The Milestone Hotel & Apartments

Summary

Location

Services & Prices

The Gentleman with the Red Carnation in his Buttonhole

So British ? Perhaps...but so what? There is too much character behind certain airs to simply brush them off!

When one arrives at Milestone, one must wonder whether the dignified residents of Kensington Palace nearby were ever jealous, at least a little bit, to find a hotel near them with a more beautiful façade than their own princely residence.

In this case, there are two facades. Built with solid bricks and cemented with history, its mullioned, bow, stained-glass and gabled windows, along with its facades, were a part of two houses which were joined together in 1929 in order to accommodate Milestones' 45 rooms, 12 suites, and 6 apartments. With views overlooking Kensington Gardens on top of all of this, it goes without saying that this hotel enjoys a high listing.

However, despite this praiseworthy introduction, and despite all of the other amenities in this hotel: its intimate and carefully decorated gourmet restaurant, its small pool with bidirectional current jets, its exercise club and trainer, its jockey bar called "Stables" (perhaps a bit old fashioned, but the champaign is always flowing), and its ritzy black and white winter garden, "The Conservatory," which sits under modern stained-glass windows-despite all of these wonderful things- the essence of the Milestone lies somewhere else.

It's all about the service!

Of course, all hotels brag about their service- it's the key to good hospitality. However, at the Milestone, it's easy to notice that you are dealing with something entirely beyond good service.

Its staff consists of a motivated team of personnel brought to its clients by the energetic Frits Potgieter, who uses his South African drive to strike the delicate balance between casual conviviality and attentivness.

There is also old Terry, former butler for various aristocratic families. Despite his advancing years, he is happy to be able to still give his wise advice and service. Next is the head concierge, James Cameron, who is an expert in the London scene. Finally, there is the young sommelier Nicolas Clerc, who was honored in 2007 as the best sommelier in the country. Of course, one cannot forget the porter, who looks like a living caricature of a figure in London's days past, despite his hat and uniform.

The quality of the service is apparent. When one arrives at Milestone, when one enters the very English sparkling polished lobby-reception-concierge with its wooden panels, its motif-laden carpets, its twinkling chandeliers and its bouquets of lilies, one is a bit surprised by the character of the service. There is not only a team of readily available staff, but they provide service with a smile- eager to help out however they can. In addition, the hotel has a private chauffeur who can take you downtown, or simply wait for you at the airport.

Next are the rooms. The style is a question of taste. However, again, the owners of the hotel thought of everything. A part of the Red Carnation family, the Milestone is decorated according to the principles of Madame Beatrice Tollman: with care, diligence, and a taste for opulence. All of the rooms are different; some are classic, or even medieval, like the Tudor; others have a very post 1980's ritzy look like the Safari, while others, like the Minstiguette, are completely contemporary- with its intense red colors and sensual elegance.

Beyond the numerous pieces of antique furniture, the canopy beds, the rich tightwoven fabrics, the thick curtain, various precious ornaments, gas fireplaces, and everything else needed to provided classic comfort, Red Carnation succeeded in discreetly integrating the latest technology in all of its rooms: free wifi internet, ipod docks, and large screen TV's with DVD.

Every night, the turn-down linen service cleans up your bathroom and removes the pillows from the bed in order to open up your bedspread, revealing soft silky sheets marked with the hotels insignia.

The rooms are quite spacious and well designed, and a few are duplexes. Some rooms have tables with billiard extensions, while others in the corner of the building have an unobstructed view across their mullioned windows of Kensington Gardens.

The bathrooms are classically designed, and are attentively stocked with various amenities, such as excellent Penhaligon products and thick towels.

Little by little, the hotel is also renovating in order to upgrade any of the old fashioned or stiff elements of its traditional design.

A good example is the restaurant, Cheneston. In addition to being a must stop for foodies, some subtle modern hints have been added to its traditional, elegant European fare. Similarly, while Cheneston kept the fireplace, wood paneling, mouldings, chandeliers and medieval alcoves, it has added a fresh touch with a white paint over.

Now, who is that gentleman with the red carnation in his buttonhole ? Almost every male staff member of Milestone sports one, everyday- a dashing red carnation, and they are in all of the bathrooms of the hotel. Sound crazy? Perhaps, but when one loves, one can love until the cows come home, and in this case, Madame Beatrice Tollman loved, first and foremost, her red carnations.

 

The clientele

Even though this hotel is undergoing a modern renovation which is adding beautiful contemporary elements to its design, the Milestone will enthuse, above all, those who are looking for something beyond décor. It provides an incredible array of conveniences for a hotel of its size, but beyond all, a level of service which is certain to live up to ones highest expectations.

One final note : the Milestone is a haven for high standard service, but especially for those who like to avoid too much pretentiousness. Fortunately, there are a few of us left!

 

 

Starting at 311€ Book now
Comfort Rating
Room size 8.5 Rating : 8.5
Room amenities 9 Rating : 9
Breakfast 9 Rating : 9
Property amenities 10 Rating : 10
Global Rating 9 Global Rating : 9

Contacts & booking

The Milestone Hotel & Apartments

1 Kensington Court
W8 5DL

Metro station : High Street Kensington