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Style without stuffiness at the Cavendish.
I walked past it. Then I walked past it again. Finally, it was third time lucky and I realised there was a hotel hidden away there.
I quite like that good old English understatement. No liveried flunkies, no red carpet, no bling – just a door onto Jermyn Street and very discreet signage (mind you, I wouldn’t have missed it if I hadn’t been looking so hard at all the shops on Jermyn Street – seriously distracting!).
And so I moved on to check-in. The reception staff are friendly and efficient – no pomposity. The Cavendish sports possibly the youngest concierge I’ve ever seen but he knows his stuff and is charming to boot.
I was staying in one of the larger rooms; it has to be said they are not huge, but the contemporary decor (which is due for a significant facelift next year) means that they don’t really feel cramped.
It would be very easy for a hotel with the history of the Cavendish to go a bit ‘Olde England’ in decor, but that temptation has been resisted; there are delightful photos of Edwardian society in black and white in severe black frames – a very contemporary take on the past.
A lime green and brown colour palette is very refreshing indeed (if the hotel management is reading this, can I please put my name down to buy the green chaise longue if you’re ever replacing it?).
The view from the 12th floor is quite something. It extends as far as the Gherkin and its cohorts in the City, the London Eye and even Westminster. Do ask for the highest floor you can get if you’re staying.
In the bathroom, the glass-walled shower was relaxingly large – not one of those showers where you bang an elbow every time you turn around – and the fittings felt nicely contemporary. The shower checked both my boxes; very very hot when I wanted it and nicely pummelling at top power.
There are some nice touches, too. Instead of Nescafe, there’s a Nespresso machine – guaranteeing a real coffee hit when you want one. Even the decaff is drinkable, which surprised me.
Glitches? Only two, both on the tech side. The desk lamp in my room wasn’t working (I’m sure it would have been fixed if I had rung room service, but my priority was getting a good night’s sleep), and when I got a guest pass for 15 minutes’ free internet access in the lobby, I couldn’t work out how to get on the system (though that’s probably my failing rather than the hotel’s!). There is sadly a charge for internet access from rooms and it would be nice if the Cavendish became a free WiFi London hotel.
Recent reviews on TripAdvisor are excellent and the Cavendish is currently in the top 30 London hotels out of more than 1000. Guests particularly love its central London location, generous breakfast and friendly staff.
This is not a ‘sir-and-madam’ four star hotel. It’s a very contemporary place to stay with a youthful vibe – the lighting in the lobby goes from pink to gentle purple (the corporate colour). It’s in a superb location, a street you really want to walk along, with art galleries, Floris perfumes, Fortnum and Mason just opposite, and a superb cheese shop; and for joggers, Green Park and St James’s Park are practically on the doorstep.
It’s also a green hotel with a real commitment to sustainability – which shows through most obviously in the restaurant, with its organic supplies.
As a guest, perhaps you don’t notice the LED lighting and the behind-the-scenes energy management system which reduces the number of boilers used at any one time; but they are equally important in reducing the hotel’s carbon footprint. Just a fad? I’m not sure – when even the cocktail bartenders tell you they’ve gone to trouble to source organic ingredients, being an eco-friendly hotel is definitely taken seriously.
Photo credits: Cavendish Hotel.
Disclosure: Andrea was a guest of the Cavendish.