Luxury Hotels


A plea to developers, choose a view. Yes, it can be built in later, an internal view, say casino ops at BELLAGIO in Las Vegas or ducks at THE PEABODY in Memphis TN. But think how RITZ-CARLTON MILLENIA, Singapore, is enhanced by being able to look across the Bay to another hotel that is famously like a giant E standing on its three legs… There are ocean view-resorts, say THE BREAKERS in Palm Beach FL and FOUR SEASONS SHARM EL SHEIKH in Egypt.

If you want a Royal Palace view, head to Red Carnation’s MILESTONE HOTEL & RESIDENCES, London. Look across the road and, 300 metres through Kensington Gardens you see the gate, above, of Kensington Palace, London home of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and an assortment of (lesser) royals.

Yes, the hotel is a mile, or slightly over, west of the centre of Old London, Hyde Park Corner. It’s in mid-Kensington, 500 metres west of the Royal Albert Hall (or, on a more philistine level, the same distance east of Europe’s largest Whole Foods).

Go for the hotel’s Hermès Suite. There’s four-seat dining on a Victorian terrace. The bathroom is Connemara marble. The bedroom, anchored by a modern frame-only four-poster, and a metre-long tortoise holding a glass tabletop, has an off-white and pine green palette. Four-metre tall walls host, in total, ten full-size Hermès scarves (one features Wedgwood medallions on a red background). Bea Tollman, doyenne of the Red Carnation Hotels family, wore these scarves when they were latest head-cover fashion. It is she, with her daughter Toni Tollman, who has designed this suite, and the entire hotel. As well as 57 unique bedrooms, there are six longer-stay residences, ideal for families. ‘William and Kate’, for instance, is soft residential taupe throughout, two ensuite bedrooms, an enviable Siemens kitchen, and a salon with working fire.

There’s lots of colour here. Think silver-pot coffee and whatever, in the all-day ecclesiastical look Cheniston’s (Kensington’s earlier name). Green and white check breakfast linens complement a waiter’s scarlet eyewear and his ubiquitous Red Carnation lapel corsage. Outside, The Milestone’s exterior railings are garlanded end to end in fresh wreaths of green variegated ivy and assorted white blooms. The hotel’s Range Rover Autobiography town car, by the way, is driven by Colin Monplaisir – and it’s dark green.

Let’s listen to Red Carnation’s MD, Jonathan Raggett: