Behind The Scenes: How Cheval Gloucester Park Is Perfect For A Post-Pandemic World
In this post-pandemic world, what we are looking for from our travel experiences has changed. Privacy, pampering and personalisation are the key buzzwords going forward. Perfectly in tune with these new trends is the Cheval Collection of luxury serviced apartments. They’ve been simmering away, under-the-radar, over the past few years – essential addresses for those ‘in the know’. The appeal? They have a slick hotel ethos, but with the privacy of a luxury private home. In step with the times, the company has gradually been gathering momentum and the brand now encompasses nine properties in London – ranging from townhouses to penthouses – and has recently expanded into Edinburgh with two addresses.
One of its newest launches is Cheval Gloucester Park, the brand’s flagship west London property in Kensington. Following a multimillion-pound refurbishment, this collection of 98 apartments, found across 11 floors is nothing short of impressive. The lobby sets the scene – with London-based design studio 1508’s interior design giving a nod to 1920s London.
The bold marble zig-zag flooring, black, white and grey with flashes of jade, is set against smart navy velvet seating, silk cushions and sleek surfaces, giving a gleaming appeal. Seating areas are arranged throughout this space, making little reading and lounging areas, and there’s also an additional VIP ‘Green Room’-come-living room. Check-in adds to the opulent feel from the get-go, with the reception desk having a unique metallic-liquid finish – superstar sunglasses are essential.
A nice point of difference, and also adding to the elevated feel, is that the property has a gallery of bespoke artwork throughout. Art consultants Verdigris Art commissioned original artwork from artists such as Sophie Derrick, who plays around with the idea of portraiture (she paints onto her own skin, photographs it and then paints on the photographs, resulting in a multi-layered concept). There’s also pieces by equine photographer Astrid Harrison, and photographer Matthew Farrar. His work examines how the mind processes images, and the deconstruction of structure into abstract patterns and form. Meanwhile, Rod Mireau’s sculptures play with gravity and scale, while Elisabeth Lecourt’s Tube Map dress gives a nod to the history of London. In fact, a number of the pieces depict the heritage of the area, such as a spectacular creation of T.S. Eliot, who served as a churchwarden at St Stephen’s Church on Gloucester Road.
When it comes to ‘bedding down’, on offer at Cheval Gloucester Park is a range of one, two and three bedroom apartments, as well three five-bedroom penthouses on the upper floors. Offering similar benefits as a five-star hotel – these can be rented for short or long-term stays. Cheval also offers a 24-hour concierge service – which can be tapped into if you need help with travel arrangements, bookings or laundry. There’s a weekly maid service and towel change plus a welcome hamper on arrival – filled with essentials and some treats.
The bonus with apartment-style living is that you have less of the hassle that sometimes comes with a hotel stay, and more of the privacy and seclusion many or us are yearning for right now.
In this case, apartments are very top-end, slick and stylish. Attention to detail is second-to-none: marble bathrooms have underfloor heating, Hansgrohe showers and Bvulgari products. Bedrooms have velvet headboards, artisan ceramic lamps and luxe built-in wardrobes. Carpets are deep and sheets are high in thread-count and topped with Hermes throws. The living room is ‘magazine-ready’ with Lee Broom pendant lights, Porta Romana floor lamps and amber-velvet Gubbi Beetle chairs. Perfect for that Architectural Digest touch.
If you wanted to cook, the kitchens are also top-spec with Miele appliances and Nespresso machines. On the other hand, Cheval Collection has recently collaborated with La Belle Assiette, so you can book a private chef to conjure up some magic if you wanted. There’s also a new, handy Cheval App through which you can order from local restaurants and have dishes delivered direct to your apartment. In-apartment spa treatments and fitness activities are also available with Viva Therapies, and luxury transfers in BMW 7 and Mercedes S-Class vehicles can be booked with ARP Cars.
There are thoughtful touches throughout, such as the handy picnic hamper offering, which you can order, and which comes complete with a bottle of Champagne, picnic rug and mezze, ideal for al fresco lunches in one of the nearby Royal Parks. There’s a ground floor gym, with equipment from Precor, and a glamorous 12-seater cinema room, which can be booked for private screenings.
Looking set to continue its ascension, Cheval Collection has recently opened its latest offering – Lexham Gardens by Cheval Maison, in South Kensington, which launched in Spring 2021. It has more of a boutique feel, with 30 apartments, and Sally Sneddon’s Fife-based design studio Mojo Designs creating the chic interior design. Style-conscious, private and ultra-pampering, it’s a home-from-home, but just better.