well as rain showers.

Although I couldn’t open the window (and this is something I never like to not be able to), the temperature in the room was ideal. The mattress and bedding were incredibly comfortable; I slept like a baby.
Food and Drink
I only had breakfast at the hotel, although I would have loved to try the restaurant for lunch or dinner. Coffee and cappuccino were particularly good, and this made me “sense” the Italian management of the restaurant.

The poached eggs with salmon were absolutely perfect, and I have full faith that whatever comes out from the kitchen is delicious – it is just my thought, but I’m ready to bet!
Features, Wellness, and Amenities
Common areas are rather small, gracefully decorated and ultimately very enjoyable. The Art Déco theme is reflected in every detail (even the cutlery!) and completed by a perfect music selection throughout the day. I usually don’t like to dine at the hotel where I'm staying, but I would definitely recommend the restaurant at the Wellesley for a candle-lit dinner accompanied by grand piano…

The atmosphere at Crystal bar and cigar terrace is great after 10pm, when a mixed international clientèle gathers around for exceptional drinks. The wine and cigar collection is quite impressive, including rare Macallan bottles (GBP5,000 for a shot!) and finest cigars especially selected in Cuba.

There are no gym or spa facilities but, in Knightsbridge, options for either are close by.
Perceived Value
Everything about my stay was faultless, and that fully justifies the pretty high rates - still very competitive though considering that we're talking about Knightsbridge!
Verdict
The Wellesley is not the only newly-built Art Déco hotel in London but it certainly has its own character. A very safe recommendation.