A grand dame renowned for its timeless elegance, The Berkeley has been wowing the high classes and the celebrity crowd for over 100 years. Located in Knightsbridge, adjacent to Hyde Park and a few streets away from both Harvey Nichols and Harrods, the hotel fits right in at the center of a neighbourhood famous for accommodating expensive tastes. The perfect hotel for a spot of indulgent escapism, the Berkeley demonstrates what it means to live how the other half live—and yes, that includes the chance to design your own custom Ferrari in the hotel’s Ferrari Atelier.
The quirk of a balcony overlooking bucolic grounds in the heart of this urban metropolis is worth paying for, so opt for a room with a garden view if you can stretch to it.
The Berkeley has been in the luxury hotel game for long enough to know that trends come and go but elegance never goes out of style. And the well-appointed rooms are elegance personified, with their luxe wallpapered walls, designer furniture and amazing beds perched upon lush carpet. Some rooms adopt a feint mid-century look, while others feature art deco elements.
Glass and marble combine in the sumptuous bathroom suites that match the hotel’s refined glamor.
Polished marble floor is the perfect surface to bounce the light about from the beautiful dome lighting installation. Not a buzzing lobby but a place that encourages feelings of awe at the drama of the space.
Highly unusual for London, the Berkeley’s rooftop pool on the seventh floor is a place many a celebrity has announced their arrival to the masses. Guests can dip in the pool surrounded by a temple-like structure that’s more Rome than Knightsbridge. Sun loungers offer views of Hyde Park and city rooftops beyond the turquoise pool.
A place to primp and preen before a night spent in one of the hotel’s desirable eating and drinking establishments, the Bamford Haybarn Spa is an in-house serenity suite made for pampering. A range of treatments and massage are available in the tranquil space.
The ground floor fitness center has all the cardio machines of a well-equipped gym along with free weights and personal TVs.
Two classy choices vie for your attention at the Berkeley; the bright, marble-clad Collins Room and its menu of modern classics, and Marcus, the two Michelin starred fine dining restaurant helmed by superstar British chef Marcus Wareing. The Pret-a-Portea Afternoon Tea is the Berkeley’s signature experience. When you think you’ve had tea and cakes served every which way, try this for an afternoon tea inspired by fashion.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Neither the Collins Room or Marcus encourage a casual environment, which means dressing up is a must to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb.
If you’re a guest at the Berkeley then chances are you appreciate the finer things in life and, well, this neighbourhood is filled with the finest of things. Fine dining restaurants, chic cocktail bars and luxury boutiques are all on the doorstep so getting around on foot is fine. Travel by Tube from Knightsbridge Underground to go further afield or take a black cab from the perennially busy taxi rank outside Harrods. Close to the West End and the Museums, everything you could want is within easy reach from Knightsbridge.
Having eaten at Marcus, continue the fine dining adventure with more delectable food at one of the many local Michelin starred restaurants. After Marcus Wareing, trade him in for Heston Blumenthal at Dinner (3-minute walk). For something a little different—but no less gourmet—eat sustainable seafood at the Michelin starred Outlaw’s Restaurant (7-minute walk) at the Capital Hotel.
Keep it swanky with cocktails at the refined Buddha Bar (6-minute walk), or travel a few blocks down for the beautiful cocktail bar at the Bulgari Hotel (6-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
A hotel where one can play dress up from a fashion trunk containing vintage Chanel (for a price, of course), design a Ferrari, and enjoy afternoon tea at which the biscuits come in the shape of Louboutins, is a hotel with so much to love it’s tough to list it all. If you can cover the substantial sums involved in staying at the Berkeley then the blend of fine service and ultra-luxury will make you very happy.