There are some hotels so comfortable and cozy that you just want to leave everything behind and move right in. The 44-room Milestone, opposite Kensington Palace and Gardens, is one of those places. The hotel itself resides in a landmark Grade II-listed Victorian building dating back to 1883. Kensington, meanwhile, may not be the most fashionable area of London, though there’s a large Whole Foods and a Dishoom steps away. But that’s what makes the Milestone so charming and liveable. The clientele and the décor is distinctly British, with an emphasis on “character.” The Hermès Suite, for instance, has a small balcony for enjoying a breakfast of smoked salmon, eggs and the Financial Times; floor to ceiling windows that look on to the bustling Main Street below; framed Hermès scarves lining the walls, and a coffee table balanced on a sculpture of a tortoise. Who doesn’t want to stay in a room with turtle sculptures? As part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, the Milestone also makes you feel like you’re always welcome with what it calls “tiny noticeable touches.” Each night you return to your impeccably turned down room to discover a token of appreciation—sometimes chocolate, yes, but sometimes a Sherlock Holmes mystery complete with a small reading light.
DuJour spoke with the property’s general manager Andrew Pike to discover what makes it so special.
What’s the most requested room at the property?
Number 407, the Ruhlmann Suite, The suite offers stunning views of Kensington Palace and Gardens through original Victorian leaded windows and is a favorite for repeat guests. The original Art Deco design inspired by the Godfather of Art Deco Emile Jacques Ruhlman.
What is the nightly rate for this room?
What’s an interesting tidbit about the hotel that speaks to its status as an icon?
It’s become synonymous with celebrating special moments in people’s lives—from betrothals to honeymoon’s, birthdays and anniversaries—many guests return to us time and time again so we have become an emotional connection for many guests internationally.
What’s your personal favorite room? Why?
The Noel Coward Suite for its sense of style and space. The room feels like you are walking on board the deck of an ocean liner. It’s furnished with the most glorious original antiques and has one of the best bathrooms of any London hotel in my view.
What’s your favorite design element on property?
The original Victorian features and heritage features of the public spaces and suites including the chapel room called The Oratory next to the restaurant and the Tudor Suite with its original “Minstrel’s Gallery” from when it was once the music room of the house.
How about one more fun fact about the property?
Guests love the personalized business cards with the name of the suite they are staying in—many have collected most of the set of 13 over the years and every time we refurbish, they have another to collect!
What special perk or amenity do you offer that no one knows about?
A bespoke complimentary welcome bar in our larger suites. We just need to know our guest’s preferred choice/brand of beverage and we can stock the room thusly for their arrival.