London, United Kingdom

The Cranley Hotel

Rates from (inc tax)$120.08

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 (GBP108.90), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Genteel Georgian

Setting

A meander from museum-land

Perfectly placed for all of South Kensington's renowned high-end shopping and Anglo-centric sightseeing, the Cranley Hotel is a genteel London home-base. The interiors of this handsome Georgian townhouse are all decked out in Regency colours and mahogany antiques; each historic room is distinctive, though all feature hand-embroidered linens. There may be no official restaurant, but a very good all-day room service menu, as well as complimentary canapés and champagne served in the evening, supplement the neighbourhood's excellent dining options.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A gift box from local cupcake boutique, the Hummingbird Bakery

Facilities

Photos The Cranley hotel – London – United Kingdom

Need to know

Rooms

39, including a Junior and a Penthouse suite.

Check–Out

12 noon. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $120.08 (£91), 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 (GBP108.90), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates are room only, but include a welcome drink, daily paper and glass of champagne served with canapés between 7pm and 8pm. Breakfast is £9.95 a person for Continental; £17.95 for full English (à la carte options are available, too).

Also

The Cranley's three component townhouses have had some interesting occupants since 1869, including a Crimean War General, Blitz refugees and a Notting Hill perfumer who sold his business to a certain William Penhaligon – his namesake products still sit in every bathroom. Every evening, at turn-down, a selection of home-baked treats is brought to each room.

At the hotel

Laundry, concierge, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: handmade beds, flatscreen TV, minibar, iPod dock, Penhaligon's toiletries, slippers, robes. DVD players and hairdryers on request.

Our favourite rooms

Rooms are all individually decorated in Regency colourways and focus on dreamy Beaudesert beds dressed with creamy, hand-embroidered linens, and a judicious smattering of quaint period pieces. We like all the Executive doubles, especially plum-hued Executive 307, a street-facing room with twin sinks and a walk-in wardrobe; bright, high-ceilinged Four-Poster Deluxe room 107 for sense of space; and the Four-posters, with high ceilings, Frette-dressed beds and bay windows overlooking Bina Gardens. Book the Penthouse and you can peer across rooftops from Imperial College to Big Ben.

Packing tips

Slippers, robes, brollies: all things you don't need to bring with you.

Also

In-room spa and beauty treatments can be arranged, and if you can't do without your daily training fix, the hotel can hook you up with a local gym. Guide dogs only, by prior arrangement; the hotel is non-smoking.

Children

Welcome. Cots (free) and extra beds (£40 a night) for children under 12 can be added to larger room categories (Executive and above); some rooms interconnect. Babysitting can be booked from £12–£30 an hour (minimum four hours).

Food and Drink

Photos The Cranley hotel – London – United Kingdom

At the hotel

There's no restaurant, but you can order dinner for your room, tea in the lounge or breakfast in bed.

At the bar

No bar, but you can have drinks in the lounge or in your room; all guests are offered champagne and canapés from 7pm–8pm every evening. Snuggle up on the fireside settee for a nightcap after an evening out.

Last orders

There's an honesty bar set up in the lounge, and there's almost always someone at reception on hand to pour you a drink. Otherwise your minibar is open all night.

Room service

For a hotel with no dining room or restaurant, the Cranley has a surprisingly good room-service selection on its round-the-clock menu. There are no tea-making facilities in rooms, though, so you'll have to order up hot drinks.

Location

Photos The Cranley hotel – London – United Kingdom
Address
The Cranley Hotel
10 Bina Gardens, South Kensington
SW5 0LA
London
United Kingdom

Planes

London Heathrow is only 15 miles away (about 25 minutes by car on a good day). Gatwick airport is also convenient, either by car (45 minutes' drive; £85 in a taxi) or by train: the Gatwick Express leaves every 15 minutes and will whisk you straight to Victoria train station in just half an hour.

Trains

Less than 10 minutes away by car, Victoria station is a major transport hub, with a Tube station and local and intercity connections by rail or coach. Gloucester Road Tube station is only a few minutes' walk away, with South Kensington and Earl's Court close by, too.

