The Halkin, one of the very first design-led boutique hotels, is a serene member of COMO Hotels and Resorts. Like other COMO properties, The Halkin in London has more of a sanctuary-like atmosphere than typical city hotels, due in part to its discreet Belgravia location. Each of the five circular floors uses a different color palette to mirror nature's elements of air, water, earth, fire, and sky. Guests are spoiled with Christina Ong's signature minimalist touches of clean lines and un-fussy decor in the 41 airy guestrooms. But less stuff doesn't necessarily mean less comfort - The Halkin has all of the five-star amenities one expects from a top boutique hotel - true luxury comes from the simple elegance of an uncluttered space and being in-the-know about one of London's best kept secrets.
People who think Thai food is limited to the pad thai from the local Asian-fusion restaurant are in for a big surprise at Nahm, the first Michelin-starred Thai restaurant in Europe, which can be found at The Halkin. Australian chef David Thompson has done his research to ensure that Nahm's menu is authentic. According to an old Thai tradition, loved ones record the favorite recipes of a deceased family member in a "memorial book." Much to the delight of gourmands and food historians, Thompson has hundreds of these books, some dating back over a century.
Christina Ong built her name in the fashion world, so when her hotel group, COMO Hotels and Resorts, opened the Metropolitan in London, it was no surprise that the property became the home away from home for the international style set.
The Met's understated, modern design is one of COMO's signature elements (as is the in-the-know, attractive staff). The hotel's large rooms and suites take advantage of its posh Mayfair location, and many have huge windows with gorgeous views of Hyde Park. The London outpost of Nobu also overlooks the park, but it's the amazing dishes - and glittering patrons - that captivate the crowds.
The Met's COMO Shambhala Urban Escape is a scaled-down version of the hotel group's renowned holisitc spa concept where therapists are well-versed in the Asian-influenced treatments developed at Parrot Cay, as well as signature 'Purify' and Dr. Perricone facials. For a different kind of soothing, the members-only Met Bar - also open to hotel guests - has excellent mixologists who serve creative cocktails well into the night.
ESPA Life at Corinthia London
Located in central London and measuring over 37,000 square feet, the four-level ESPA Life at Corinthia is the largest spa in the United Kingdom and is now ESPA’s worldwide flagship. It is also the first location to offer the brand’s new ESPA Life concept, an integrated wellness approach that incorporates complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into a luxury spa environment. Not only is it the first of its kind for ESPA, but it is the first city-center luxury spa in the world to offer CAM programs to its guests. The expansive spa facilities feature an entire floor of thermal options including an impressive 30-foot indoor silver steel swimming pool, an amphitheater sauna, and exquisite black mosaic steam rooms. There are 15 treatment “pods,” one private spa suite for larger spa parties, and a spa lounge serving delicious, nutritional cuisine.
When one says the Orient-Express, he is generally referring to this iconic train. The ultimate in luxury train travel, this train takes guests on the classic journey from Paris to Istanbul. The art deco interiors in the authentic vintage carriages and the gracious service take one back to the glamorous age of train travel of the 1920s and 30s. Other itineraries include London to Venice or Rome as well as those that stop in Prague, Dresden, Krakow, Bucharest, Budapest, and Vienna. The three restaurants on the train (Etoile du Nord, Cote d’Azur, and L' Oriental) ensure that no guest eats the same thing twice – unless he or she wants to! All meals are freshly prepared on board by French chefs of the finest supplies that are acquired throughout the journey.
While traveling in private cabins, passengers are attended by cabin stewards throughout the journey. Each cabin is beautifully decorated in mahogany panels and Art Deco floral and leaf patterns. During the day, the cabin is a lovely seating area where guests can enjoy tea, and at night, while guests dine, the steward transforms the cabin into a comfortable bedroom with soft towels and crisp linens.