Recently the heart of fashion was in London, however we also must not forget that some of the finest Small Luxury Hotels of the World are also in this vibrant cosmopolitan capital. We recently got the inside scoop from the family run business, The Levin and The Capital Hotel & Apartments. Here is what one of their team had to say about their thoughts on ‘luxury’, what makes them part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and some of the highlights so far this year.
So tell us about your hotels?
The Capital Hotel and The Levin are the only luxury boutique hotels in Knightsbridge. Their location is truly unique, being just next to Harrods but in a very residential and quiet street. The first time I came to The Capital was as a hotel guest about 6 years ago. I loved it because I felt like living in this area, because this is the feeling you experience staying at the hotel. The greeting of our doorman makes sure everybody has a good day, the welcome is warm and very personal, the food is a delight and the rooms are quintessentially British. What else are you looking for in a hotel when coming to London? Also, you can get everywhere very easily by foot to Harrods, Hyde Park, South Kensington or Buckingham Palace for example, you can catch a taxi and even the underground is just 150 metres away.
So what’s your idea of ‘luxury’?
To me luxury is all about service, making the guest feel comfortable at all times. There are a lot of grand hotels with huge and luxuriously fitted rooms, but sometimes you can feel that the staff are just doing “a job”. Luxury is when you’re treated like a king, no matter if you booked a standard room or the most expensive suite, and where you feel that everybody who works there is passionate about making your experience truly exceptional.
What sets you apart from the other luxury hotels in London?
The first thing that springs to mind is our location. We are the world’s closest hotels to Harrods – who else can say that? We are also a family run business, which is something you can note the minute you step into our hotels. It’s not a rare occasion that our guests are personally greeted by the owner of our hotels, Mr. Levin, and again…who can say that? This personal touch and culture of offering sincere hospitality makes us quite different too, because it has been lost in many hotels these days.
Why do you think the Small Luxury Hotels of the World brand fits The Capital and The Levin’s ethos so well?
SLH has a great collection of hotels that are run with a similar philosophy than ours and that are privately owned. The fact that the concept of being independent as a hotel is embraced via the brand. SLH helps us reach out to a huge customer base that is looking exactly for that unique hotel experience we offer.
What’s your most popular cocktail or wine you sell at the bar?
The owner of our hotels, David Levin, owns and operates a winery in France. Hence Levin wines are our most popular wines, especially the Levin Sauvignon Blanc, as the link between the winery and the hotel is so unique. Our guests like the idea that they can drink the hotel’s own wine at the bar or the restaurant.
What’s the chef’s signature dish?
Baked Dover Sole “Silver Jubilee”, Terrine of Duck, Pork and Foie Gras, Roast Fillet of Lamb “Grand Mere”. My favourite is the Terrine. You can also order it in our bar and I like to have it with a good glass of wine.
What has been the highlight of the year for The Levin and The Capital?
The arrival of our new Chef Jerome Ponchelle, together with the appointment of our new restaurant manager Donato Colasanto is definitely the highlight of this year. The team reintroduced traditional French and English dishes with a modern twist, keeping them classic but without making them too heavy. Alongside with the new restaurant concept we also re-launched our private dining offers and party packages, together with a new approach on our wine list, making it as accessible as possible. We have adopted a new pricing policy where bottles that are bought for a cost price of over £ 100 now only have a small corkage charge added to them in contrast to other establishments where the mark up can sometimes be up to four times the wholesale value.
I hope that this just gives you a taste of what there is to look forward to if you’re thinking of visiting London. See Small Luxury Hotels of the World in London
More later, Paul