London, United Kingdom

Blakes Hotel

Rates from (inc tax)$344.02

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next {dayrange} days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP312.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Orient excess

Setting

Secluded SW7

It’s all about modern decadence at Anouska Hempel’s Blakes hotel in South Kensington, one of London’s (and the world’s) first boutique luxury hotels. Each room has a different look, but they’re all inspired by the exotic luxury of different far-flung lands, such as Russia, India and Turkey. The décor is a museum of Ms Hempel’s exquisite taste and attention to detail.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Blakes truffles and free Continental breakfast throughout your stay

Facilities

Photos Blakes Hotel – London – United Kingdom

Need to know

Rooms

47.

Check–Out

Midday, but flexible (subject to availability).

Rates

Double rooms from $344.02 (£260), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next {dayrange} days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP312.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates exclude breakfast.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout. Massage and therapy room with a full range of treatments (book in advance) and gym. In rooms: Bang & Olufsen flatscreen TV, iPod dock and desk.

Our favourite rooms

The Corfu Suite, which you enter from the garden; the Cardinal Suite (all in luscious reds); the Empress Josephine Suite with tented bed and a rich colour scheme of ebony and gold. If you're a book lover, try the grandiose librarian suite. The following room types sparkle from recent refurbishments: the Parisian Single, Luxury Double, Director's Double and Luxury Suite.

Packing tips

Nothing practical.

Also

Every guest receives a welcome drink on arrival.

Children

Children very welcome; babysitters and nannies available on request.

Food and Drink

Photos Blakes Hotel – London – United Kingdom

At the hotel

All meals are served in the Anouska Hempel-designed eatery on the ground floor. Its sleekly outfitted in black and gold, in keeping with the designer's theatrical suites, and an organic Mediterranean menu is served. 

At the bar

A grand central bar ties together the hotel's Anouska Hempel-designed restaurant, where guests can order from a list of handpicked wines and cocktails. Try a Chai Tea Martini or an Amalfi lemon-infused Love Pancakes cocktail.

Last orders

10:45pm in the restaurant. You can also order from the room-service menu and eat in the Chinese Room (also known as Opium Den) 24 hours a day.

Room service

Order anything from breakfast to late night dessert and drinks from the room service menu any time of the day or night.

Location

Photos Blakes Hotel – London – United Kingdom
Address
Blakes Hotel
33 Roland Gardens,
SW7 3PF
London
United Kingdom

Planes

The nearest airport is London Heathrow, officially only 30 minutes by car from the hotel's Kensington setting. From London Gatwick, it'll take about an hour. The Heathrow Express train takes you into central London every 15 minutes.

Trains

Gloucester Road and South Kensington (both on the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines) are the nearest Tube stations. The hotel is 10 minutes from London Paddington overground station (which you can reach from Heathrow using the Heathrow Express train), and 20 minutes from Waterloo.

Automobiles

Stay on the M4 until it becomes the A4 and you get close to somewhere resembling the bright lights of the city; then head in on the A3220 until you can switch to the Old Brompton Road and the hotel won't be far.

Worth getting out of bed for

The Royal Albert Hall (+44 (0)20 7589 8212; www.royalalberthall.com). Shopping in Chelsea and Knightsbridge. UGC Fulham Cinema, a two-minute walk away. Kensington Palace. Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens (+44 (0)20 7402 6075; www.serpentinegallery.org) holds free exhibitions.

Local restaurants

Zuma (+44 (0)20 7584 1010) for outstanding Japanese. Mao Tai (+44 (0)20 7731 2520) for mouthwatering Chinese in a contemporary setting. San Lorenzo (+44 (0)20 7584 1074) for Italian in Knightsbridge. A cab ride over the river takes you to Chez Bruce (+44 (0)20 8672 0114) for fine dining, and Ransome’s Dock (+44 (0)20 7223 1611) for Modern European. Both have outstanding wine lists. Pickled herring with cheese or Swedish meatballs with lingonberries and pickled cucumber isn't your usual pub fodder in Chelsea, but thanks to a Scandinavian overhaul, the Phene Arms on Phene Street SW3 (+44 (0)20 7352 3294) is a refreshing option for lunch or dinner. The grazing menu at 1880 at the Bentley on Harrington Gardens, SW7 (+44 (0)20 7244 5555) is well worth parking up for; they range from six courses at £40 a head, to nine courses at £48 a head. Sherry and ham take centre stage at Capote y Toros, at 157 Old Brompton Road (+44 (0)20 7373 0567). There’s a well-curated wine list and inventive small plates such as lamb sweetbreads and fresh garlic-infused artichokes mixed with mushrooms. Walls are lined with photos of bullfighters and candid family snaps.

