At home in New York City, before my family flew to London, I took a deep dive on waitrose.com, scrolling through detailed product descriptions from my favorite upscale grocery chain.
I emailed the grocery list to our hotel, as I knew I’d have a kitchen: spinach, roast chicken, fresh pasta, tomato sauce, raspberries, and blueberries. When we arrived at The Milestone Hotel & Residences (part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection) – a 62-room property reminiscent of a timeless English mansion – it was hugely comforting to open a fridge full of food chosen by me, especially with a three-month-old baby in tow. We made a quick pasta and tomato sauce, had blueberries for dessert, and went to bed.
It felt like an idyllic version of home. (To be clear: No one shops for me at home.)
Tulsa-based Virtuoso travel advisor Blaire Kochar agrees. “Stepping into The Milestone feels like home. It’s truly special, from the friendly doorman wearing a top hat to the cozy lobby that feels like a living room, and delicious specialty cocktails in the bar,” she says.
It’s the “perfect boutique London hotel” for Virtuoso advisor Gail Rosenberg. “It’s a superb location, and the staff will cater to every whim and request. There are room types to fit all needs – including great apartments – but I think the secret sauce is general manager Andrew Pike. He has stayed at the hotel until midnight before to greet my late-arriving clients, and always goes above and beyond,” she says.
Here are five more things I loved about The Milestone Hotel & Residences.
The Residences (And Your Own Kitchen):
Most parents would agree: You dream of a kitchen when traveling with kids and booking an apartment is appealing. But I love great hotels and discovered a best-of-both-worlds option – The Milestone has six residences, all recently refurbished. We had the option to cook or order room service. And hotel staff will do all the grocery shopping for you, like they did for me at Waitrose.
For stays of seven nights of longer, you’re greeted with an enormous basket of cookies and treats, plus more basics in the fridge, such as orange juice, milk, bread, and jam. Our dog stayed home this time, but he would have been welcome at no extra charge, in any room at the hotel.
A Royal Location:
At The Milestone, you’re next-door neighbors to William and Kate, and you can’t get any closer to Kensington Palace without moving in. Royalty aside (and we did see the couple drive out), this is a sweet London spot – across from Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, and in walking distance of South Kensington, Notting Hill, and Knightsbridge, home to Harrods department store. You can easily walk to Royal Albert Hall for shows and performances, or a private tour arranged by the hotel.
The Stables Bar:
Come for the signature Smoky Old Fashioned cocktail, but stay for the supremely cozy ambiance in this former Victorian-era carriage house and stables. Order Champagne and ask to have the bottle opened with a sword – a centuries-old technique that somehow fits right in on Instagram stories.
Two of the hotel’s suites are total show-stoppers. The crowning suite (otherwise known as the presidential or grand master suite) is The Hermès Suite, anchored by a bronze four-poster bed in the high-ceilinged space, art deco furnishings, and a view to Kensington Palace from a private balcony. But it’s the collection of vintage Hermès scarves, framed throughout the suite, that creates a feeling of fashionable exclusivity.
The Meghan Suite was designed as a tribute to the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, and overlooks her first home in London, Kensington Palace. (She and Prince Harry moved to Windsor before their baby is born.) Upon entering, the first thing you see is the glamorous leopard-print carpet, reminding you of her Hollywood roots. Like a big stage reveal, the enormous black-and-white marble bathroom is set behind heavy mirrored doors. The fabrics feel silky, expensive, and wrap-yourself-up comfortable. You can imagine yourself drinking a dirty martini (known to be a favorite of Meghan) while listening to an Engelbert Humperdinck playlist.
Advisor Blaire Kochar says it best: “Luxuries aside, the thing I love most about staying at The Milestone is its people. Between my personal experience there as well as my clients, I know guests leave with new friends.” I’ll always remember the doormen greeting me as if I had arrived home – with Kensington Gardens across the street – sporting jaunty smiles and perfect top hats.
Virtuoso guests receive complimentary full English breakfast, a $100 dining credit, and a room upgrade on arrival, if available.