January 04 2012
New York-based Thompson Hotels has about a decade-long history of tweaking and subtly reshaping the boutique hotel model to make it just that bit more refined and private for guests, while upping the buzz factor on public spaces (60 Thompson, its flagship in SoHo, was the genius innovator of the members-only terrace club; management compiled a list of NYC VIPs and issued them black elevator keycards – these briefly became one of the most sought-after amenities on the eastern seaboard).
Ten-odd years and four more hotels in New York later – plus several others scattered throughout LA, Miami, Washington DC and, most recently, Toronto – the Thompson group is set to make its London debut. Belgraves (pictured; www.thompsonhotels.com, from around £650) is located just off Chesham Place in the very heart of Belgravia, with slick residential-style interiors, courtesy of Tara Bernerd & Partners, that are deliciously at odds with this neighbourhood’s slightly stodgy, embassy-row image. Floors are wide oak plank with cowhide rugs tossed insouciantly about; leather-and-chrome armchairs abut campaign desks; while each room has a cosy bay window upholstered in subversively chic purple, scarlet or orange. Both for locals (and visiting gastronomes), the news will be in the restaurant – Hix Belgravia is Mark Hix’s seventh London venue, and as far west as the master of eating local has ventured to date. Get thee to the website: both hotel and restaurants are taking bookings for late January.