Nestled in a quiet, leafy Notting Hill neighbourhood. Housed within a tucked-away corner townhouse, white and lovely and typical of west London, it’s a short jog away from glorious Hyde Park and only a minute or two from Bayswater tube station (it’ll take you around 20 minutes to get into central London – not bad at all). It isn’t the swankiest of areas, but it is by no means shabby. The street is home to one or two tired-looking buildings, but the hotel is a good-looking spot indeed. We love the outdoor terrace, shaded by lush olive trees and manicured bushes, the perfect place to enjoy brekkie and brunchy bites.
Unfussy interiors addicts with a love of all things basic and monochromatic will no doubt be pleased. British designer Anouska Hempel is behind the inside aesthetics; lots of black and clean, white space, with a nod to Japan over in the bedrooms. Sleek, modern furnishings (note the slinky white marble desk and moody low fire feature in the lobby), throughout, dark marble flooring, a petite, near-empty, dining room and inky black walls in the corridors. If you like your traditional hotels, or feel gloomy, or boxed in, in small, dark spaces, then it’s not the place for you. But if you’re quite partial to the whole minimalism thing, you’ll probably love it. The atmosphere is deliciously laid-back throughout; so serene, in fact, that staff speak in a gentle, soothing whisper and we didn’t hear a single peep from other guests during the night, or at breakfast. Super relaxing and a peaceful night’s sleep is near guaranteed – just what you need after days spent strolling and shopping up and down London’s busy, crowded streets.
WHAT’S ON OFFER >>
It’s a small hotel, so don’t expect all the bells and whistles, but there’s enough to keep easygoing guests happy. Gym bunnies have a place to work up a sweat (personal trainers are on hand if you’re into that), late-night snackers can take advantage of room service and there’s free, well-behaved WiFi throughout. In-room spa treatments are also on offer if you fancy a bit of pampering. Think mani/pedis, facials and massages, alongside hairdressing and makeup.
LAY YOUR HEAD >>
We took a junior suite for two, but there are other options, including superior double rooms, petite doubles, long-stay bedrooms with fully-equipped kitchenettes, and spacious family rooms.
There are 79 rooms in total, running along narrow, black, low-lit corridors, but our home for the night was accessed from outside. A bit like a mini apartment, you could say, with steps leading up to our own, big, chunky front door (you’re given card key access). They’re the biggest rooms the hotel offers – though still petite, especially for two people, by anyone’s standards.
Inside, you’re met with a four-poster bed, a plush sofa bed (which our chum decided to sleep on all weekend long after discovering how comfy it was), a small dining area and one hell of a bathroom. Think floor-to-ceiling grey marble, toasty heated flooring, a deep, sunken bath with rainforest power shower and sparkling, steam-resistant mirrors (quite handy after hours spent in the tub). Plenty of fluffy towels and White Company toiletries are provided.
Design-wise, expect a few oriental nods, including neat sliding wood shutters, hiding the wardrobes, which add a touch of zen. Bedsheets and linens were crisp and white, pillows were marshmallow-soft, but the mattress proved a little too stiff for my liking – though, as pointed out earlier, I did end up sleeping like baby.
With just a few clicks of the remote, you’ll find your 32-inch flat screen TV appears like magic at the bottom of your bed. You get a mini fridge, too, stocked with free water – but expect no booze or chocolate. We stocked it with our own tempting treats from Harrods’ Food Hall. We suggest you do the same for when the midnight munchies hit.
FOOD AND DRINK >>
La Suite West is an alcohol-free hotel and its menus favour vegan and veggie plates – some showcasing ‘raw’, trendy ingredients. It even does its own take on vegan afternoon tea, which is very popular.
Finger sandwiches are filled with the likes of vegan cheese, roast aubergine, mixed roast peppers and coronation tofu with vegan mayo and falafel, homemade fruit scones are served warm with whipped coconut cream and fresh strawberries. All cakes and desserts are made with wholesome, plant-based ingredients and you get a glass of non-alcoholic fizz, or a mocktail. Nice herbal teas and good quality coffee, too.
If this isn’t your thing, you’ll be left disappointed – and hungry. Best to dine out. But if you do like your healthy grub, or are choosing to give your liver a bit of a break, then it’s likely you’ll find something you enjoy.
We had dinner plans elsewhere in the city, but chose to have breakfast – an incredibly relaxed affair – in the hotel. Morning eaters are presented with a (very) small, but perfectly-formed, buffet of buttery French pastries, fruit, yogurt and cereals, fresh, crusty bread and spreads and a selection of cooked meats and cheeses.
The a la carte menu, meanwhile, serves up vegan and veggie fry-ups, eggs and avo, healthy berry porridge and more.
We tried the kitchen’s take on a vegan fry-up (essentially vegan sausages, baked beans, tofu and tumeric scramble and sautéed mushrooms), but found the hunks of seedy toast, slathered with the likes of Nutella, crunchy peanut butter and jam, far more appetising. A shame, really, considering the place prides itself on its plant-based offerings. Our chum, however, devoured her vegetarian breakfast (same as the vegan, but with wonderfully runny poached eggs) in mere moments, as well as our vegan leftovers. Go with what you fancy.
HOTEL HIGHLIGHTS >>
Overall, a very pleasing stay indeed. Sometimes, you want to lay your head in London’s buzzy city centre, in the depths of the hustle and bustle, but other times, especially if you’re staying a while (we stopped by for a long weekend), opting for a more peaceful location outside of town, and a more modest venue, such as La Suite West, is just the ticket. Simple and unfussy, yet chic in style and individual in character. And spotlessly clean and well-organised, thanks to a small team of friendly and helpful staff.
Stand-outs, for us, were the big, glossy bathroom (seriously dreamy and Instagram-worthy) and the cool reception area, with its flickering, James Bond-esque fire feature. Oh, and the crunchy peanut butter and proper Nutella at brekkie – both quite hard to find in hotels these days, don’t you know? It’s all about the little extras, folks.
BOOK IT NOW…
Rooms from £120-£230, depending on the time of year you’re visiting. La Suite West, 41-51 Inverness Terrace, London, W2 3JN; lasuitewest.com