The UK passport stamps have graced my little navy booklet previously, as I’ve traveled among its regal inhabitants before. Never have I ever, however, mirrored their lifestyle so closely. I assume the Royals wear the finest of clothes, sleep in the most luxurious of sheets, and eat the most delectable cuisine. Welcome to my past life at The Milestone Hotel London for a select few gloriously pampered days.
What I love most about this particular hotel wasn’t its 24-hour room service as I ordered the tasty chicken noodle soup for a midnight snack. (Is 4th meal still a thing?) Nor was it the fresh flowers or the ample (free) bottled water frequently placed in the room – all small gestures that make a big impact in my book. It was the fact that The Milestone is quintessentially London. Located in the esteemed Royal borough of Kensington, the 5 star hotel is in every way an English country mansion. Walking into the lobby, guests can expect polished wood paneling with cameo collections and the kindest staff bursting with cheery British accents – you’ll find yourself almost mimicking their outpouring of happiness and eagerness to please.
Speaking of an eagerness to please, when I contacted the hotel a few days prior to my arrival about storing my luggage while I hopped over the Belgium and Amsterdam, they didn’t even hesitate. “Of course, madame. We’ll have it in your suite awaiting your return!” Ahhh. The Milestone makes life so easy.
Originally built in 1689, the property was restored in 1999, becoming part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection as well as a member of the Leading Hotels of the World.
As I opened the door to suite 201, it actually took a few seconds to find my bag the space was so generous. I walked through a foyer, past the brightly lit bathroom, and into the one of the most impeccably designed suites I’ve ever seen. Each of the 63 rooms have been individually decorated. As for me and my Mistinguette Suite, it was all in the details. Inspired by a Parisian dancer from the 1930s with vibrant red hues, captivating artwork and textures for days, my home-away-from-home was nothing short of feisty and unique, making it the perfect precedent to London Fashion Week.
Upon check-in, guests are encouraged to fill out a short form in order for the hotel staff to get a sense of your likes and dislikes. Upon my arrival was a yoga mat and DVD, along with the pillows and duvet cover I requested and my English Breakfast tea with pastries. I already had plenty of activities to dive into and I’d only just arrived!
More to the Milestone
English opulence can be found throughout the hotel grounds. The Stables Bar is the place to be if you’re a Polo fanatic, enjoy a tasty cocktail and the color green. Down the cooridor is the bright and shiny Observatory. I was sorry I never had the chance to enjoy anything in here. It looks like a black and white dream. Cheneston’s Restaurant is where I dove into some delicious breakfast, but as for the largest English tradition, I took afternoon tea in the Park Lounge amongst the company of eclairs, macarons and scones. I just don’t understand why the United States can’t adopt this one custom. That’s all I’m asking.
As for more activities, the hotel features a gym, a resistance pool and a spa. The Milestone has it all, which explains why it racked up in award season.
Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best 500 Hotels in 2014, 2015, 2012
TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice Awards #2 Best Hotel in the UK 2015
TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice Awards #1 Best Hotel in the UK 2014
TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice Awards: Top 25 Hotels in the World, Top 25 Hotels in Europe, Top 25 Hotels in the UK, Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Europe, Top 25 Luxury Hotels in the UK, Tops 25 Hotels for Service in Europe, Tops 25 Hotels for Service in the UK – 2013; Among many, many more.
If you’re a tourist, you’ll probably spend oodles of time in Kensington. If you’re a traveler, you’ll probably spend oodles of time in Kensington. Across the street from Kensington Palace and Gardens, the hotel not only enjoys a good view, but a good running route as well. Not into views or exercise? The Milestone is mere blocks from the Victoria & Albert Museum, Natural History Museum, and the Science Museum. Hyde Park, Harrods and Harvey Nichols are close by as well. There you have it – various reasons to stay here for all walks of life.
How to Arrive
If you’re flying into Heathrow, buy an Oyster card and take the Underground to High Street Kensington. You’ll then walk 6-7 blocks to the hotel, but it’s the most economical way to arrive. If you’re flying into Gatwick, take the Gatwick Express to Victoria Station, then get on the Underground and take it to High Street Kensington.
I happen to love the black cabs in London. I find the drivers entertaining, knowledgeable and efficient. Did you know drivers have to study for three years before getting their license? That’s the same amount of time as getting a law degree and one year short of becoming a doctor. I’m perplexed and impressed, all at the same time. If you’re in the mood for something a bit more private, The Milestone can pick you up in their posh Bentley or Range Rover limo. Chiiiing.
The Milestone is perfect for honeymooners, vacationers, businessmen and women as well as families and people with pets!
Rates start at $480/night.