In my normal routine, I lack a few hours per day in order to achieve a balance between everything I need, everything I want, everything that is interesting, everything that is important and everything that is loved. For that, I need more time per day than I what I have, and it is likely that even if my wish would have come true it wouldn’t have been enough. Sometimes, the battery just runs out and I need a real break in order to but everything back in place.
In my post about our autumn vacation to Italy, I wrote that in order to experience a real, deep and thoughtful ‘restart’, I need at least two weeks of a vacation. Unfortunately, I manage an intensive lifestyle means that on one hand, I need more than one break each year, and on the other hand, I usually don’t have time to take more than one two-weeks-long vacation each year. Therefore, I recently discovered a new type of vacation, a short and sweet vacation, whose whole purpose is relaxation and refreshment. Rather than trying to conquer the world in two weeks, to see and do everything, taking a long weekend of laziness and indulgence. Keeping my ‘To Do List’ back home and just being in the moment, without too much planning.
Recently, I returned from such a vacation in London (Oops, it was almost two months…). It was a short vacation of five perfect days, whose whole purpose was some quality time for me and my husband. This time around a great selection of hotels made my promise to myself possible – to stop.
In such perfect, indulging and inspiring hotels, five hundred meters from everything interesting and important. In such places even five days are enough to a truly relaxing vacation.
The first boutique hotel in the world. It was designed by Anouska Hempel, who invented the ‘boutique hotel’ concept in the 80s.
Long before I discovered Pinterest, I cut photos of the hotel for my physical inspiration board and promised myself that one day I’ll visit it myself. The hotel is located in the wealthy and peaceful South Kensington neighborhood, ten minute walk away from the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum.
The hotel is small and intimate, with an old world charm and clear colonialistic motifs with an oriental touch. Each room is designed differently and offers a unique experience. The hotel has a small urban garden between the buildings (a hexagonal, heated, glass gazebo allows you to enjoy it even when it rains), and in the basement level there are a restaurant and a bar, dark and sexy but also relaxing and friendly, which allows you to easily spend an entire night of drinking and socializing with interesting people from all over the world.
From the Blake’s Hotel we moved on to the London Edition. If you’re wondering why I stayed in two different hotels in five days, I’ll give you the answer I gave my husband: For me, it’s both for my profession and for my own enjoyment.
The hotel combines classic and reserved elegance with a young, and somewhat kinky, modern touch. A combination of intelligent design and bustling social activities turns the hotel into one of the best hotels in London. The service is excellent, without fault, in accordance with the British tradition, and gives you the feeling that you are one of the most important people for them, and while the concept might seem odd and foreign to Israelis, politeness can be really comfortable.
The hotel is located on the corner of Oxford Street, stronghold of shopping and entertainment, and in a walking distance from Covent Garden, the Soho and Nile’s Yard.
With the first step into the hotel an excellent scent surrounds you (scent design for brands, in order to imprint a memory association, seems to be a trend now). Despite the rich design and the high renovated ceiling, the lobby as a friendly and somewhat intimate feeling. The lobby includes a permanently busy barman, a billiard table, tall armchairs next to the giant fireplace (which was part of the original Georgian building) and a giant rectangular desk with iMacs for the guests, all of which turns the room into a perfect place for socializing.
In the adjacent hall the hotel’s excellent restaurant is located, Berners Tavern (its name is a tribute to the old hotel which used to be in the building before it was renovated). The restaurant is managed by a Michelin-starred chef. It is a dazzling space, excellent scenery for a bustling social scene and great food, which is rivaled only by the hotel’s bar.
The restaurant is designed like a grand ballroom, with complex plaster engravings and countless pictures and paintings which give the walls a baroque style. The modern touch is in the details, the giant lighting sources and the modern bar.
Yes, she actually does have lipstick on.
Unlike the public areas, the rooms are characterized by a clean modern style with warm colors and natural hues. The walls are covered with walnut wood, and the room includes a dreamy white bed and an excellent bathroom. Like the rest of the hotel, there are many pictures and paintings on the walls of the rooms. One of the more prominent ones is a photographic series by the Dutch artist, Hendrik Kerstens, who is known for is famous photograph series, which is a tribute for portraits by Vermeer with modern touches.
The hotel is located at the heart of Herzliya marine, surrounded by Yachts (there are even room where the guests can anchor their boats right next to the room’s entrance), and the rooms facing the sea have a simply breathtaking view. It is the perfect place for a couples’ weekend, with excellent restaurants, the beach and shopping at the Marine Mall are right next to you.