Whenever we sail from Portsmouth, Harwich or Southampton, we always try to spend a few days in London. London is one of our top five favorite pre-/post-cruise cities in the world. You can easily spend four or five days exploring what London has to offer. On our most recent cruise from Portsmouth, we unfortunately only had two nights to enjoy in London. So, we wanted to make it something really special. We chose The Milestone Hotel for its 5-star reputation and history of excellent service. Everything we read about this historic hotel in advance was positive...and accurate.
We arrived at London Heathrow around 9:30am and had arranged for Heathrow Shuttle to meet us at the airport and transfer us to the Milestone. The cost for the meet-and-greet and transfer was £70 ($117 US) and was well worth it. We arrived at The Milestone around 1pm and were immediately greeted by name and welcomed by doorman Teddy who quickly grabbed our luggage and escorted us to the Reception desk. Check-in was quick and painless, as you would expect in a 5-star property. The hotel lobby has the feel of an elegant English country home: very classy, yet very comfortable. We were introduced to Fran, the butler on duty, who offered to take us on a short tour of the property before escorting us to our room. The most striking space was The Conservatory. Overlooking the herb garden and forming an extension of Stables Bar, it is a relaxed space for drinks, light snacks or a leisurely breakfast.
When Fran opened the door and invited us into our room (#504), it felt as though we were coming back home to a place we had never been before. Is that even possible? To the left of the entry hall was a small second bedroom that would be perfect for a kid's bedroom, but we used it for our carry-on luggage and as an extra closet. To the right was the massive and well-appointed bathroom. The living room/bedroom was "sunken" two steps below the entry hall and had that classic elegant English country home decor. After an all-night flight, the king-sized bed looked like a very appealing way to shed some jet lag.
The living room had two chairs, a small table and a cabinet containing a combination mini-bar/fridge with complimentary coffee/tea. The closet was also off the living room and was more than adequate for our needs with a safe large enough to hold a laptop. A small desk next to the bed was perfect for my laptop and The Milestone even provides electrical adapters for US-style plugs. The desk is equipped with all sorts of small office supplies like scissors, paper clips, stapler, etc. They have pretty much thought of everything.
The complimentary Wi-Fi was fast and worked perfectly. Fran made sure to point out all of the features of our room including how the large flat-screen television remote worked, thermostat settings, etc. A few minutes after our arrival, there was a knock at the door. Two Mimosas and a complimentary fruit plate were delivered to our room.
The mattress was very comfortable and the linens were as good as you will find anywhere in the world. A duvet and pillow selection was available upon request. It is becoming obvious why The Milestone has won so many awards over the years. Rickee was very excited to see the lighted magnifying makeup mirror in the bathroom, the sign of a 5-star property in her book. Bathroom amenities were from Penhaligon's and the towels were plush and wonderful. Complimentary bathrobes with slippers were hanging on the back of the bathroom door. The tub/shower combination was large and easy to use. No corners have been cut in providing The Milestone guest with every luxury imaginable. During turndown, a floating votive candle was placed on the edge of the bathtub adding a warm glow to the bathroom!
After a restful night's sleep in one of the quietest rooms we have ever occupied, we decided to take advantage of our complimentary Full English Breakfast at Cheneston's restaurant. The restaurant is not very large, but we had no trouble finding an open table. We both ordered the Eggs Benedict which turned out to be the best we have ever had. The eggs were perfectly poached and the Hollandaise sauce was amazing. The orange juice is fresh-squeezed and the coffee is delicious. Breakfast at Cheneston's is the perfect way to start a day in London.
Before our day of exploring in London, we stopped at the Concierge desk where Joshua was more than willing to assist us with suggestions on restaurants and things to see and do in the area. Kensington Palace and Gardens is right across the street from the Milestone as is Hyde Park. When you exit The Milestone and turn to the left, there are dozens of shops and restaurants along High Street. A hop-on/hop-off bus stop is just one block from the hotel and was too tempting to pass up. We spent most of one day aboard the bus seeing some of London's iconic sights.
After spending two glorious nights at The Milestone, we regrettably were forced to check-out so that we could transfer to Portsmouth for our cruise. We wish we had a longer stay so we could have taken advantage of the on site spa and resistance pool. Our brief stay at The Milestone was truly one of the highlights of the entire trip. We now see why many critics consider The Milestone to be the best hotel in London. We are certain it is among the best in the world. We would not hesitate to recommend The Milestone to any of our friends.
For more information, visit their website at MilestoneHotel.com
Originally posted on: 11/25/2014