I love this hotel. I want to live in this hotel. I won’t go to London unless I can stay in this hotel.
At 16 Sumner Place, in the South Kensington neighborhood of London, in a row of white houses that all look the same, is Hotel Number Sixteen. There’s no “hotel” sign out front, just a discreet sign with the address above the door.
Designed by the fabulous Kit Kemp, the interiors of the public rooms are cheerful and whimsical, and there’s so many imaginative details that even I, with my eagle eye, seem to find something new each time I walk through.
The breakfast room is a solarium that opens onto the garden. In warm months, you can sit outside and have breakfast.
The food is laid out on the big wooden table at the end of the room…a cornucopia of fruit, cereal, yogurt, breads and pastries, even homemade breakfast bars.
I especially love the library, and the table between the windows. In fact, I go to breakfast early just to make sure I get that table. In the evening, I like to help myself to a glass of wine from the “Honesty Bar” and sit here with my computer.
I’ve stayed in three different-sized rooms, from large to tiny. This one was the biggest, on two levels, with the bed tucked up under the eaves.
The designer’s presentation boards for the rooms are framed as art in the hallways.
I stayed in this fabulous fushia room when I was here for the Royal Wedding. I would curl up on the cozy love seat and read at night, and I loved looking out the windows at the rooftops.
Room 308 is minuscule…I mean so tiny you can hardly turn around in it. It’s on the third floor, and the elevator doesn’t reach it, so you walk up a little winding staircase from the second floor. It’s like a little play house room. I loved it.
The twin bed with its fluffy duvet was just SO cozy. There’s a miniature closet, and a diminutive bathroom. It’s the most ingenious use of space I’ve ever seen. A little difficult to take pictures, though…
The decorator’s swatches were there, outside the door.
The staff is incredible…welcoming and efficient. I feel like I’m going home when I arrive.
I had my laundry done once when I was traveling for two weeks, and it was returned to me with a sprig of lavender. So pretty I didn’t want to unwrap it!
To add to the awesomeness of this hotel, the location is prime. Five minutes walk from the South Kensington tube station, ten minutes walk from Sloane Square and the groovy shops and restaurants of Chelsea or, in the other direction, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and shops on Brompton Road.
This is not only my favorite hotel in London, it’s one of my favorite hotels anywhere. A true home away from home.