Cheval Residences – one of London’s premium collection of serviced apartments – are redefining how visitors stay in the capital. Angelina Villa-Clarke has a sneaky night away in her home town.
You may not have considered staying in one of the increasingly popular, city-based serviced apartments: too soul-less and not suitable for a short stay, you might have assumed. But think again. Cheval Residences’ luxury collection of apartments is upping the ante with its design-led properties available to rent from one night to three months or more.
As a Londoner, it might seem odd that I like nothing better than spending a night away in my hometown. But I do. While there are plenty of places on my wish-list for the ultimate weekend away, I still get a thrill about packing a bag and travelling just a few miles to rediscover another corner of my city.
Rapidly becoming an alternative to the swishest five-star hotels, the Cheval group has outposts in some of the city’s most desirable spots, including Chelsea, Hyde Park Gate and Gloucester Park. The most recent opening is Cheval Knightsbridge – where you can choose to stay in a mews house, modern apartment or an urban cottage.
With an enviable position on the River Thames’ North Bank, looking out over Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, Cheval Three Quays is, quite aptly, the jewel in the company’s crown, and for the wow-factor, you can’t beat its two-bedroom Tower Penthouse.
The interiors are show-stopping – there’s a beautifully curated living space, a cutting edge-kitchen and swoon-worthy bedrooms – but you might not even notice them at first. Instead you’ll be drawn to the views. Seen through the floor-to-ceiling windows and the wrap-around terrace is the river in all its majesty. It’s nothing short of spectacular: the turrets of the Tower of London and the stately views of Tower Bridge – so close – is impressive.
When coming up with the interior concept, architectural designers Forme Design took inspiration from the historic riverside location, as well giving a nod to the area’s futuristic vibe. The property’s name, for instance, refers to the docks that were situated here in the 17th century – and which were the entry point for the exotic goods, such as tobacco, rum and sugar, coming into the UK from the West Indies.
The marriage of old and new is a theme that runs throughout the building. From the outside, it looks like any other glass-fronted, upmarket block. But step into the lobby and the feel is softened with artist’s Barnaby Gorton’swhimsically illustrated murals, which depict the working life of the river in medieval times. Meanwhile, elegant, creamy columns give a nod to the Roman heritage of the area and a cascading water feature adds a touch of zen.
As well as a bespoke modern chandelier, an oversized Kappa Lambda rug and huge photographic prints, the lobby is also presided over by an oversized leather and granite service desk, where you can access the around-the-clock concierge, including laundry services, help with theatre tickets or travel arrangements.
While many apartment buildings in the city are guilty of being devoid of personality, here stylish additions – such as richly-coloured carpets and a range of locally-themed, black-and-white photography – mean that even the public spaces have the added interest factor.
The penthouse itself is drenched with light, thanks to the huge expanse of glass throughout. It goes without saying that one of the highlights – particularly in the summer months – is the wrap-around terrace. Dramatic chandeliers, velvet sofas and thick bespoke rugs notch up the luxury factor and it’s all tied together with layers of accessories. Petrol-blue glass vases, burnt-orange chenille cushions, and pretty Middle-Eastern-style trellis screens elevate it from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ design to a personality-filled pied-a-terre.
Luxury bathrooms have soaking tubs with tile-TV, rows of Hermes toiletries and thick, fluffy towels. Large bedrooms are also cosseting, with huge beds and elegant details, such as fine linens, padded headboards and dressing areas.
In the white gloss kitchen, you can’t move for avant-garde Gaggenau appliances and top-end crockery. But, for those who a ‘home away from home’ experience means downing tools, you can simply request daily apartment servicing and a chef to cater for your every whim.
The location is ideal as a base to explore – for tourists and locals alike. Apart from the nearby Butlers Wharf, the Tower Bridge area has never been known as a great place for dining hotspots, but this seems to be changing with a few new eateries opening their doors. Check out the Coppa Club’s riverside, heated igloos for novelty factor– ideal for brunch. Breakfasts are best served at the botanically-inspired The Folly, on Gracechurch Street, while the new The Ivy Tower Bridge is the ideal setting for supper.
Whether you want a cheeky night on the town or a lengthier stop-over, Cheval Three Quays is all about flexible, upscale luxury. But forget a nondescript experience, this has enough character to keep you wanting more.
The two-bedroom Tower Penthouse costs from £800 per night and from £307 per night for a river-facing one-bedroom apartment. www.chevalresidences.com/cheval-three-quays/
This article was published in The Jewish Chronicle on 17 May 2018 and can be read here