Travel

Chelsea Hotels

Establishment neighborhood
Belmond Cadogan Hotel
75 Sloane St., Chelsea
Knightsbridge is not short on formal hotels that could be mistaken for mausoleums. Walking down toward Chelsea several weeks back, we noticed a flurry of activity on the moneyed Queen Anne–style intersection of Pont and Sloane Street and stopped to take a peek. The Belmond Cadogan was closed for a four-year renovation, and each one of those 1,460 days was entirely worth it. Basement to rooftop, every polished corner is considered. From a literary perspective, the property is iconic—Oscar Wilde was arrested here—and each guest room contains its own mini library curated by John Sandoe books just down the street. If you’re going to splurge on a suite, do it here. The Penthouse Suite sits at the tip-top of the property, which means that aside from being the most gorgeously outfitted room we’ve seen recently—fireplaces, custom artworks, a bathroom the size of most bungalows—its outdoor terrace has a view of London most people never get to see. Locals have already adopted the bar as their own, which lends a convivial buzz to the place. But the best entertainment is the hotel itself—just walk around and take in the myriad…
11 Cadogan Gardens
11 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea
Near the posh shopping area of Sloane Square and occupying a series of Victorian townhouses, this small hotel in Chelsea offers some truly attractive communal areas. And you don’t have to be a guest to use them. There’s a small, clubby bar full of leather chairs and dark, moody lighting for an early-evening drink (or to escape the London drizzle). Our favorite spot, though, is the library. Dreamily quiet, its walls lined with old books and its tables stacked with newspapers, it’s a proper oasis for the freelancer or aspiring novelist—especially with a pot (and then another) of English breakfast tea. For those looking to sleepover, guestrooms are a lesson in English elegance, many with roomy, four-poster beds and picturesque views of the leafy park on the adjacent quiet square.
Blakes Hotel London
33 Roland Gardens, Chelsea
For a while, Blakes was GP's home away from home in London. Touted as the "original boutique hotel," it has style and sex appeal for days while maintaining all the creature comforts (Bang & Olufsen tech, free-standing tubs) of a luxury establishment. The décor in the rooms is plush—expect lots of crushed velvet and jewel tones—and even a little bit escapist, making them ideal for a romantic night or weekend getaway. Plus, the main floor now boasts a sunny dining room, while the bar downstairs has undergone a classy refurb. This spot is as much of a sleek hideaway as it ever was.
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