Automobiles

You're better off without a car in London, but if you're bringing your wheels, there's metered car by the hotel as well as resident bays; there is also 24-hour parking two minutes' walk away at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, which costs around £37 a day.

Worth getting out of bed for

Here in South Kensington, you're close to the Natural History Museum, the Royal Albert Hall, the Science Museum and the wonderful V&A, as well as Kensington Palace and Hyde Park, where you can also visit the Serpentine Gallery's free exhibitions(+44 (0)20 7402 6075; www.serpentinegallery.org). There's swanky shopping galore, too, with Old Brompton Road and Knightsbridge nearby – so you can get Harrods ticked off your shopping to-do list. If you want to catch a West End show or explore Covent Garden's boutiques and markets, they're only a short Tube ride away.

Local restaurants

Cambio de Tercio on Old Brompton Road (+44 (0)20 7244 8970) does Modern Spanish food served with imaginative El Bulli-nodding spin in a quirky-smart colour-blasted space. Progress from salted Galician Padròn peppers via Spanish salt cod served with orange 'air' to red-wine caramelised oxtail accompanied by apple textures. Venerable Courtfield Road curry house Bombay Brasserie (+44 (0)20 7370 4040), now in its 30th year, still creates cosmopolitan Indian food with zeal. Go for the lunchtime Tiffin menus or have Indian-style tapas and cocktails in the bar – the Tamarind-infused Bombay Breeze is a must-try. Casa Brindisa at 7–9 Exhibition Road (+44 (0)20 7590 0008) is the perfect late-lunch pitstop en route to or from South Kensington's museums: it's a deli-style Ibérico ham carvery, tapas bar and sherry shack in one, with a nibbly menu of Med-coast morsels.

Local cafés

One of the first and best cupcake-craze cheerleaders, the tiny Hummingbird Bakery at 47 Old Brompton Road (+44 (0)20 7851 1795) crafts pretty, sparkly, butter-cream-swirled confections to eat in or take away. For reluctant companions, there are other sweet offerings, including cakes, brownies and 'whoopie' pies.

Local bars

The younger-spirited sister and neighbour of Asian-fusion big boy L'etranger, Meursault on Gloucester Road (+44 (0)20 7584 9719) is somewhere to soak up well-crafted cocktails with sharing platters of caviar. There's a restaurant too, if you want to eat something proper before sampling the 'molecular mixology': the menu includes a trio of liquid-nitrogen-crumbled sorbet mojitos.

Reviews

Photos The Cranley hotel – London – United Kingdom

Anonymous review

‘We don’t have far to walk for dinner, do we?’ asks Mrs Smith as she climbs out of heels that have spent the afternoon punishing the pavements of Kensington and Chelsea. We have retreated to the safe tranquility of our comfy room at the Cranley hotel, beaten back by the retail forces of the Fulham Road, at considerable podiatric cost. The Cranley is perfectly placed within this London borough, with its galleries and museums, parks and gardens and river all close by. And the shops. Good God, the shops.

‘Well, I’ve already booked our table for tonight,’ I reply, having figured out my ruse on the walk back down Bina Gardens. ‘And it’s this one,’ I say, tapping the mahogany of the grand circular table nestled in the bay window of this Victorian townhouse. Mrs Smith surveys this room that distinctly doffs its cap to the Regency era and squeals with delight. It is feet-up, hotel-slippers-on time for these Smiths, for the rest of the evening.

The Cranley doesn’t have a restaurant as such. They have turned that into a positive, and cheery staff and an obliging kitchen can turn out quintessential British dishes (roast beef; fish and chips; afternoon tea) to enjoy in the lounge or in your own quarters. The extensive in-room information pack also carries recommendations for restaurants in the area, but room service works just fine for us. You see, Mrs Smith and I are using this weekend break to relax, unwind and escape the varying demands of the four Smith progeny. Did I say escape? I meant ‘evade’. Evade? Ahem. I mean ‘miss terribly’.

