The Berkeley - attracting the right sort of chicks

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24 October 2012

The Berkeley in London is close to Hyde Park, which means that it is a great place from which to observe birds, while you're not enjoying its prestige dining, or you're just relaxing in your guestroom. The hotel has just inaugurated a series of Balcony Rooms designed by Robert Angeli, each of which has a terrace. To encourage the arrival of a better class of birds, the hotel asked Sparrow & Finch, purveyors of luxury birdhouses and other garden products, to create a bespoke birdhouse for the terraces. The result is a two-storey birdhouse, with colours that complement the interiors of the Balcony Rooms, and a cedar roof with a copper ridge that will become progressively more attractive with age.

The birdhouses are made thinking of smaller birds such as sparrows and bluetits, giving them protection from their predators which include magpies and crows. The Berkeley birdhouse can be purchased from Sparrow & Finch at £59.

The Balcony Rooms all have a terrace with panoramic views of London, and the birdhouses will make the location even better for ornithophiles. Already, over 180 species of birds commonly inhabit the skies around Hyde Park, including robins, sparrows, blackbirds, nightingales, turtle doves and many others. The completion of the first set of Balcony King Rooms is just the first step in a complete room refurbishment programme at The Berkeley.

The hotel offers many other memorable experiences, such as London's only rooftop pool and spa (with retractable roof for al fresco bathing in summer), the fashion-inspired afternoon tea Prêt-à-Portea with its pastries that change with the spring-summer and fall-winter collections, two-Michelin-starred restaurant Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, and Koffmann's, a restaurant by French chef Pierre Koffmann.

Below, the balcony area of The Berkeley Hotel.

Below, one of the Balcony King rooms with interiors by Robert Angeli:

Detail of the Berkeley birdhouse by Sparrow & Finch: