Smith & Family Parent Panel reviews
Every property featured in the Smith & Family collection – including the Berkeley – has been selected and approved by parents.
Jaunty bowler-hatted doormen, plates of cookies and personalised goodie bags: this warm welcome exemplifies what this Knightsbridge hotel does best – putting families at ease in luxurious surroundings. The Berkeley may be renowned by parents for its starry clientele, fashionable tea-takers, Blue Bar cocktail list and top-notch chefs, but it's loved by children for its unusual rooftop pool, take-me-home teddy bears and small-scale attention to detail. Practical interconnecting rooms, children's menus and kid-friendly kit mean you can pack lighter and sleep easier; and if you need time out, babysitters can give you an indulgent hour or two steaming in the spa or sampling what's on offer from kitchen wizard Marcus Wareing.
From mini robes in bathrooms to KitKats in minibars, young guests are given the same spot-on service and A-list amenities as their grown-up cohorts. Once they've exhausted the contents of their fun-stuffed gift pack, take them swimming with a view of Hyde Park, try couture confectionary courtesy of pastry genius Mourad Khiat, venture out to explore museums or hit the shops in Knightsbridge – London's calling, and it's the perfect family playground.
Smith & Family
We’d planned to start our stay with one of the hotel’s fabulous Prêt-à-Portea afternoon teas (catwalk-inspired cakes and pastries) – but my daughter had other ideas. Having heard rumours of a rooftop swimming pool – open-air in summer, warmed-up and covered in winter – there was only one place we were heading: the seventh floor. Within 10 minutes of arriving, kitted out in mini robe and slippers, she led the way to the health club. The only thing more impressive than the large, warm, light pool were the panoramic views from the windows surrounding it: from the golden dome of Harrods to the expanse of Hyde Park and the London Eye and the Shard. It was pure seven-year-old heaven (and no doubt a delight to 70-year-olds too, should you have a granny in tow) – and so the top floor lured us a lot during our stay, for the designated child-friendly slots. The lift is worthy of mention in its own right: like a railway carriage of yesteryear with old-fashioned lighting either side of a padded bench seat (very low – perfect for junior guests).
Dinner in the Caramel room was another highlight of our Knightsbridge sojourn – friendly staff, relaxed atmosphere and superb food – just want you expect from a five-star stay. Miss Molly opted for beef fillet with crushed potatoes and lemon broccoli; she polished off the lot and claimed she’d never eat again. By breakfast the next morning she was ready to polish off some fresh blueberries and raspberries, try out their homemade banana muffins (they’re great) and down a glass of freshly squeezed orange.
As with all city sophisticates, the Berkeley doesn't go overboard with the focus on families, this Knightsbridge hotel just wins their heart thanks to a great city location, interesting guests, award-winning food, beautiful individually decorated bedrooms and – oh – did I mention the rooftop pool?”
Anonymously reviewed by
Liz Harper, Footprint Books