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Belgraves
Thompson Hotels' transatlantic addition ideally conflates business with pleasure for discerning travelers
by Karen Day
on 26 October 2012
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On the corner of a quiet street in a neighborhood surrounded by foliage-filled 19th-century squares, stylish lingerie shops and swanky cigar bars sits Belgraves, Thompson Hotels' latest project and one of London's newest designer digs. Aptly named, the hotel is located in Belgravia—an affluent area home to many of the capital's diplomats and notable public figures, such as the "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher.

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While the sleekly outfitted hotel speaks to the opulent Westminster neighborhood with its Mark Hix restaurant and a cigar bar, complete with a heated outdoor smoking lounge, Belgraves successfully marries its upscale ambiance with a downtown attitude. You may find yourself discussing Birkin bags over Dom Perignon with Charlie Chaplin's granddaughter well after the bar has closed, or you might share some Moyallon pork cracklings at happy hour with a pro boxer on holiday from Italy. No matter what your intention is at Belgraves—business or pleasure—the communal space is designed to maintain an air of comfort and seclusion. In typical British fashion—mum's the word at Belgraves.

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Upstairs, the rooms continue to conflate vocation with vacation. Any amenity you can imagine is provided for, including a convenient power adaptor built into the desk for travelers coming from outside of the UK. Several of the 85 roomsfeature a window seat area overlooking tree-lined Chesham Place, which provides a serene setting for getting work done.

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Interior designer Tara Bernerd worked with EPR Architects to smartly conceal all of the closet space behind what looks like a wooden wall lining the hallway entrance, which adds to the clean, streamlined aesthetic. The bathrooms—outfitted with RENproducts—are a brilliant white marble, from the sink to the tub. The massive bed is bedecked with custom-made 400 thread count SFERRAlinens, and is accented by a docking station that accommodates an iPhone or and iPad, keeping your gadgets totally charged without even having to worry about adaptors or cords.

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Belgraves is well-situated in West London, making our stay during London Design Festival a commuter's dream. In addition to three different tube lines, within walking distance are the V&A museum and the Royal College of Art, as well as design-led shops like B-Store, Acne, Mint, Agent Provocateur and more. Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace Gardens and the River Thames also encompass the area, offering you plenty of green space perfect for popping a squat on one of London's sunnier afternoons.

Rooms at Belgraves start at £229 and can be booked through Mr and Mrs Smith.

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