Restaurants; cocktail bar; spa with sauna, swimming pool and gym; personal training; in-room beauty treatments; CD/film library; concierge; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: Flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, minibar, Bamford Organic toiletries, slippers, bathrobes. The very top suites have iPod docks and iPads on request, plus a host of extras from champagne to fresh flowers.
At the top end, the one-bedroom Conservatory Suites have vast city-view terraces, living rooms and acres of space. Otherwise, we'd plump for a chic Robert Angell-designed, pastel-hued, Balcony King room for its surprisingly quiet south-facing rooftop patio.
Sitting in a colonnaded space with a retractable roof that’s opened up in fair weather, the Berkeley Health Club & Spa’s heated indoor pool may be small, but it’s perfectly formed; there’s not another hotel in London that can boast skyline views like this.
Bring yourself a hip flask of something warming. During the winter the rooftop terrace is used for outdoor film screenings and, although blankets are provided, you might just need the extra layer.
All public areas are on the ground floor or reached via the lift, and easily accessible with a buggy/wheelchair. Some rooms are adapted for less able guests, for example with wider doorframes and grab rails.
The Berkeley is one of the capital's most child-friendly hotels. Rooms are easily interconnected, meals are happily adapted for little ones and a generous welcome gift will thrill them on arrival.
The Berkeley is one of London's most child-friendly luxury hotels, offering mini-me amenities from bottle-warmers to bathrobes and providing parents with the perfect mission base for a relaxing family city break.
Whole-brood city excursions
If you only need one extra bed or cot, we'd plump for a chic Robert Angell-designed Balcony King room; otherwise interconnecting rooms and suites are the best choice for families.
There’s no crèche or kids’ club here, but you can book a babysitter through reception if you need a childminder during the day (this can sometimes be arranged with as little as two hours’ notice, but 48 hours is ideal).
The Berkeley’s thoughtful welcome pack for children includes a selection of age-appropriate toys and treats, plus a Berkeley Bear for the littlest guests; a bespoke activity book features hotel-themed puzzles, word searches and colouring-in pages (pencils are also provided). You might want to ‘hide’ any chocolate you find before handing it over, though. (Suggested hiding place: your tummy.) Wii consoles and board games are available to borrow; suites also come with iPod docks. Choose from a selection of free children’s films and music, or pay a supplement of £12 a day for on-demand movies in your room.
With Roman steps, floats to borrow and diminutive proportions, the rooftop pool is great for family swims: accompanied children are welcome in the pool 12pm–2pm and 4pm–7pm Monday to Friday; 11am–2pm and 4pm–7pm Saturdays; and Sundays 10am–12pm.
The Caramel Room is the best choice for children, with its all-day menu of comfort-food classics, salads and mezze – if they’re bored of shepherd’s pie and paninis, tempt your kids with Middle Eastern family favourites such as pitta-wrapped chicken shawarma, grilled haloumi and fatoush salads. Koffmann’s is surprisingly family-friendly for such a class act, with highchairs and booster seats available. Super-nice staff are more than happy to tailor challenging dishes, serve smaller portions, and heat milk or baby food for you – book the private dining room for extended family get-togethers.
Fully qualified childminders are available to babysit for £15 an hour, for a minimum of four hours; this can sometimes be arranged with as little as two hours’ notice, but to guarantee yourself a night off, you need to book 48 hours in advance.
No need to pack
Staff are adept at handling requests, from warm milk and cookies to birthday balloons and cakes.
Audio monitors are available to borrow for guests’ use, but their range doesn’t extend to the spa or the restaurants downstairs; you’ll need a babysitter if you want to leave the little ones in your room.