Kent Messenger Maidstone
Stay went without a Hitch
IVY hangs limply either side of the iconic blue plaque, like the sagging jowls of the great man it commemorates. English Heritage’s modest circular stamp sits neatly on the side of 153 Cromwell Road, South Kensington – a permanent reminder of its former famous resident, Sir Alfred Hitchcock.
And it’s while sitting directly opposite, enjoying a healthy and nutritious breakfast, I began thinking how different things might have been if Hotel Xenia was around during the macabre-loving film director’s days of residency.
A keen follower of nutritional culture, this smart London hotel would probably have helped sculpt a somewhat more chiselled silhouette for its famous neighbour than the British Bulldog-chops that left for Hollywood 74 years earlier.
No doubt Hitchcock would have approved of the way the hotel heightens the senses – though the shower is definitely a more sedate affair than his infamous Bates Motel.
Having undergone a £9 million facelift and two years of artisan application, Hotel Xenia has been transformed into a contemporary, 99-roomed oasis away from the crowded central City streets.
The result is a stunning sanctuary, the latest addition to the Great Hotels of the World’s Premium Collection.
Careful consideration has been given to the guest’s experience, from luxury cashmere throws and tablet computers in each of the bedrooms to cooking demonstrations and cocktails.
A trendy rooftop terrace offers unique views of the Capital’s skyline, including glimpses of the neon-lit London Eye, while the basement beckons for those whose preference for bright lights comes in the form of practically cinema-sized TV screens.
And once you’ve feasted the eyes, don’t miss the opportunity to feast on the delicious dining concept inspired by Dr Chiara Manzi at Evoluzione restaurant.
Guilt-free gourmet dining comes courtesy of renowned Italian chef Pasquale D’Ambrosio where the calorie-conscious can choose a spectacularly tasty – though still belly-busting – three-course meal containing less than 800 calories.
But most of all, Hotel Xenia certainly lives up to its Greek meaning – friendship; superbly attentive and friendly staff, scrumptious food and sumptuous surroundings.