Londoners by birth, and northerners for a long time since, we’re tourists in our hometown which lends an enticing, nefarious dynamic: we’re hiding our heads under the luxurious duvet in this Kensington bolthole, having made none of our friends and family aware of our visit south. The Cranley itself shares a similar heritage. The 60-acre Gunter estate was originally purchased by another displaced northerner – a Yorkshire landowner – in the 1790s, when it was used for horticulture (rather than the haughty couture the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea now makes a specialty). It was the eldest son, Robert, who founded Messrs Gunter in Berkeley Square, once as famous a food emporium as the nearby cornershop, Harrods. The coming of the railway turned the Gunters into property developers in the 1860s and the Cranley Hotel is formed from house numbers 8, 10 and 12 Bina Gardens.

As we wait for dinner to arrive, Mrs Smith attends to her evening ablutions in the elegant, period-styled bathroom, and yelps upon uncovering the toiletries – the Blenheim Bouquet perfume from Penhaligon’s. ‘Darling, you do realise that a previous owner of this very house, one Robert Moggridge, actually ran a perfumery in Notting Hill?’ I casually remark through the bathroom door. ‘Which he sold to William Penhaligon, who was a Cornishman of course…’ Mrs Smith has emerged from the bathroom befuddled by my sudden professorship in British history, only to discover me leafing through the hotel’s literature. Busted.

Back to the toiletries. Posh potions are usually a good indicator of a bunk-up’s attention to detail and here at the Cranley, along with the tasteful decor, they betray just that. Along with the welcoming open fire in reception and Chinese-blue walls, Benninson-clad cushion-scattered settees and Georgian chandelier of the downstairs drawing room. As for our high-ceilinged boudoir: the heavy curtains, purple tones and a bespoke four-poster Beaudesert bed you need a stepladder to scale, all confirms that this is somewhere where the devil is in the detail. Even the lift here is elegantly hidden, Scooby Doo style, resembling the insides of a Queen Anne cabinet.

Our uncharacteristically elastic, childfree weekend is spent simply mooching around our temporary London locale, letting the changing of traffic lights or the whim of an interesting pedestrian dictate our direction. The area is full of striking Victorian architecture, these proud buildings adorned with blue plaques that loudly drop names such as Rossetti, Oscar Wilde and George Elliot. We crisscross the River Thames, heading over Battersea Bridge and back over eccentric Albert Bridge, then via antique markets, old bookshops and charity stores (Kensington cast-offs are not to be sniffed at). We meander along the Kings Road, pop into the Saatchi Gallery and wind up at the Chelsea Physic Garden, close to where the Chelsea Pensioners reside (no, not Frank Lampard). We spread out in a local hostelry with pints and the papers, people-watching local chaps in their crisp shirts and khaki shorts.

Back at the Cranley, our bed has been turned down and fresh water and cakes provided. We accept an invitation to step onto the hotel’s terrace to enjoy complimentary champers and canapés, then retreat to our room, to hide back under that duvet. Deep in the velvet quiet of the night, I strain to hear the ghosts of the blue plaques pull free of their portico prisons to stalk the wide streets of Kensington – Thomas Carlyle, Bram Stoker, Mark Twain, Mick Jagger (though not technically dead yet) – have all been local characters. These are the personalities with whom we share this perfect weekend, enjoying a window into a world of Bentley magazines and The Daily Mail, of bubbly and amuse-bouches on the terrace of our SW5 des res.

After saying farewell, we extend the fantasy by upgrading to first class on the train home, grazing on a posh picnic of Belgian chocolates, fine wine and Hummingbird cupcakes given to us as Mr & Mrs Smith members. We polish it all off just as the train pulls into Stockport station… recharged for an extended period back in the very loveable brand of chaos that we call home.
 

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 The Cranley Hotel’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The handy location for getting in out of the centre of London and the fabulously attentive staff. Go to Ricardo's on Fulham Road for a long lunch!

Don’t expect

The air conditioning to work all the time

Rating

Stayed on 8 Jul 2016

We loved

Fantastic room - we had a lovely free upgrade to a suite for our stay! Hotel staff were first class and kept our room available so my husband could shower post London Marathon. Easy walk to Gloucester Road tube - quiet, smart location.

Don’t expect

Restaurant but room service was excellent - evening meal was really good. Sadly no tea or coffee making facilities in the room despite a fridge!

Rating

Stayed on 23 Apr 2016

We loved

The staff are very friendly and helpful, the location is excellent. Housekeeping kept the room neat everyday. Cake and lemon water always served in the lobby for the guests.

