The Hempel – a touch of Zen in London

The Facade of The Hempel

The Facade of The Hempel

By Erik Bigalk – www.erikbigalk.com

If you’re a fan of unique designer hotels, then you’ve likely heard of Anouska Hempel and her impact on London’s hotel landscape. She is famed for her “Dark & Opulent” hotel, The Blakes in Kensington, which earned global recognition as the world’s first luxury boutique hotel in 1978 with its dark, eclectic and sensual interior. Then in 1996, the Russian-born Australian-raised British designer went to the other end of the spectrum with her Zen-inspired Hempel hotel.

The Hempel Foyer

The Hempel Foyer

Located in Craven Hill Gardens, The Hempel was purpose-built behind a white-washed Georgian facade. Yet once behind the anonymous milky glass doors, the foyer offers a calm ambience with its open, clean lines and sunken sitting areas with bold cushions that lead toward the No. 31 Lounge Bar – a minimalistic, yet charismatic haven serving modern variations of all the classic cocktails. Highly recommended is the cucumber martini.

Among the Hempel’s best suites is the “Lioness’ Den”, featuring a caged bed suspended above the room. With stunning views over the garden, it’s surely one of the most unique suites to be found in London – unfortunately it was book before we arrived. Nonetheless, our Zen Room offered us a friendly welcome with its minimalistic white walls, blonde wooden floors and ultramodern furnishings.

Superior Room

Superior Room

Our bed sat elevated on a split-level and dressed in the finest Egyptian linen and feathery pillows, it swallowed us up like a fluffy cloud – providing the most comfortable sleep in all of England. All rooms at the Hempel overlook the Zen garden allowing a birds-eye view of the symmetrically trimmed lawns, pebble paths, water features and shaped scrubs. In case you missed it, the Zen Garden was featured in the closing scenes of the hit movie “Notting Hill” starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.

The Hempel offers 44 hotel rooms and suites of varying sizes from a small Zen room to an elaborate top floor penthouse as well as 6 full-sized apartments neighbouring the manicured Zen garden. Centrally located, quiet, arty and stylish, The Hempel remains an icon on London’s hotel scene and is well worth a stay…

Where – The Hempel, London
Rating – 5 Stars
My rating – 7.5 out of 10 pillows

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