Fancy a weekend break in London but don't want to stay in the centre? Try the brand new DoubleTree by Hilton in waterside suburb Kingston, for the best of both worlds

With a name like Hilton, you know a certain degree of quality and comfort's guaranteed, but big chains can be a little lacklustre when it comes to decor and those little touches that elevate a stay from simply being 'somewhere nice to sleep' to a more 360 'experience'.

The new four-star Doubletree by Hilton in Kingston-upon-Thames marries chain value and consistency with a generous dose of boutique style; floor-to-ceiling windows throw big beams of natural light across the lobby, lounge and restaurant area, enhancing the 'cool urban loft' feel of the 'industrial chic' decor. A creamy colour palette, with lots of rich woods and copper and teal accents, combined with a hint of Art Deco-meets-mid-century in the furniture and fittings, means it all feels inviting and warm, rather than cold and stark, and it works a treat. Look out for little details in homage to local hero Harry Hawker, whose 1920s aviation company designed the famous Hawker Harrier Jump Jet.

There are 146 bedrooms, including 'Superior' rooms, three junior suites and three twin queen bed 'Deluxe' rooms, plus wheelchair accessible twins and doubles. Even on the seventh floor, attention to decor detail is maintained throughout (no nondescript corridors in sight); patterned carpets, dark wood desks, copper fixtures and marble-effect copper-rimmed side tables give rooms a pleasing timeless-yet-contemporary feel too, while crisp white linen and deluxe bedding - the sort of pillows and mattress you'll wish you could take home with you - promise a great night's sleep. There are also roomy walk-in showers, big Smart TVs, tea/coffee facilities, adjustable thermostats and free Wi-Fi.

Care has clearly been taken to ensure the menu at Hawkers Bar and Brasserie reflects the feel of the hotel's decor and ambience, with an artfully curated yet crowd-pleasing choice of 18-hour slow-roasted lamb pie, Coley-battered fish and chips, blackened sea bass and steak (go for the triple-cooked chips, you won't be sorry...), to highlight a few. Carpaccio, mackerel ceviche, and a trio of scallops with pea puree, are among the choice of starters, and there's a Chef's Table that can be booked for private events.

But before tucking in, don't overlook the choice of aperitifs, whose intriguing names and ingredients - our favourite is 'The Aviator'; Kingston's own Beckett's gin, fresh lemon, creme de violette, maraschino liqueur and sugar, billed as, 'The only gin in the world distilled with British juniper and mint' - sum up the gourmet-meets-comfort-with-a-twist vibe.

Not sure what to choose for dessert? The chocolate fondant is the stuff of melt-in-the-middle dreams, and the attentive staff will make sure your glass never stays empty for long.

Breakfast is also served in Hawkers; a well-stocked buffet with fresh bakes, fruit, cereals, continental-style titbits and full English options (complete with juicy sausages and just-right scrambled eggs). The chefs will whip up omelettes and Eggs Benedict and happily try to accommodate other requests too.

Merlin Ramos, a local lad and artist who's gone on to work as a sommelier in Michelin-starred restaurants, has returned to Kingston to help lead the Hawkers team, and his passion for food and drink really shines. He'll happily fill you in on the inspiration and stories behind each dish, cocktail and wine (and quite possibly make you want to try them all in the process).

If you're venturing into the capital the heart of the city's just a 25-minute train ride away. There are also plenty of buses to nearby areas - (hike along the river if you're feeling energetic, or take the scenic route with a river boat cruise) - including the famous Kew Gardens and beautiful Richmond Park.

Though if you just fancy a getaway in Kingston-upon-Thames itself, there's plenty going on, with decent retail therapy on offer at Kingston's Bentall Centre and surrounding streets and fantastic walks and parks minutes from the hotel. Grab an ice cream and amble along the leafy river paths, picnic on the banks and watch the boats roll by, or pop over Kingston Bridge to visit Hampton Court Palace. When the sun's out, the riverside pubs and restaurants are soon buzzing. The Boaters Inn does a great Sunday roast - but book ahead, or get there early to nab a table outside, to avoid disappointment.

Double bedrooms start from £109 per night with breakfast, based on two people sharing (and £159 for high season). Visit