Of the many perks a hotel stay offers, one of the best and simplest luxuries is the kind of mesmerizingly beautiful view that London's Metropolitan has. Situated on the corner of Hyde Park, the building's floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the vast acres of greenery. With the city skyline far off in the distance, the experience lends a touch of calm that's almost unheard of at a property with such a central location (between Mayfair and Knightsbridge).
For vista-obsessed guests like me, 51 of the Met's 150 rooms boast park views, with the better options being the spacious Park Suites with balconies, and the best of course being the 10th floor Como penthouse (pictured below). The 1200 square-foot room even has a free-standing bathtub and a shower set flush against the windows for those wanting to indulge in a multi-sensory experience—and unafraid of a little exhibitionism.
Standard amenities in rooms run on the techy side, including free Wifi (throughout the hotel in fact), electronic "Do Not Disturb" signs, large flat screen TVs with DVD/CD players, and iPod docking stations in Suites and Studios. All rooms also feature nice touches like yoga mats, a jogging map for the park, umbrellas, Egyptian cotton sheets, down duvets, and bottled water at turndown.
Decor-wise, Linzi Coppick (one half of the original design team United) oversaw a "soft" refurbishment in 2006, playing up the minimalist design and adding warm cream and beige colors with plum accents. The space still retains the vibe of when it opened in 1997 however, with plenty of light wood, sensuously curving furniture in the lobby, and their member's club (open to hotel guests) Met Bar's nightlife scene that (confirmed by our local informant) capitalizes on its '90s glory days.
The hotel also offers plenty of other options for diversion, including one of London's two Nobu branches (boasting a Michelin star), a gym, a spa called the Como Shambhala Urban Escape, meeting spaces, and an exemplary Concierge. In fact, the first rate service overall at the Met stands out only second to the views.
For London travelers looking for a centrally-located modern hotel, the Metropolitan—part of the Como Hotels and Resorts—fits the bill perfectly. Rack rates start at £390, book through the Metropolitan or Design Hotels.