Cocktails & Comfort at K West Hotel & Spa, London.

In popular West London, sits stylish Shepherds Bush. It’s where indie hipsters can go to bop and sway, and culture vultures sip tea and nibble on reasonably priced grubbings from far and wide. It’s an urban, gritty, grungy paradise, with great access to central London without quite being in the zone-1 hectic-ness.

Situated just a few roads from Westfield, and a hop skip and a jump from the tube, you have the obviously well situated, stylish 4* K West Hotel and Spa. It is an ideal choice for busy shoppers, young professionals, and those wanting a get-away that can combine both comfort, with the opportunity to explore. It advertises itself as ‘luxury without the stuffiness’, and includes facilities that could keep you entertained for at least a whole weekend.

A former BBC office building, it is almost ideally architecturally designed to be the trendy digs encapsulated by its modern name and demographic. The building extends impressively behind its modest frontage, and after Mr Biscuit and I arrived in the hotel car-park (a typical London cost of £25/day), we admired the clean, elegant reception area, and comfortable seating.

Stopping first for a tea and tour, the reception is open plan in its connection to the bar and lounge area. A place where guests can enjoy a quiet cuppa, decadent cocktail, or even at weekends, a DJ well practiced in the newest house tunes. It is clean, classic, and elegant, with spiraling chandeliers, and twinkling spotlights arranged in a star constellation. Along the corridor is an area catering to the business clients- with complimentary Wi-Fi, printer, and apple mac’s to let you send off that urgent e-mail, or print a last-minute theatre booking. Due to its size, the hotel extends its rooms under-ground at a basement level, yet also boasts a fully equipped gym, well received restaurant, and compact yet unusual spa.

The first room we were given (this is said with trepidation, as we are not usually fussy, nor was there anything wrong with the room) was on the basement level, and in the Executive Double category. Finished to an immaculately clean standard, all rooms have hand made spacious beds and fresh linen, and were what we described as being ‘luxuriously beige’. Inherently very comfortable with its tasteful décor, it is exactly what a good 4* hotel should be and of a perfect quality to that level. It is however, clear why it is not a 5*, simply as it lacks that originality, or uniqueness, but it is excellent as a 4*, with impressions of luxury for a lower budget. As this first room was in the basement, with windows at ground/foot level, it was quite dark, but perfectly fine and excellent if you are a business person needing an exceptionally comfortable nights sleep in it’s tranquility. This particular room had a spacious shower, which was modern in design, and a nice seating area. The only reason we changed, is when chatting to the staff about the facilities, and all the different rooms they have in the hotel, we discovered that other executive rooms have baths instead- after a busy week reviewing hotel after hotel, a bath is exactly what we needed. This is purely taste, and something you can note with reception which you prefer before checking in. Indeed our new room, complete with bath, was identical except for the obvious, and with being on a top story, it was bright and airy. Highly recommended.

The K Spa is a completely functional area, that incorporates a lot of facilities. Mr Biscuit and I started in the hydrotherapy pool, reclining in the Jacuzzi like water, and relaxing under the atmospheric lighting. From here the sauna seemed like the next natural step, and we followed it up with a recommended expedition to the snow paradise room (the first in London!). Inspired by Finnish tradition, to alternate between say the steam room and snow room, promotes circulation and is said to help the immune-system. Relaxation areas in the form of cushioned pods surround the area, almost insisting the time you spend there is restful, and the experience showers invigorate before retiring to the changing rooms. Here there are LLK products, reflected also by the toiletries provided in the rooms. Spa access costs an extra £25 on top of your room, but is included if you opt for a treatment (except at weekends).

Having booked in a late dinner in the hotel restaurant, we chose to start our evening ‘in’ at the lounge. Seated comfortably, we chose cocktails and prosecco from the extensive menu, and chatted happily while the area gradually filled that with guests and external patrons joining us, as a precursor to a meal in the ‘Kanteen’ on the level above.

The Kanteen is directly above the lobby in an almost mezzanine. We are seated at a table surrounded by local art, and attentive waiters and waitresses. We instantly note their adaptability, from us, for example having a romantic evening, to a large group celebrating, merrily dining from their own buffet table at the back.
The menu reads like a Gastro-pub, with a mix of wholesome family favorites, to dishes verging on fine dining. It is here, that the clarity of who the hotel/restaurant appeals to as a audience becomes fuzzy. Plain wooden tables mix with silver wine buckets stood next to your chairs. Hostess’ who pour your wine for you, contrast against waiters who place humble bottles of mustard and ketchup on your table. Neither is wrong, neither is right, they perhaps simply don’t gel as a consistent theme. Over looking the bar and lounge, with the DJ starting downstairs from around 9pm, its more date night, than anniversary romance, yet none-the-less, Kanteen provide great food, and a quality service. Our starters of calamari, and palma ham wrapped figs delighted, and the mains were delicious, including steak and ceasar salad. A recommended brownie dessert proved a consistent standard of food. We continued to finish our wine in this relaxed contemporary environment, and felt able to sit contently until we felt ready to retire to our room with no glares, and no tidying up around us.

A fabulous nights sleep later, we’ve contacted reception about our breakfast choice the night before, and chosen our breakfast on the form that allows us the rare decadence of breakfast in bed. We always think a great indication of a hotel’s service and catering, is their room service, so we loved that this option was available. It completes a special weekend, and adds to the pampering experience. With a hectic day ahead, we politely requested a breakfast arrival of 8.30am. The form you fill in and leave on the door handle the previous night however is complicated. There is no clear way of explaining what each person in the room wishes for, where there should be a column for each person. This is the reason we wake up suddenly at 6.55am with a phone-call. They don’t quite understand our egg choices.

Whilst prompt, we were disappointed that at 8.30am we receive a breakfast that is literally the complete opposite of what we have ordered. Upon calling room-service to politely explain that we think there’s been a mistake, we have to listen to an angry chef shout at the shy room attendant down the phone, about how he definitely made the right breakfasts, and it’s either our or her fault. Approximately half an hour later, our actual breakfast arrives, and it is simply explained that we got another rooms order and vice versa, and they cannot apologize enough. The actual breakfast more than makes up for it though, created to perfection, and with a really nice selection of continental accompaniments to your cooked dish, should you so wish to include them.

So, our summary of K West Hotel and Spa? Quite great actually. It’s a perfect location for shopping and going out in London. It’s not as busy as the central areas but only minutes away by tube. Its modern, elegant, and a very good 4* hotel. The spa is a welcome extra, and the rooms are clean and comfortable, with good bathroom facilities. It has a very reasonably priced and well run restaurant. The cocktail staff at the bar downstairs are polite and skilled, and service in general is very good. It is ideal for a business stay, and the perfect hotel for a young professional couple looking for a hint of luxury on a weekend away.

Images courtesy of K-West.

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