When it comes to hotel accommodation I don’t ask for much, just 5 star luxury, the wow factor and a great location… at a price that doesn’t require remortgaging the house!
Let me introduce you to my newest discovery; an absolute gem of a find: The Exhibitionist Hotel, London.
I think you’re going to be as blown away by it as I was and I still cannot believe that I’d never heard of it before.
I’ll even let you know how much it cost and how I managed to afford it if you promise to keep it under your hat!
The Exhibitionist Hotel
The 5 star rated luxury hotel is located down a pretty street just five minutes walk from South Kensington tube station. Kensington itself is an ideal base for a London city break. It’s a wonderful area to explore in its own right with plenty of shops and restaurants to keep you entertained but it’s also only a couple of stops away from Knightsbridge and central London.
The reception room creates an immediate impact, thanks to the ornate chandeliers and high pannelled walls…
…but this is perfectly offset by modern, playful, contemporary art.
As the name of the hotel suggests, it doubles as an exhibition space, displaying an eclectic treasure trove of pieces that make it hard to sit still. I wanted to explore every corner of the place, there was so much to see!
Each month a different artist takes residence at the hotel. Right now it’s Charlotte Cory’s turn with the installation ‘Colour Me! Interactive Victoriana’. Her pieces lined the walls, mainly in black and white and we were encouraged to grab a pencil and help colour them in!
A Hotel That Doesn’t Take Itself Too Seriously
That’s just one of the many fun, unique elements we found at the hotel. The lift, for example, is lined from wall to ceiling with bright green strokeable astroturf and there are magnetic letters on one wall so that you can write out a message for the next guest who uses it (hands up if you’d spell out naughty words… oh… just me?!)
The bar is bursting with colour and makes a loud and proud declaration of the hotels luxury status via the Veuve Cliquot decor… and the drink prices. A small diet coke set me back £3.50 – yeowch!
The real reason I’d booked this hotel had nothing to do with the reception however. Whilst searching for good last minute deals The Exhibitionist Hotel’s ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous Suite’ had popped up in my suggestions and I’d fallen in love with it right then and there, for reasons that will soon become clear!
Sweets in the Suite
You enter into a large lounge room complete with a stylish low rise couch, the office space of my dreams (with fabulous artwork by Louis-Nicolas Darbon) and a mounted flat screen tv.
Complimentary healthy snacks are provided as well as various teas, a coffee machine and coffee/hot chocolate pods.
The bedroom beckoned me to lay down on the luxurious oversized bed dressed with crisp white linens, plump pillows and sumptuously textured throws and cushions. Not to be outdone by the lounge, on the wall hung another huge flat screen tv!
Impressed so far? I haven’t got to the best bit yet… drum roll please!
The Wow Factor
Behold, the private spa pool bathroom!
Yes, that’s right, in addition to the luxurious rainfall shower and a freestanding bath, there’s a hydropool in the bathroom!
The pool itself is constantly heated and so the bathroom has a balmy feel, not as hot as a sauna but still warmer than usual. I adore the heat so I LOVED this, especially as our overnight stay coincided with the arrival of ‘The Beast From the East’ and London was inches deep in snow and treating us to sub zero temperatures. The best part was that during our stay I knew I could just take a dip in the pool any time I liked…and I did!
The only slight disappointment was that it looked like the pool had jets to turn it into a massive bubbling hot tub but when we called reception to enquire about it we were advised that this feature wasn’t working. It really didn’t make any difference to our experience though, it just would have been cool to turn the bubbles on for five minutes!
That evening we were so happy in our suite that we decided to cancel our dinner plans and order room service instead. Happily their menu contained well labelled vegan options so it was easy for me to pick something. I chose a pizza which I wasn’t blown away by if I’m honest, but the fact that I got to eat it in bed whilst watching Pitch Perfect on a giant tv made for a great end to the day.
I really can’t recommend The Exhibitionist Hotel’s Drop Dead Gorgeous Suite enough for a special stay in London. It certainly had the ‘wow’ factor and was an experience I’ll never forget.
Whilst I didn’t see any of them in person, I recommend having a look at the other rooms available at the hotel too – some are a bit cheaper and offering more standard accommodation and sizes compared to the suite we stayed in, but the penthouse suites look insane and there are some really quirky themed rooms too!
A few tips on how to afford a luxury hotel on a budget
Perservere! It took me two days to find this hotel by adjusting my search criteria across various hotel aggregator sites and then comparing these rates to the hotel’s own to see who came out cheaper. Then I looked for any special offers or discount incentives.
The suite cost £288 for a night through Hotels.com. It didn’t initially come up in my searches as the price was too high but I unlocked a discounted rate by signing up to their mailing list. For a whopping 55m2 suite in Kensington with a spa pool, I thought that this was exceptionally well priced.
I paid much less than this however thanks to a really good tip Oliver recently shared with me: You can exchange your Tesco Clubcard vouchers for 3x their value in Hotels.com vouchers, so £75 in Clubcard vouchers becomes a whopping £225.
And that, my friends, is how I transformed my Travelodge budget into enough to pay for a luxury 5 star hotel break.
Disclaimer: This post is neither sponsored nor in association/collaboration with any of the companies mentioned, it was paid for in full by me, thanks to my habit of spending far too much money at Tesco on a weekly basis!