We discover a hidden hotel in revamped Shepherds Bush that offers the perfect base to see the capital and is home to a wonderful spa.
London is one of the world’s best shopping centres. From the cool and quirky, such as Dover Street Market, to the traditional and glamorous department stores of Harrods, Liberty or Selfridges, there’s something in the city to suit every taste. The most recent additions to London’s shopping scene are the great consumer colossuses of Westfield, to the east and west of the capital in Shepherds Bush and Stratford. Here you can find all your favourite British stores in one place, conveniently interspersed with cafes and restaurants offering every type of cuisine imaginable – a shopper’s paradise.
Westfield London in Shepherds Bush opened in 2008 and has completely transformed the surrounding area. Once the scruffier neighbour of upmarket enclaves Notting Hill and Chiswick, Shepherds Bush is now a destination in itself, with Westfield the leading landmark that draws in locals, tourists and shopaholics alike. With easy transport links from the refurbished Shepherds Bush Central Line Tube station, a new Hammersmith & City Line station (Wood Lane) and a new overground station, Shepherds Bush is now a great base for exploring the capital.
The perfect place to retire and relax after a busy day shopping or sightseeing is hidden away on a quiet street behind Shepherd’s Bush Green. K West Hotel & Spa, housed in a former BBC building, breaks up a row of Victorian terraces with a striking glass exterior. Enter through the revolving doors on a Friday evening and you’re suddenly in a bustling cocktail bar, a DJ ready to play until 2am and mood lighting and a leaping gas fire creating a warm and buzzing atmosphere. Pop in on a week-day morning though and you’ll find a tranquil space frequented by businesspeople, shoppers and gym regulars, the bar now groaning with a decadent selection of pastries and the inviting smell of breakfast wafting from the Kanteen restaurant upstairs.
The hotel is popular with media types and is often the location for photo shoots or booked out by a pop star and their entourage. When we visited we were told all the signature K Suites were taken by a band for the night, which explained the groups of excited teenagers waiting outside for a glimpse of a famous face. But even if you don’t manage to bag one of the suites (from £540 per night), all 220 rooms in K West are extremely spacious by London standards – the Executive Rooms and upwards all boast huge superking beds and separate sitting areas.
The star of this hotel though is the spa. After a £2 million upgrade, this is as good a small, inner-city spa as you will find anywhere, offers a large fitness area that is free for guests and includes a studio offering a range of classes. There are seven treatment rooms and a full thermal suite with sauna, steam room, hydrotherapy pool, experience showers and sleep-inducing relaxation space. There’s even a rather magical snow room, a unique Finnish experience, which is like stepping into a Narnia-like world (albeit a small one) of gently dripping icicles, cool blue light and soft, powdery snow. If you’re feeling brave enough, you’re supposed to rub this all over you for three minutes to boost your circulation.
Guests can use the spa for £25 each or £40 per couple, which is steep, but the quality of the facilities, with complementary Aromatherapy Associates toiletries, fruit infused ice water, endless towels, robes and flip flops and quiet, serene environment make it worth the money. If guests book treatments, they can use the thermal facilities free of charge. The spa is in pristine condition, sparklingly clean, and the perfect place to come and put your feet up after a long shopping session.K West Hotel & K Spa, Richmond Way, London, W14 0AX. Prices start from £125 per room per night. Tel. 020 8008 6600 www.k-west.co.uk
|Click here to subscribe!