The Ecclestone Square Hotel
Review by Ed Nightingale
It was one of those kinds of days for us all. The rain drenching London on the way to work. Tube delays not just in the morning but the evening as well. Spreadsheets going awry. Important meetings proving more stressful than they should be. The sort of day where you just want to cosy up on a ridiculously comfy bed after a hearty meal.
On those kinds of days, a stay at the Ecclestone Square Hotel should sort you out a treat. For starters, each room has a vibrating Swedish massage bed that sounds suspiciously like a cat purring and can be raised or lowered in a variety of positions. You could buy one yourself, but it would set you back a cool £12k.
The beds are just one element of the hotel’s technological surprises, where almost everything is accessible from the comfort of the bed. Touch pads control the lighting and curtains; an iPad acts as your digital concierge to order your room service, book beauty appointments, browse the internet and more; docking stations are available for all major smart phones; and 3D blu-rays can be ordered to watch on the flat screen that dominates one wall (and even in the bathroom!). With room prices ranging from around £170 – £230 there’s plenty of extras for your money. Free wi-fi is also offered throughout the building.
Speaking of which, the hotel is in a gorgeous 19th Century building overlooking Ecclestone Square (on which Oscar Wilde held some “parties”), located less than ten minutes walk from Victoria station and its nearby West End theatres. Recently refurbished, it features sleek and plush interiors with a modern feel: monochrome colour schemes, dark woods and glamorous chandeliers (Sia would be proud). The public areas even have a signature scent, indicative of the amount of detail in the boutique feel of the hotel. I was particularly fond of the electronically clouded glass in each room that separates the bathroom at the touch of a button – fancy.
I was lucky enough to be shown around the hotel by owner Olivia (thanks for the freebies!), alongside the ever-sassy Rebecca Felgate and West End Wilma. The glass of prosecco went down a treat after a busy tube journey and soon we were settling down for a meal in the dining room.
If the hotel’s rooms are its major selling point, though, the food perhaps lets the side down just a little. The “bistro-style” restaurant offers a variety of “international flavours” – essentially a (fairly limited) mix of favourites like steak, curry, fish and chips, and salad. We ordered the chicken satay and a salad of Burrata cheese and Parma ham to start (the salad drizzled in a sticky balsamic dressing).
No sooner had we finished, our mains arrived. We’d opted for rib eye steak and a prawn and mango salad. The steak was well cooked to order (medium-rare, obvs) and the chips were super crispy, though the confit shallots and Béarnaise sauce were curiously missing. Extra portions of green salad and some steamed broccoli provided some vitamins on the side and it was all washed down with an excellent mojito cocktail and glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
Best of all was the vanilla crème brûlée for dessert (who doesn’t like smacking a crispy sugar top?), whilst the others nibbled on apple pie and some interesting ice creams and sorbets – the options change daily but Rebecca plumped for blackcurrant, vanilla and a curious gingerbread.
The food, then, is tasty but more homely than fine dining. Still, with the friendly and attentive staff, plus a truly luxurious selection of rooms, this little technological boutique hotel comes highly recommended for a short stay in London – even if it’s just for the bed.
Now how do I get an invite to one of these Oscar Wilde parties…?
Bloody Hell Brennan was a guest of the Ecclestone Square Hotel. Thank you!