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REVIEW: K West Hotel & Spa, London

Written by gaytourism

K West Hotel & Spa | Photo: K West Hotel & Spa

The very first sentence on the K West Hotel & Spa website’s homepage references ‘A listers that frequently visit.’

The hotel’s tiny library of pop and rock biographies also hints at its showbizzy credentials.

Under normal circumstances such statements would bring out the cynic in me.

But having worked as a London-based journalist for a while now, I know this image is somewhat sourced in truth.

I myself have interviewed a small handful of celebrities at this quietly iconic, 291-room London property over the years.

Granted, none were quite as cool as the Bob Marleys and Bowies who have stayed in the past. Meanwhile, I can only fantasise about Amy Winehouse’s performance here – she always was best in intimate venues.

Nevertheless, the hotel evidently offers a level of street cred and discretion that appeals to stars. Its close proximity to the legendary O2 Empire gig venue can’t hurt, either.

Furthermore, the sprawling Westfield shopping center, which opened in 2008, is only two minutes’ walk away, cementing its popularity with international tourists.

The always-bustling Shepherd’s Bush Tube is also close by; that said, the hotel itself actually hides out on the fairly quiet Richmond Way.

It was in fact 10 years ago that I first ventured here for professional purposes, dictaphone in hand. The striking, cubic exterior still looks cool today – especially at night when lit up in neon colours.

I was interested to see how see how my experience as a visitor would translate to my experience as a guest. Would I, too, feel like an A lister?

The charming staff – whether on the front desk, the ground floor bar, the small restaurant or the underground spa – certainly aim to make you feel that way.

My room was attractive, comfortable, immaculately clean and boasted all the mod cons. (For the record, I rarely engage with tablets and smartphones when hotels offer them).

It favoured a muted white, cream and coffee colour scheme verging on minimal, which surprised me. I’m not complaining – I personally enjoyed it – but given the hotel’s reputation, I debated whether some explosive art or daring furniture would add something or take something away.

The strobe-lit bookcases in the library, for example, and the statement chandeliers in the bar are more synonymous with K West’s funky reputation.

There was just the right touch of quirkiness to be found in the spa. Here, I enjoyed the limited edition Good Enough to Eat Chocolate treatment. A decently-applied exfoliation, massage and facial was heightened with orange, vanilla and almond-infused oils. I expected a sickly sweet experience but the chocolate-scented products were light and pleasant.

The spa also incorporates a hydrotherapy pool and steam room, but again, the hotel pushes the envelope that little bit: my favorite element was the -15*C ice room, or ’Snow Paradise’ as K West calls it. (I couldn’t help but laugh at the person who wrote ‘Ice Room is COLD !!’ on TripAdvisor.)

Any spa experience is enhanced by alternating from hot to cold, although this is far more bearable than plunging oneself into icy waters. There’s also a fully-equppied gym, if the mood takes you.

K West boasts a well-rounded evening menu offering most of the classics at an affordable price. The Festival Glam Rock Afternoon Tea menu, meanwhile, offers the choice of traditional tea or tea-infused cocktails to accompany the standard sandwiches and cakes combo.

However, the only meal I ate was a hearty and excellent English breakfast, cooked exactly to order (and I’m very fussy) using high quality, locally-sourced ingredients.

Brilliantly, and in another subtle nod to its rock and roll heritage, breakfast is served until 11am on weekdays and noon on weekends, which must be a record in my life’s experience of hotelling. Seriously, why doesn’t everyone do this?

For more information about K West Hotel & Spa, visit the official website.

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