If you have a penchant for personalised, boutique hotels, you might like to check out the Eccleston Square Hotel. This family-run hotel located in SW1 opened in 2011 when Olivia Byrne decided to create one of the most ‘technologically advanced hotels’ in London. At 23, the Paris-born entrepreneur was dubbed one of the youngest hoteliers of the time.
Since then, the 4.5-star hotel has picked up quite a few accolades. Conde Nast Traveler listed it in the top 15 best boutique hotels in London and it picked up their Reader’s Choice Award in 2016. You’ll also find many articles applauding the hotel’s various hi-tech features and massage beds that come with every room.
With no plans to travel far over the Easter weekend, BC and I took up the opportunity to enjoy a one-night stay here and make the most of some ‘London time’ following our recent move. Here’s how it went.
Eccleston Square Hotel: The Location
The location of Eccleston Square Hotel is definitely one of its strengths. Eccleston Square is located in the SW1V area of London. And overlooking a leafy garden, it feels surprisingly quiet, but is actually, very accessible. Victoria coach, railway and tube stations are just a five-minute walk away. And you have Pimlico, Belgravia and the attractions of Westminster right on your doorstep. It’s a great location for anyone visiting the theatres in Victoria too.
The building itself is a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse, which is immediately appealing for travellers who appreciate a bit of character, although, as you’ll read below, this is a super modern hotel inside.
Interestingly, you’ll find the house that Winston Churchill lived in, just a few doors down and I’m told that Queen Victoria’s granddaughter once lived in the building that is now the hotel.
How’s that for a bit of history?
It was very quiet when we first arrived, and we waited a few minutes at reception for someone to greet us. Once they did, the front-of-house staff were very warm and friendly, and check-in was quick and seamless. They’ve taken a very contemporary approach at the Eccleston Square Hotel, with lots of monochrome, marble and sparkling chandeliers.
Once we’d checked in, one of the hotel staff took us up to our room on the first floor and gave us a thorough explanation of the technology and services in the room, which was a nice touch.
The guestroom interiors & amenities
The guestroom interiors, much like the hotel reception, are contemporary and quite business-like with dark wooden wardrobes and furniture, grey carpets and black faux-fur cushions and throws.
There are two fluffy towelling robes and slippers in the wardrobe and guests who have booked directly through the hotel can enjoy a complimentary mini-bar (choice of Evian water, two types of beer and soft drinks). There’s also a Nespresso coffee machine and while there’s no kettle, they do offer a free 24-hour tea service – something I think every hotel should adopt!
My favourite part, style-wise, was the bathroom – a sleek, white marble space where you’ll find a huge two-person shower cubicle fitted with four (yes FOUR) showers. Two rainforest showers were overhead, and an excellent power shower and hand-held shower were fitted to the wall. Eccleston Square Hotel provides various L’Occitane bathroom miniatures (including a lovely Lavender sleep spray) and the whole room was bright and airy, thanks to the natural light that flooded through the frosted floor-to-ceiling windows.
The technology at Eccleston Square Hotel is evident as soon as you walk through the traditional front door that’s fitted with automatic sensors. There’s an iPad on the front desk telling you the weather forecast in London and even the lifts are fitted with six miniature TV screens, all tuned into different channels.
Once inside the guest room, all the light fixtures, except for the bedside lamps, are controlled using electronic switches and the heating, curtains and ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign at your door (no need to hang a sign up) are also electronically controlled. There is also, of course, free wifi.
On the bedside table, you’ll find an iPad that’s been installed with a variety of features that are particularly useful for first-time visitors to London. There’s a catalogue of restaurants to try in the area, a list of local attractions (you’ll also find tips for things to do on the Eccleston Square Hotel blog) and a delivery-app called Night Room Service, offering food delivery from around 50 London restaurants, which is great if you fancy eating in. There’s the option for in-room dining from the hotel’s in-house chefs and the local restaurant Lobster & More will also deliver a wide range of dishes to the hotel. For a fee, the in-room iPad also offers the option of late check-out (which we took advantage of) – very handy indeed.
