As a general rule, hip design hotels can rarely be found on the outskirts of London (least of all perched over the M4), but Urban Villa is set to change that with its first all-suite hotel in Brentford, west London.
The 100-suite hotel is designed by New York architects Grzywinski + Pons, the duo behind downtown gems The Nolitan and The Hotel on Rivington. Urban Villa has that familiar industrial-luxe aesthetic and bridges boutique hotel hospitality with the convenience of luxury residential living.
The philosophy of Urban Villa is simple – you can either stay in central London and pay partly for the location (and perhaps settle for a less inspiring hotel), or make Urban Villa your base and journey into London as you wish. It’s also worth noting that on the doorstep is Kew Gardens, Chiswick, Richmond and Twickenham.
The hotel has partnered with Uber to facilitate quick journeys into the city and South Ealing tube is also just 15 minutes and only seven stops away from South Kensington. It’s also a good choice for staying near Heathrow if you have an early flight. Brentford doesn’t sound so off the radar now, right?
We visited on Friday for Urban Villa’s grand opening and were treated to a suite for the night. The best kind of parties are those where you can simply roll up to your room at the end of the night.
The large, open-plan lobby was the centre of the action with fantastic cocktails by Soulshakers, who have curated the drinks for the hotel’s Sour Diesel bar. It also boasts a Coravin system so that the entire wine list can be served by the glass.
We tucked into the most incredible burgers and millionaire fries by Hereford heroes The Beefy Boys, who had a pop-up grill just outside. This was simply an indulgence for the opening event, as Urban Villa’s permanent food offering is much more healthy. BOKI Coffee & Co. serves artisanal drinks using Allpress Coffee and T2 Tea (the French Earl Grey is delicious) as well as craft beers, organic meals and cold-pressed juices.
A cool soundtrack of electro, house and disco came courtesy of DJs Justin Quirk and Lulu Levan. We also enjoyed live performances from Leeds alt-rock band Glasscaves and a collaboration between rapper and saxophonist Soweto Kinch and jazz trumpeter Jay Phelps.
As an ‘evolving hotel’, Urban Villa is all about the lobby culture and guests can expect a programme of music and events.
Floor nine was full of surprises, as we toured some of the show rooms including the impressive Master Villa. We sampled T2 matcha tea, Allpress Coffee, fresh cold-pressed juice and delicious cakes all served at BOKI Coffee & Co. and tried the in-room spa treatments by Viva Therapies.
I had a fantastic, long-lasting manicure using OPI Gwen Stefani Red and can highly recommend it as a special treat. What could be better than a spot of pampering from the comfort of your own room?
At the end of a fabulous bourbon and matcha-fuelled evening, we stumbled back to our Villa on the tenth floor. The suite was bright and very spacious with a soft colour palette and contemporary-cool furnishings.
Room features include a queen-size bed, 40″ Samsung smart TV, free wifi, a small dining/working table, iPod docking station and a fully-equipped kitchen complete with a Nespresso machine and kettle with Teapigs tea.
There is also free high-speed wifi, inexpensive international phone calls and cool artwork by Lazarides Editions, the world’s leading urban art gallery.
A unique touch is the expansive winter garden with a small seating area and a sunlounger, offering floor to ceiling panoramic views over the city. It’s rare to get a terrace in any city hotel, let alone one of this size.
Going beyond the standard pillow menu, guests can customise their bed in advance, choosing between a soft, medium or hard mattress. Ours was medium, I believe, and was very comfortable, although I found the Egyptian cotton linen strangely a little scratchy.
The sleek black and dark wood bathroom is not only sexy but well-equipped with a high-pressure rainfall shower, extra-wide fluffy towels, luxury bathrobes and full-size Malin & Goetz products with intoxicating aromas of rum, cilantro and peppermint.
Other cool features to make you feel at home include an iPad and Xbox loans, an in-room gym kit, same-day laundry service, business facilities and a handy in-room virtual concierge on the TV.
It’s also commendable that Urban Villa is an eco hotel with green initiatives such as paper-less suites and check-in, an untearable ‘do not disturb’ door sign, vertical plant wall in the lobby and recyclable packaging.
Urban Villa is a real game-changer and I loved the slick design, high tech features and thoughtful home comforts. The hotel’s Great West Quarter location is certainly a ‘work in progress’, but Urban Villa is ahead of the curve and is offering something fresh and different for style-conscious travellers.
Room rates start from £100 for a Studio and £135 for a Master Villa. For more information and booking, visit: www.urbanvilla.com
Chérie City was invited by Urban Villa
Photos by Chérie City and Urban Villa