It is just seconds from the shopping and traffic maelstrom which is Knightsbridge, but The Levin hotel is the very essence of calm and tranquility. If you are looking for a place where the party continues until the small hours, then this small, smart, townhouse hotel just round the back of Harrods is not for you; but if you want to retreat from the world in a little bubble of your own, then The Levin is ideal.
With just 12 bedrooms, a tiny reception and a surprisingly modern-looking bistro restaurant downstairs, the family-owned Levin doesn’t have a spa, swimming pool, separate bar or fine dining restaurant which other London hotels might.
Its claim to fame is that it is the closest hotel to Harrods, and it’s true that less than 30 seconds walk will take you right into the iconic department store. But thankfully The Capital hotel, just round the back of Harrods on a quiet Knightsbridge street, is more than just a place to stagger back to after a hard day’s shopping. Opened in 1971 by hotelier David Levin, it is still owned and managed by him and his family today, which gives it a far more friendly air than a corporate chain hotel.
While the hotel does a special ‘Shop till you Drop’ package which includes a £50 Harrods voucher, afternoon tea and a drink to restore you (if not your credit card) after your retail therapy, I went to the Capital with cocktails, rather than shopping, on my mind. Bar manager Cesar da Silva has been at the Capital for 15 years and is still extremely enthusiastic about teaching other people to make cocktails in his popular Cocktail Masterclass, which is just as well as apparently he often does 10 of these hour-long courses a day. Continue reading The Capital hotel: London’s venue for a cocktail masterclass→