One of the most noteworthy features for foreign travellers is the smartphone which every guest has in their room. You can take it out with you, use the social media and make use of the unlimited data – you can even make international calls to selected countries. It wasn’t something I needed but if you’re travelling from overseas, this is a great added extra.
The massage bed
The feature I’d been looking forward to the most was the Hästens massage bed. After an afternoon walk in the area, I enjoyed a bit of down time ahead of us going out for dinner (I’m pregnant, I have an excuse) so it was the perfect time to try it out.
If you haven’t heard of them, Hästens beds are pretty highly sought-after. Hand-made in Sweden, they cost upwards of £12,000 each and are crafted using sustainable materials such as pure flax and hypoallergenic horsehair, which are said to channel away moisture and excess heat and lead to a better night’s sleep. (I can back that up, I slept very well).
When it comes to the massage function, I have to admit, the massage beds were quite loud and provided a strong vibration rather than a kneading motion (which is what I was expecting) to your body or feet area. That said, I liked the way you could raise the head and feet to your preferred position – a great way to watch the 46-inch TV in comfort.
Speaking of TVs, there were two screens in our hotel room – one at the end of your bed, and a small one fitted inside the bathroom which syncs to whatever you’re watching in the main bedroom.
I’m not sure if it’s the case in every guestroom, but our bathroom TV was located opposite the toilet and you could just about see it from the shower. It’s great if you want to listen to a music channel, but personally, I’d have loved to see a bathtub in there, so you could enjoy a long soak with your favourite programme in front of you.
I think you’ll agree, it’s a pretty cool feature nonetheless. And we got a surprise when we discovered that the bathroom door can switch between frosted and transparent, again, at the touch of a button. The last time I saw this was at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur – another feature that technology geeks will no doubt love.
The final hi-tech feature you’ll want to check out is the option to watch 3D movies which are all complimentary with your stay. In keeping with their convenient ordering system, guests can pick from a selection of 3D Blu-ray movie options on the iPad and within minutes, a member of staff will arrive at your door with the DVD and Panasonic 3D glasses.
PJs on and massage bed set at the perfect incline, we were ready for our 3D experience, but sadly, neither of the movies could be supported as it turned out, the TV needed an upgrade. It wasn’t something the staff could fix at the time and they were incredibly apologetic; however, after all the hype, we were gutted we couldn’t experience it!
Downstairs in the hotel, next to the bar, they do have a ‘media room’ where guests have the option to watch movies on the 103-inch LED TV. We were already in our PJs at this point so didn’t fancy coming back downstairs, however it’s a great option for watching sport if you know it’s going to be available. You can also sync your laptop to the screen, so it’s well set up for events and private meetings.
Food and Drink at Eccleston Square Hotel
Once you check out the in-room iPad at the Eccleston Square Hotel, as mentioned, you’ll see that you can order a number of food options to your room, or in the dining area downstairs.
We went out for dinner in Victoria, however, we did order from the hotel breakfast menu the next morning. The Eggs Benedict and Eggs Royale were both delicious even though my request for the sauce to be served ‘on the side’ wasn’t noted. The fresh fruit with yoghurt was also fantastic with thick gooey yoghurt, fresh mint and a drizzle of honey. It all arrived fairly promptly and was a great way to end a lovely London stay.
I’ll also be writing a separate post about the afternoon tea at Eccleston Square Hotel, very soon.
Although we felt this hotel didn’t quite hit the mark in some areas, the service was extremely warm and welcoming, the room was super clean and cosy, and we felt it had lots of brilliant features that made for a comfortable stay. If you’re looking for something super luxurious, do check out their new townhouses which recently opened. However, I would recommend the Eccleston Square Hotel for couples enjoying a weekend away in London and anyone looking for a personalised stay with excellent access to central London and all its attractions.
It’s not often you can enjoy a free mini-bar, 24-hour tea service and an array of services which you can conveniently order from a screen. With rooms starting from just £125, this boutique hotel gets a thumbs up for convenience, value-for-money and style.
Have you been to Eccleston Square Hotel? Feel free to leave a comment and share your travel tips and thoughts.
Eccleston Square Hotel, 37 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1PB, 020 8068 1011