Local cafés

The legendary Kebab Kid for a midnight feast on the New King’s Road. And for an afternoon tea of thinly cut sandwiches, scones, jam and clotted cream, why not visit the Ritz (www.theritzhotel.co.uk/tea)?

Local bars

The Collection restaurant (+44 (0)20 7225 1212) for expert cocktails. Bardot (+44 (0)20 7351 1711), a small but perfectly formed designer bar. K-Bar (+44 (0)20 7352 6200) for drinks and dancing in Chelsea. The Ifield (+44 (0)20 7351 4900), a stylish pub with good food. The Chelsea Ram (+44 (0)20 7351 4008) for a lazy Sunday lunch. Cooper’s Arms (+44 (0)20 7376 3120) for a pie and a pint. The Thomas Cubitt, on Elizabeth Street in Belgravia (+44 (0)20 7730 6060), has the best of both worlds with a cosy bar, as well as a stylish dining room serving excellent dishes.

Reviews

Photos Blakes Hotel – London – United Kingdom

Anonymous review

Blakes – the very name conjures up a whole era of modern London decadence. The first time I visited Anouska Hempel’s South Ken boutique hotel, it was to interview a famous film director who had decided to take a suite, with his glamorous girlfriend, for the filming of his new movie. The shoot ended up dragging on, unsurprisingly, for more than six months. I remember thinking what an indulgent gesture this was, but how he couldn’t have bettered his choice. From the moment you walk up the steps into reception (the subtle oriental decor sets the tone for the whole hotel), Blakes whispers seductively: prepare to be seriously spoiled.

Arriving for a weekend with my boyfriend, I tried not to dwell on the enticing scenario of a six-month check-in. The receptionist barely missed a beat when we owned up to a complete lack of luggage; he kept formalities to a minimum, handed over a reassuringly old-fashioned, clunky room key, and led us through a rabbit warren of corridors and stairways to our suite.

Simply put, the rooms at Blakes are the kind you never want to leave. Each has its own style, but all are inspired by various far-off lands: Russia, India, Turkey… The decor, while perhaps a little too redolent of the Eighties for some, is testament to Ms Hempel’s impeccable taste and astonishing attention to detail. You realise very quickly how Blakes earned its crown as the sexiest place in London to spend your wedding night (Patsy and Liam are just two of the hotel’s high-profile honeymooners).

Our room, in short, screamed hedonism. For a start, the walls were black: a colour guaranteed to conjure up a James Bond feel (there is actually a suite in the hotel called the 007). And then, there was the bed. What a bed. Four-postered, festooned with burnt-orange and black drapes, and set provocatively in its own darkened niche, it oozed sex appeal all on its own. The bathroom was equally lavish, a homage to black and gilt, complete with oriental-style blinds. So cocoon-like was the whole setting that we were never quite sure what time of day it was – what more can you ask from a naughty weekend away?

There are 52 rooms at Blakes, though the super-swift service and discreet atmosphere allow you to feel as though you are the only people staying there. With a visit to the dining room, on the lower-ground floor, we saw for ourselves that there were some other guests, not to mention chic diners from the outside world. Bamboo, walls of black mirror-glass and dramatic spotlighting set a rather theatrical scene for what was a delicious supper. The menu, as one might expect, has a strong Eastern influence, but there are Western dishes, too.

