In partnership with: onefinestay
You’ve been staring at the same four walls all year. You’ve cooked and cleared away the evidence of hundreds more meals than you might usually have done. Even if you enjoy both your home decor and cooking, their appeal is wearing thin. Whether you’re reuniting with friends and family (in the numbers allowed by government guidelines, of course) or simply seeking a festive change of scene, why not treat yourself to a luxurious staycation in one of London's finest homes?
High-end home-sharing expert onefinestay offers an enviable selection of luxury abodes to rent across the capital. The major perk of these homes-from-home is the significant lack of effort on your part. Have a question at midnight? No problem – call the support team. Cleaning this Christmas? No way – there’s complimentary weekly housekeeping as standard. Kids? No need to bring all that paraphernalia – onefinestay can organise buggies, cots, high chairs, bath toys and even a nanny.
Best of all is onefinestay’s Festive Magic offering, available until 5 January 2021. If you love the look of a beautifully-set table but absolutely don’t want to be involved in the creation of it, opt for a curated tablescape by Alice Naylor-Leyland. You can order a decorated Christmas tree, luxurious festive hampers or delivery of wine and Champagne. You can also book baking lessons and even a virtual visit from Santa himself. Onefinestay will organise all of this for you, so all you need to worry about is packing your bags.
These are the houses we’d love to wake up in this Christmas...
Gerald Road II, Belgravia
Sleeps 6 (3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms)
Serenity and space, within a 10-minute stroll of lovely, lively Sloane Street – what more could you want? Belgravia is the epitome of elegant London, dotted with charming cafes, pretty boutiques and neighbourhood restaurants, but we bet you won’t want to leave the light and bright confines of Gerald Road II. Guests can enjoy each other’s company in the living room, open-plan dining room/kitchen or out on the plant-filled terrace, wrapped up warm, before retreating to one of three bedrooms; with their own en-suites, they each have their own level for maximum nocturnal privacy. Admire classic decor and neutral tones punctuated with colourful, modern furnishings and art while a onefinestay chef cooks up a storm.
St Luke’s Street V, Chelsea
Sleeps 4 (2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms)
Equidistant from Sloane Square and South Kensington, we suggest going for an evening wander to enjoy the Christmas lights in the vicinity of St Luke’s Street before retreating for a flute of champagne – onefinestay can either recommend the beverages that are to be ordered in for your festive stay or be led by your preferences – and supper at your temporary home. For the most part the house is subtly stylish but, in the open-plan living area, vibrant artworks – ranging from a city-themed canvas to rainbow-painted ornamental plates – make quite a statement. The four of you will have plenty of space to unwrap all the presents you’ve snapped up on the King’s Road, Sloane Street and Fulham Road.
Hillgate Place, Notting Hill
Sleeps 4/5 (3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms)
This charming townhouse is all enveloping in its cosy homeliness, with a working fireplace, floral curtains and wooden furnishings. At Christmas, more than ever, the kitchen and dining room are the beating heart of any home, and this open-plan one is ‘sprucely, spaciously modern’. Order a pre-decorated Christmas tree – watch the kids’ faces light up when you walk in – or delight them even further with a virtual visit from Father Christmas, both of which can be organised by onefinestay. Children over the age of 6 are welcome – and since photos were taken, the bedroom with the bunk bed also has another child-sized bed. Perfect for festive sleepovers!
Hyde Park Gate II, Kensington
Sleeps 7/8 (4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms)
This grand property has an enviable location, situated on the fourth floor of Hyde Park Gate, which is just a stone’s throw from the beautiful Kensington Gardens and world-famous Royal Albert Hall. Its decadent decor – think antiques, gilded tables, oil paintings and ornaments – is perfect for Christmas, especially the jewel-red and gold palette of the lofty, open-plan living area (an Insta-ready festive backdrop if ever there was one). The master bedroom has a super king size bed bedecked in yellow silks, while the other rooms boast a king size bed, two doubles and a bunk bed. Speak to the onefinestay about the best restaurants in the area, or stay in and work your way through a luxury festive hamper.
Chiddingstone Street, Fulham
Sleeps 8/9 (4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms)
If there are disputes about whether to watch the Queen’s speech, Strictly or Elf for the hundredth time, you can retreat to the second, or indeed third, sitting room to enjoy your festive favourites in peace. This four-bed, four-floor home is in a lovely corner of Parson’s Green but we don’t think you’ll want to go out. There’s a huge kitchen with a wine fridge, big ovens and capacious-looking fridge so whether you’re cooking Christmas lunch yourself or requesting that someone else does the hard work, you’ll have all the space you need. Note that toddlers are not allowed in this super-smart, cool house (reader, I have one myself and fully understand this stipulation!) and that you may need to draw straws for the awesome master bedroom, complete with free-standing roll-top bath. Also of note: a spectacular cobalt-and-gold coffee table you’ll want to take home with you.
Kinnerton Street, Belgravia
Sleeps 6 (3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms)
What better than a walk around the Serpentine on Christmas Day? Kinnerton Street is just minutes away from Hyde Park so you can easily pop out for a walk or some shopping (Harrods, here we come) to work up an appetite for the festive feast awaiting you back in your London bolthole. This Kinnerton Street house is spread over four floors, replete with caramel and cream, wood panels and cuddly textiles, so the six of you will have plenty of space. The sitting room has a working fireplace – such a bonus at Christmas – and the pretty, light-filled conservatory, in which you could open presents or enjoy (many) a cup of coffee or glass of wine, has a charming red and white tiled floor.
Cockspur Street, Covent Garden
Sleeps 4 (2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms)
This remarkable home on the fifth floor, just two minutes’ walk from Trafalgar Square, has an intriguing backstory. Once you know it was a members’ club within a Norwegian embassy, the sizeable beams, stone fireplace and oak panelled walls make even more sense, given a contemporary touch thanks to modern upholstery and nature-inspired paintings. Yes there’s a strong sense of history – many a fascinating discussion must have happened here – but elements such as walk-in showers and the comfiest of beds add a 2020 touch of luxury. It’s also in the perfect location to explore this corner of London at its most peaceful.
Christmas and New Year are going to be different this year, which is every reason to do something different; there has never been a better time for a staycation.
For more information or to book, call +44 20 3871 8650 or visit onefinestay.com