Last week I attended an Ealing and Brentford Bloggers’ meet-up* and had the opportunity to visit Urban Villa, a superb concept hotel, positioned between Ealing and Brentford just off the M4. Although I live in Ealing so wouldn’t stay there myself (well, unless I leap into some more big home improvements as I am wont to do), it’s rooms and structure were so well thought out I thought it would be good to know for when family and friends visit or if you are planning a break.
Urban Villa is beautifully designed, in a great location and has exceptional views – however what struck me as brilliant was that it solved the eternal woe of hotel travel with smaller children: those absurd moments when you find yourself sitting in the bathroom, next to a sink full of sterilising breast-pumps, bottles and dummies, reading a book and drinking wine out of the mouth-rinse cup because the room has to be pitch dark after 7.30pm. Tiny dictator is sleeping. I’ve experienced this pure luxury in Brighton, Essex, Liverpool – living the dream in everything from a Hilton to a Premier. Living it really, really quietly in the bathroom or off my tablet with headphones in the dark. Yeah, before kids self catering was the hard-work option, but after … it sort of reverses. We go on quite a few breaks and have taken to using apartments as it’s just easier, but I often miss the services, such as concierge and on-site bar that a hotel offers.
Well, Urban Villa solves this dilemma: many of the rooms have separate sleeping areas, meaning no lurking in the bathroom! They also have a compact kitchen in each room – meaning space to prepare food and clean baby items. It’s the best of having an apartment combined with the concierge and design of a boutique style hotel. In addition, their clever balconies are fully glazed: these offer year round views across London, a twinkling nightscape to enjoy after dark … with no wind or weather no matter how high!
Downstairs, bar Reunion offers a great Spanish-inspired menu. The bar staff are brilliant with some fantastic cocktails and a fabulous gin menu – by day, they serve coffee and light bites too. The decor is fresh and spacious with plenty of seating options.
The drinks come impeccably presented, and I had never considered this venue for drinks before, it’s a real hidden gem. It’s location is actually pretty excellent – by mainline rail, bus or car folk from several West London boroughs can reach it with ease after work, making it a perfect place for a catch-up. It’s quiet enough to get a seat and feels a bit more sophisticated and exclusive than the cocktail offerings round Ealing central.
I for one hope more hotels will start offering flexible rooms like those at Urban Villa, for those of us who want a real home-from-home (except not actually my home because my home is a cluttered den of Disney paraphernalia and Peppa toys – maybe a ‘Pinterest-mum’s-home-from-home’ instead.) offering the luxe feel and personal service of a traditional hotel with the space and facilities of an apartment.
*During the meet up we were able to look around, I did not stay overnight but saw a suite up close. I was able to taste the gin menu free of charge … all opinions wobbly but my own.