We opted for the Blakes blinis with caviar, and flirted with the excellent wine list before settling for a bottle of champagne. My one reservation is that women are still given an unpriced menu, which seems slightly out of touch, and could make the experience seem sleazy rather than romantic. The corner tables are intimate, but others are better placed for people-watching opportunities. The staircase down to the restaurant is a definite focal point; try as you may to concentrate on your food or, indeed, your date, it’s impossible not to wonder just who those slim Jimmy Choo-clad ankles could belong to. The dining room is also open for breakfast, but I advise the ‘in bed’ option. Nowhere have I tasted fresher orange juice or more expertly cooked scrambled eggs.

For those who can muster up the strength to escape from Blakes’ opulent clutches, there is plenty to do in the South Kensington area. The retail extravaganza of Oxford, Regent and Bond Streets is a 20-minute cab ride away, but the more villagey area closer to hand probably gives you more flash for your cash. The chic Brompton Cross area, where Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Joseph, Paul Smith and other designer boutiques cluster around elegant restaurants such as Daphne’s and Bibendum, is a 10-minute walk away, and Harrods and Harvey Nichols are just beyond that. We decided to go for a stroll in Kensington Gardens, and popped in to see the current exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, where there are free must-see shows all year round.

There is no lavish spa here, nor any business facilities of note but then, being healthy and businesslike just isn’t the point of a hotel like Blakes. If you want to feel like a film star for a weekend, though, or like a Bond girl/007 himself, then Blakes, with its superb suites and serious service, is the place for you. If there were ever a hotel for a lost weekend, then this, most definitely, is it.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Blakes Hotel’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The service - fabulous. It's really near the Natural History and Science Museums and the V&A, and not far from the Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park.

Don’t expect

Bright lighting in Room 108 - all very dark and mysterious!

Rating

Stayed on 6 Aug 2016

We loved

Being upgraded to a large impressive suite, with superb, spacious bathroom. The staff are welcoming, the food delicious. This was our second visit and it is in a very peaceful part of London, but ideal for a short walk to the tube and four stops to the theatre.

Don’t expect

Plain, simple rooms!

Rating

Stayed on 19 Jul 2016

We loved

Beautiful and stylish rooms and very warm welcome.

Don’t expect

There wasn't a hotel restaurant at the time of our stay.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Feb 2016

We loved

The relaxed atmosphere and tranquility, and of course the luxurious suite!

Don’t expect

The same style of service as a Four Seasons.

Rating

Stayed on 29 Nov 2015

We loved

The location of the hotel was perfect for us, and it was so quiet at night. The room was lovely, and the bed was extremely comfortable. We visited Bibendum for lunch, which was terrific.

Don’t expect

We didn't feel pampered, but we were not expecting that anyway. We did find the lighting in the room to be really disappointing – there was nowhere to find a good light by which to put makeup on, and we also couldn't find any way to turn the lights off in the bookcase at night. When we left we were not asked if everything had been ok, which was surprising given the standard of the hotel. As we only stayed one night, we were fine about it, but I may have expected more if I was staying longer.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Oct 2015

We loved

The fabulous room was decorated in an opulent Ottoman style - we loved it. Red drapes, four poster bed and even a little balcony of our own. It's a good base to explore the nearby Science, Natural History and V & A Museums. Located between South Kensington and Gloucester Road tubes so well served for public transport.Eight out of 10.

Don’t expect

Some of the paint in the bathroom was peeling but this did not actually detract from its grand style. Our only negative was that I thought the waitress at breakfast seemed pretty clueless (as was the food). She seemed confused when we asked for the Continental breakfast and another team member had to explain what we were asking for to her then we also had to ask her twice for milk to go with our tea. The Continental breakfast itself was ample but uninspiring. The sliced bread looked to me like it had come from a packet at a discounter supermarket; in my opinion the jams and marmalade also looked cheap, and I personally didn't think they tasted great either.

Rating

Stayed on 3 Oct 2015

We loved

Staff are excellent, restaurant and bar very sexy. Good for local shopping in kings road or Knightsbridge.

Don’t expect

Not suitable for children.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Jul 2015

We loved

The situation in South Kensington. The rooms are very quiet. breakfast was very good, and people very welcoming.

Don’t expect

I didn't reaaly enjoy the "all black" decoration of the room. That was pretty dark.

Rating

Stayed on 31 Jan 2015