Baglioni Hotel, London - Scotland on Sunday’s Do Not Disturb

Baglioni Hotel, London
Baglioni Hotel, London
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I haven’t spent much time in London, with most stays in the city coming on the way back from lengthy trips abroad. This time is no different, as I am straight off an 11-hour flight from the Far East. As I make my way to the hotel from the Tube station, I realise that choosing to stop over before the final leg back to Edinburgh was probably the right decision.

I haven’t spent much time in London, with most stays in the city coming on the way back from lengthy trips abroad. This time is no different, as I am straight off an 11-hour flight from the Far East. As I make my way to the hotel from the Tube station, I realise that choosing to stop over before the final leg back to Edinburgh was probably the right decision.

Views of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park complement the Italian style of the rooms at Baglioni Hotel, London

Views of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park complement the Italian style of the rooms at Baglioni Hotel, London

The Baglioni Hotel London, overlooking Hyde Park, is a gorgeous Italian-style hotel; part of the group of the same name established by Roberto Polito in Tuscany in 1974. With sites in Milan, Venice, Rome, Florence, France and the Maldives, the hotels aim to be a home from home.

In my hazy state, I miss the main entrance; mainly because the front door is not as glitzy and opulent as I am expecting. The Georgian building blends in well with its surroundings and when I finally approach the front desk, I am welcomed like an old friend – a small, but appreciated gesture in my jet-lagged state.

Budget or boutique?

Unassuming on the outside, no expense has been spared inside the Baglioni. The elegant lobby is teeming with luxury. Those vases don’t look cheap and the chandeliers and black marble are classy. Perhaps my exhaustion is evident, as we race through the particulars before I am shown to my room – an executive junior suite – so I can freshen up for dinner in The Brunello Bar and Restaurant downstairs.

Wining and dining

Brunello is a comfortable, 1960s-esque Italian eatery, open to both hotel residents and non-guests. Dark wood is teamed with golden trimmings. It being a Sunday evening, it’s not packed out, but it’s busy enough with families, tourists and, in one corner, what looks like a first date.

Executive chef Alberto Rossetti champions the regional cuisine of his homeland, and his hometown influences are clear to see in all courses. His colleague and resident chef, Raffaele Lauriola, has cooked for Sophia Loren, Franco Baresi and Michael Schumacher, so I really hope he won’t be too disappointed to see me tucked away in a corner of the restaurant if he pokes his head out of the kitchen.

A quick glance down the menu suggests choosing my courses may prove rather difficult. Before I resort to closing my eyes and ordering the first thing my finger lands on, I opt for the seasonal minestrone, the Risotto Emilano with porcini mushrooms, roasted lamb chops with truffle potatoes, and creme brûlée with Sicilian pistachios – with many of the ingredients specially imported from Italy.

The Afternoon Tea menu catches the eye too, especially the Neapolitan sfogliatelle. It’s a great pity I’m not here for longer.

Room service

My an executive junior suite has views of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park and an exceedingly comfortable bed. In the room it’s the small details that really catch the eye – copper sinks imported from Morocco, black marble floors in the bathroom.

Worth getting out of bed for

If I had longer to spend at the Baglioni, I might go to town on the massage treatments available at the Rebosio and Spagnulo-designed spa. As it is, after half a day on an aeroplane the steam room holds the greatest appeal for me.

Little extras

The coffee machine in the bedroom is a nice, and much-needed, addition.

However, the clincher for me is that I’m offered a lift to the Tube on the way back to the airport – in the hotel’s complimentary Maserati. It’s a great shame the nearest station is only half a mile down the road, but it beats trudging through the streets of London and battling against the Monday morning commuters.

Guest book comments

The Baglioni is the perfect place for a few days in London, with beautiful views and enough Tube stations nearby to make the rest of the city centre accessible. For unrivalled luxury, elegance and the feeling that you’re just staying with a mate who happens to live in an extremely fancy pad, this is the place to be.

Patrick McPartlin

Rooms start from £310. Baglioni Hotel London, 60 Hyde Park Gate, Kensington, London SW7 5BB (0207 3685700, www.baglionihotels.com)