Many of you will already know, Mr & Mrs Smith have launched Smith & Family, for family-friendly places to stay. Quite a few of our readers have been stumped by London, so we asked Smith & Family to investigate!
There’s plenty to keep little ‘uns entertained in the capital, but finding somewhere suitable to sleep after a busy day of sightseeing isn’t always so easy. That’s where we come in: Smith & Family have chosen their top three favourite London hotels to keep Mr, Mrs and mini-Smith happy…
No.5 Maddox Street’s family-ready two- and three-bedroom suites combine lashings of luxury with the flexibility of self-catering. Hip and hi-tech, these studios may only be a skip from Soho (and a hop from Hamleys), but they’re still astonishingly tranquil. Fully stocked kitchens and daily housekeeping simplify staying in, and you only have to say the word and staff will bring you bibs, highchairs and children’s cutlery. You’ll find your suites packed with all the books, art materials, puzzles and board games you’ll need to keep older kids busy while you book yourself an in-room massage, and when you’re ready to head back out into the city, there are plenty of family-friendly cafés nearby… as well as all the bright lights of the West End.
Despite its Mayfair setting and air of traditional English grandeur, the Connaught is surprisingly child-friendly, with thoughtful family-pleasing touches throughout. The grown-ups can enjoy the beautiful Aman spa, Michelin-starred cuisine and prestigious West End address, while the kids will be delighted with their presents on arrival, mini bathrobes, an exciting children’s menu and their own junior check-in desk. There are myriad city sights to discover just outside the hotel’s grand front door, but if it’s all a bit too much you can easily hide out in your room for some luxurious downtime (there are puzzles, pens and paper and DVDs available on request). Even the restaurants here are geared up for kids: Espelette offers a sophisticated children’s menu with mini versions of grown-up dishes (think clear chicken soup and sole goujons); the more formal Hélène Darroze at the Connaught caters to children’s individual tastes rather than forcing a menu upon them.
Amid the grand surroundings of Knightsbridge, the Berkeley is one of London’s most child-friendly luxury hotels: it’s impeccably high-calibre but entirely laid-back. A triumvirate of top chefs, a one-of-a-kind rooftop pool and top-class mini-me amenities (from bottle-warmers to bathrobes) provide parents with the perfect base for a relaxing break. A great deal of thought has been put into making little guests feel at home here – the welcome packs for children include a selection of age-appropriate toys and treats, including a plush Berkeley Bear. The usual suspects – board games, Wii consoles, DVDs – are all at hand, but there are plenty of much more interesting activities on offer, too. Take petrol-head boys, both big and small, to the Berkeley’s Ferrari Atelier to gawp at the magnificent motoring machines, or check out the little sun terrace next to the pool for seasonal surprises: the hotel hosts open-air cinema nights with hot chocolate and cosy blankets in winter. Alternatively, visit the hotel’s Caramel Room for the famous fashion-themed Prêt-a-Portea with its cute couture-inspired cakes; even the more formal Koffmann’s is surprisingly family-friendly, thanks to a kind staff that’s more than happy to serve smaller portions or heat up baby food.
Find out more about the new handpicked Smith & Family hotel collection at SmithandFamily.co.uk.