Checking in with Michelle Devlin, GM of The Egerton House. A double townhouse in Knightsbridge opens up like a jewel box for its lucky guests.
It’s been a decade since you joined the Egerton team. What do you think makes the property so unique?
Our location. We are situated on a quiet residential street in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Guests are just a short walk from a plethora of cultural and lifestyle institutions—the fashionable shopping district of Knightsbridge, The Victoria and Albert, the Natural History Museum, and Science Museums, as well as many high-end bars and restaurants. It is also a stunning and tranquil location that doesn't feel like central London.
What sort of client requests do you get often?
We want to ensure that our guests truly feel at home when they reach their rooms. When making a reservation, we try to find out as much information from the guest as possible to personalize their stay. We send out a guest preference form with the confirmation to provide the guest with a second opportunity to let us know their preferences.
Guests are just a short walk from a plethora of cultural and lifestyle institutions—the fashionable shopping district of Knightsbridge, The Victoria and Albert, the Natural History Museum, and Science Museums, as well as many high-end bars and restaurants.
What is the ideal dining experience at the hotel?
We offer a seasonal traditional afternoon tea and are proud to offer a vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free option. And did you know that we also offer a doggy afternoon tea made up of homemade goodies fit for a pooch? Being a dog-friendly hotel, we are well-equipped to make sure your dog is as well looked after as you are.
What is your favorite item on the room service menu?
It is hard to beat any of the signature dishes created by our founder and president, Mrs. Bea Tollman. Absolute favorites include her chicken noodle soup, organic smoked salmon on our cape seed loaf, or the honeycomb ice cream.
What would you say is one of the hotel’s best-kept secrets?
Our unique residential location allows our guests to experience London as a local rather than as a tourist. Rooms on the rear elevation of the property benefit from a delightful view of the residential gardens, and rooms at the front capture views of the surrounding Victorian architecture and a glimpse of the garden across the road. Also, we can facilitate almost any request using our unique relationships with our partners.
If clients were to book one extra day in London just to hang out in the hotel, how should they spend it?
Start with our award-winning breakfast. If you are feeling energetic, we can provide passes to the gym, which is located very near the hotel. Our cozy drawing room is the perfect place to relax with a good book in front of the fire on a chilly day. If breakfast is enough to see you in the afternoon, skip lunch and enjoy our afternoon tea. Later, be sure to kick off the evening with an Egerton Martini. It’s actually a big deal, and something people around the world come especially to sample. It is made in a unique way that even the most experienced martini connoisseur can't fault.
Any other musts?
We offer guests complimentary passes to the Victoria and Albert Museum—complete access to the latest exhibitions, even sold-out ones. Passes also include access to the members’ lounge—a nice spot for a coffee or lunch. And with a little bit of notice, we can even arrange a curator’s tour.
What is another of the hotel’s most recognized signatures?
Our seasonal installations—two of the most talked-about being our very own Chelsea Garden, which gracefully adorns the entrance, and Edwin's Toyshop, which was inspired by a Victorian toyshop for the duration of the festive period. Instagrammers rejoice! Hats off to Jane Wadham, who has worked with us for over fifteen years and is the sponsored florist for The Chelsea Flower Show. Her and her team’s creativity and unwavering steadfastness make these installations so remarkable.
And the hotel’s biggest indulgence?
We have a long-standing relationship with Viva Therapies, which is very popular with our guests. The point is that you don't go to the spa; the spa treatments come to you in the comfort of your own room.