The Capital Hotel



By my estimation, if I stood in a certain position and stretched out my arms diagonally, I could simultaneously touch the dark wood concierge's desk that sits to the left of the doorway of this Georgian town house and the white, dark wood-topped curvy reception desk a little way in on the right side of the small lobby.

Doing so, of course, would have seemed unseemly in a place as formal and elegant as this, but I couldn't help be impressed by the clever design that had no truck with stuffiness yet managed to pull off a grandiose gentleman's club vibe in such a small area.

There was a Persian carpet on varnished wood, white ceilings with spots - no chandelier to take up space - the warm glow of traditional side lamps and candle wall lights setting off the two traditional paintings that hung on golden hued walls. A red armchair offered a splash of vibrant colour.

Straight ahead was a lift or staircase to rooms. Turn right and there's a T-junction (sort of) where to one side there is a small, cosy bar, and the other there is a Michelin-starred restaurant called Outlaws. The food and service was everything you would expect from fine dining; seamless service served in the romantic glow of an eye-poppingly chic chandelier, tall windows that let in lashings of light during breakfast (cooked or buffet available) and lots of muted autumnal colours. And, bizarrely, the odd image of a silver seahorse.

Turning left from the lobby you pass a room where traditional tea is served to the sounds of piped music and leads to a most surprising scene - a small but gorgeously formed atrium trimmed in carved wood, where red walls are dressed with small pictures of gentlemen. There are 49 rooms and apartments with varying colour schemes but views are not beautiful. How can they be when its Knightsbridge location is just behind Harrods. But having access to London's shopping high life including Harvey Nichols and the designer shops of Sloane Street is a major selling point.

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