One can’t say it’s a hard knock life in London when you happen to stay at the Baglioni Hotel. If you’re looking for a quality hotel with matching style, then this is a place to be. This 5-star small, luxury hotel is an embassy of Italian style, taste and flair in the middle of the British capital, a cocoon of wellbeing. The restaurant and bar have recently been renovated and given a glamorous atmosphere.
The Baglioni offers an overall excellent value and a unique blend of the best of Italian and English hospitality. It’s all highly professional and welcoming: there’s a gracious and friendly concierge staff who do their utmost to make your stay as comfortable as possible. They are always at the ready, truly knowledgeable and very helpful. The personal attention is most noticeable when our kids are presented with the softest teddy bears you can find; they are so nice and cuddly that they are used as photo models when making pictures of the hotel.
We have two connecting suites with far more space than most London hotel suites. Our two girls are literally across the hall from us. We have king-size suites with generously sized sitting rooms and fireplaces. Our suite has a gorgeous view of Hyde Park. The rooms are stylishly decorated and the exclusive toiletries have a unique, yet lovely scent. Moreover, every amenity functions as it is supposed to do. It is all very comfortable with luxurious linens and rooms. During our tour of the hotel, we discover the spa and the gym. They look really beautiful, especially the spa. The gym is relatively small, yet has all the equipment you can think of.
The Baglioni Hotel is also the place for some fantastic Italian food. The restaurant is a well-known venue for the locals and tourists like us; you are in for a real Italian treat here. Or indulge yourself with a nice cold glass of Italian Prosecco. Breakfast is included and consists of an extensive range of delicious and very high quality dishes that are a good way to kick-start your day: fresh fruits, salmon, pastries – even gluten-free pastries – and freshly squeezed juices. They even serve a decent cappuccino without the loads of cacao that the British like to add. Besides the teddy bears, the girls get their own kids’ map of London with stickers to point out where they have been. A very welcome gift, as we intend to see a lot of this huge city.
The location of the hotel is amazing, especially if you are with kids. The hotel is adjacent to Hyde Park which is a perfect spot for families. The park is one of the capital's eight Royal Parks. It is home to a number of famous landmarks including the Serpentine Lake, the Rose Garden and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. Kensington Palace is just opposite the Baglioni Hotel. For more than three centuries, this palace has been the official residence of members of the British Royal Family. Ask the concierge staff for the private tour to discover the palace without the crowds.
There is an eco-friendly environmental centre in the park. The park also offers various recreational activities such as Frisbee, cycling, open water swimming and horse riding and there are ample pleasant walking trails. Cycling is allowed on all roads and specially designated cycle tracks. This includes roller-blading, skateboarding, etc. Hyde Park has a fleet of rowing and pedal boats. The park even has tennis courts, a well-maintained 6-rink lawn bowling green and a 9-hole putting green. Our kids love the playground that has only recently been refurbished. And what about the experience of finding numerous squirrels around you. If it was up to the girls, we would have spent far more time here. So one day, we’ll return here in summer and then definitely rent the park desk chairs to relax in.
While in Hyde Park, we notice a lot of plaques with a rose emblem set in the ground. These are part of a walk that takes you within sight of famous buildings and locations associated with Princess Diana during her life. Be aware with children; it’s a self-guided seven-mile-long walk, but it could be great to search for the 90 plaques and see three palaces, four parks and two mansions.
You might want to go faster and use the Underground to move around London; it’s only a brief walk from the Baglioni. Or opt for the Italian driving experience by using – as an extra option – an Italian luxury car that will get you anywhere around the vibrant city of London.
During our stay in London, Menno suprised us with a night out at the Palladium theatre to see the Cinderalla musical. An excellent show by the way, for both parents and kids; it's still fresh in our minds. The show lasted the whole evening, so this meant only a short sleep for the kids. The lack of sleep, however, proved no problem at all as the kids were very "busy" with the Nintendo Wii the next morning. Quite a hard choice, though, when you can also choose from the PlayStation and the blockbuster movies offered. If you book the Baglioni Family Package, don't forget that tickets to the London Eye are included.
All in all, the Baglioni is a delightful and charming "home" for a London visit.
# We were very impressed by the services from the staff of the Baglioni Hotel. Although we spent most of our time in and about the city to visit its attractions, they made us feel very welcome the moment we arrived “home”. The staff really went out of their way to be as helpful as possible.
# The suites were extremely spacious and had a lovely clean décor. We loved every minute of our stay in the hotel’s suites.
# A great location with an amazing park offering lots of activities within walking distance.