Number Sixteen, South Kensington, London ****

Expect no neon signs. This is all there is to guide you to Number Sixteen.

Expect no neon signs. This is all there is to guide you to Number Sixteen.

In other words: If you want your hotel to be a scene, you’d better stay elsewhere.

In other words: If you want your hotel to be a scene, you’d better stay elsewhere.

The bed is an essential part of the room. Or: The room is essentially a bed.

The bed is an essential part of the room. Or: The room is essentially a bed.

The lounge at Number Sixteen around tea time. Monster cookies already gone. Some of the furnishings are more like pieces of art. And some of the art is quite artsy!

The lounge at Number Sixteen around tea time. Monster cookies already gone.
Some of the furnishings are more like pieces of art. And some of the art is quite artsy!

The courtyard garden looked quite fine for January. The next time I will stay here in the summertime. Then it should be outstanding…

The courtyard garden looked quite fine for January. The next time
I will stay here in the summertime. Then it should be outstanding…

Seriously, this is a pearl.
The hotel logo is a big comfy couch and that’s just about the feeling you get. It’s charming, homely and it’s the opposite of nutty, space-age design. The pearl is located in South Kensington and chances are you’ll pass it, without even noticing that it’s there. This is either good or bad, depending what kind of hotel experience you’re looking for.

It’s very English indeed.
It’s part of a mid-Victorian white stucco terrace with only a very discreet sign above the door. Inside it’s very, very English. The interior is designed by Kit Kemp, who owns this and five other hotels together with her husband. Number Sixteen was bought as an operating bed-and-breakfast establishment, and then over three years renovated into a 42 room hotel.

Rooms that don’t feel like hotel rooms.
Rooms? They are dominated by monster sized beds. If you ask me, they don’t feel like hotel rooms, (and that was probably the idea). There’s a meticulously kept garden at the rear, no restaurant but an all-day room service menu that can be ordered in the lounge, conservatory or garden (or in your room, of course). There’s an honesty bar just near the fireplace. With no restaurant, the service level has to be superb and… yes it is nearly perfect. Plus the cookies that are served with the coffee are to die for; big as frisbees and probably quite unhealthy. It’s very hard not to like this hotel.

Any other downsides?
If it sounds too got to be true, why not stay here every time when in London? Any dents in the paintwork, besides the obvious cookie calorie overdose? It’s of course depending on what you are in the city for, as the address is not exactly in the epicentre of London. The South Kensington tube is not too far away, though. Also, there’s no DJ in the lobby but you’ve probably figured that out already.

Number Sixteen
16 Sumner Place
London SW7 3EG
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 20 7589 5232

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