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London's Soho HotelNovember 26, 2007 By: Lauren Price Travel Agent
Modern English design and original artwork set the tone
TUCKED AWAY IN THE RICHMOND MEWS IN ONE OF LONDON'S MOST FASHION-FORWARD NEIGHBORHOODS you'll find the Soho Hotel (www.sohohotel.com), where every accommodation was individually designed by Kit Kemp in her trademark "modern English" style (read: no chintz). Even better, guests can enjoy some of Kemp's private art collection throughout the hotel, including an enormous cat sculpture by Fernando Botero in the lobby.
The spacious and well-priced junior suites feature top-shelf furnishings including Frette bed linens, DVD/CD players, Tivoli clock-radios, flat-screen TVs and scented candles. The stunning bathrooms dressed up in granite, oak and glass have walk-in showers and full-size toiletries from London perfumer Miller Harris. If regal views of the city are important, book the fourth or fifth floor.
The 1,800-square-foot Terrace Suite on the fifth floor has wraparound balcony and a living room with wood-burning fireplace. The dining room table seats four, and there's a fully equipped kitchen. The master bathroom is decked out in limestone and features a walk-in shower big enough for two, a stand-alone tub and a wall-mounted flat-screen TV. The guest bathroom has a shower. This suite comes with butler service and can connect to an adjoining terraced Penthouse Suite (#502). Another fifth-floor Penthouse Suite connects to a deluxe double (#501). The 1,500-square-foot Soho Suite has terraces running the length of the building on two sides. It comes with butler service but not a kitchen and otherwise offers the same amenities as the Terrace Suite.
For clients seeking über-privacy, three loftlike apartments can be accessed from the lobby or from separate street entrances. Ranging from 1,297 to 1,306 square feet, each has two bedrooms, two baths, a dining area and kitchen. The Terrace and Soho Suites and the apartments cannot be booked over the GDS. Contact General Manager Carrie Wicks ([email protected], 011-20-7559-3000).
The hotel's Refuel Bar and Restaurant is a popular spot for local media darlings, as evidenced by the cheek-by-jowl lineup at the long pewter-topped bar. The menu is small but good—with a strong emphasis on seasonal organic products and produce. Try to book a few days in advance.
A Customizing Concierge
There are two lovely lobby-level drawing rooms for guests only, which sport well-stocked honor bars and wood-burning fireplaces. One level down are four event spaces: the private Crimson Bar, a private dining room for 12 and two spectacular screening rooms, one with 100 Poltrona Frau-designed red leather armchairs and the other with 45 pony-skin and red armchairs by Frau.
Expect impeccable service from the concierge staff, who can arrange what they dub "bespoke" transportation along with private viewings and tours (they've been known to arrange a private tour of Highgrove's gardens with Prince Charles). Contact chief concierge Sandro Marcal (sandro [email protected]).
Spa services, using products from Aromatherapy Associates, are available in one of two treatment rooms or in the guest's room. The most requested treatment is a full-body massage with Bridget. It's recommended that you book ahead. There's also a gym with a personal trainer. Contact spa director Frank Schmidt ([email protected]).