When I first walked into the K West Hotel and Spa and took a look around; a sense of déjà vu washed over me. Not because the décor looks dated or even because it resembles somewhere else I’ve stayed but because I realised I had been there before. On my very first night in London, after arriving from Canada a little over a year ago, my sister and I met a local who took us to a trendy lounge around the corner from the bar we were in that was about to close. It was the K Lounge, on the ground floor of the hotel, which transforms in the evenings from a casual dining area to a stylish night spot packed with fashionable people.
Because Shepherd’s Bush was the first area I stayed in when arriving in London, it holds a special place in my heart so I was excited about going back. The K West’s location is definitely one of its biggest advantages and its just two minutes from the tube. Prior to staying at K West, I had always assumed that big city hotels were just places to sleep and store your stuff while you explore the city. But this hotel proved me wrong. A tour of the hotel gave me another look at the K Lounge as well as the hotel’s ultra-modern spa. With seven treatment rooms offering over 100 different treatments, it’s not your average poky hotel spa. London’s only ‘Snow Paradise’ room is a big draw but the Ultimate Aromatherapy Facial – a sleep-inducing treatment using fragrant organic essential oils – is better still. A major overhaul last year vastly improved the spa’s green credentials, with the introduction of organic products, extensive water recycling systems and eco friendly towel washing methods all in the mix.
The rest of the hotel is overseen by a ‘Green Team’ constantly searching for ways to make it more eco-friendly, whether improving efficiency or introducing organic beauty products. Even the suites had eco-friendly soap and shower gel and everything is 100 per cent chemical free. So extensive has the green overhaul been, K West’s investment in eco-friendly initiatives was rewarded with an boosted rating from bronze to silver in the Green Tourism Awards.
After settling in, I was eager to check out the restaurant and, most importantly, the food. With a sleek, modern atmosphere and artwork from local artists on the walls, the restaurant is just as cool and modern as the rest of the hotel and the food didn’t disappoint either. The seared baby squid was some of the best I’ve ever tasted while the tiger prawn linguine was utterly moreish and beautifully presented. The only downside was the lack of Fairtrade or organic dishes, although the hotel says it is thinking about introducing some.
After quickly checking out the K Lounge, already in evening mode, I headed back to my surprisingly spacious room. In fact, all the rooms at the hotel are large – quite the feat considering space is at a premium in London – and embody K West’s signature contemporary style without feeling cold or rigid. The oversized beds and iPod docks are intended to make guests feel at ease and as comfortable as they would be at home. The K West has much to recommend it, whether relaxed spa treatments or the delicious food, but most importantly, it’s genuinely serious about reducing its environmental impact. Like the Savoy, it’s introduced an impressive menu of eco-initiatives, proving that you don’t have to shirk on luxury to be truly green.
Need to know:
K West has 220 bedrooms, with prices starting at £129 per night and £450 for the luxury K Suites. Wi-Fi is available in the rooms for a fee or for free in the internet zone on the main floor, where you can hook up your own laptop or use one of the hotel’s Macs. The K Lounge is open to guests and non-guests daily and DJs play Friday and Saturday nights from 10pm until 2am. The spa and gym are also available for use by non-guests. K West is well connected to central London by tube or bus.
In the area:
I strolled through Shepherd’s Bush Market, a 15-minute walk from the hotel, which has a mixture of Irish and Afro-Caribbean influences. The market is open during the day Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday. Alternatively, the world-famous Portobello Market is a short tube or bus trip away and definitely worth the journey. The antiques market is open on Saturday only but there are plenty of stalls and shops to rummage through on other days. The BBC studios are also nearby in White City, and visitors can take a tour or sit in the audience of a BBC radio or television programme.
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