Don’t expect

In my opinion rooms are extremely small, a bit tired and need refurbishment, old property so could hear the footsteps of people up and down the stairs. Stained carpeting in my room and a burn in the curtain (room 103).

Rating

Stayed on 22 Apr 2016

We loved

The location, just a short walk from the fabulous cafes and bistros in South Kensington, and an easy walk to the museums. Gloucester Road tube on the doorstep which being on the circle line takes you all round London. Lovely rooms, really comfy bed and Penhaligon toiletries.

Don’t expect

No in room tea/coffee facilities - a bit irritating. The shower head was very small and there was no body lotion in the room.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Mar 2016

We loved

The location – not slap bang in the centre, but still only a short walk from all of the major destinations (tourist and local) in South West London. The hotel itself was perfect, lovely room with everything we needed for a city break where we were out for the majority of the stay.

Don’t expect

The full set of amenities you'd expect at a larger hotel, but that's not why you stay at the Cranley.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Feb 2016

We loved

Staff were amazing. Very friendly and helpful. Great location.

Don’t expect

Recently renovated rooms.

Rating

Stayed on 5 Feb 2016

We loved

The charming and attentive staff, plus the complimentary drinks and canapés.

Don’t expect

A spa or a restaurant, but that's not a problem when there are so many amenities nearby.

Rating

Stayed on 31 Jan 2016

We loved

Decor, quiet and location!

Don’t expect

The hotel to be somewhere you can spend your day indoors.

Rating

Stayed on 29 Jan 2016

We loved

The area was great for the tube to get into the hub of London, but also lovely to get back to for a bit of rest and relaxation.

Don’t expect

Restaurant or breakfast room.

Rating

Stayed on 29 Jan 2016

We loved

The homely feel and great service.

Don’t expect

Modern decor.

Rating

Stayed on 29 Jan 2016

We loved

The staff, good sized room and the close proximity to Kings road and the tube.

Don’t expect

Breakfast in a dining room: it's served either in your room or the hotel lobby.

Rating

Stayed on 23 Jan 2016

We loved

Really lovely hotel, great staff and lovely service!

Don’t expect

Doesn't have a dedicated dining room, but we had a lovely breakfast in the foyer so don't let that put you off!

Rating

Stayed on 6 Jan 2016

We loved

The peace and quiet, despite being in London. The comfy bed. Ease of finding the hotel.

Don’t expect

Butter with your breakfast toast!

Rating

Stayed on 2 Dec 2015

We loved

Friendly, warm, good location, and nice amenities.

Don’t expect

Consistent climate control, althought the problem is being addressed.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Nov 2015

We loved

The honesty bar and home-baked treats (like brownies!)

Don’t expect

Masses of facilities; this is compact

Rating

Stayed on 8 Nov 2015

We loved

Lovely, personal, intimate hotel - makes for a really refreshing change from the large, chain hotels. Beautiful, romantic room and breakfast in bed. Staff were great. We also got a free upgrade to a four-poster room by the hotel. We will definitely return. Everything was perfect!

Rating

Stayed on 7 Nov 2015

We loved

Complimentary cup of tea on arrival - helpful staff. Great for local restaurants etc.

Don’t expect

We had to prop the internal door open with a heavy chair - not much to moan about!

Rating

Stayed on 25 Oct 2015

We loved

Always a very warm welcome and immediate cosy/homy feeling. Nice (and welcome!) upgrade to a 4 poster-bedroom. Also, there's a very good indian restaurant (2 doors away). Absolutely not welcoming (dreadful actually!) but excellent food...

Don’t expect

Fine dining

Rating

Stayed on 16 Oct 2015

We loved

The room, the nespresso facilities and the lobby. Eight out of 10.

Don’t expect

Too much simpathy from the staff at the reception.

Rating

Stayed on 10 Sep 2015

We loved

Very friendly and helpful staff.

Don’t expect

The Smith extra never happened.

Rating

Stayed on 28 Aug 2015

We loved

Everthing - the room, the service.

Don’t expect

Fine dining.

Rating

Stayed on 22 Aug 2015

We loved

The location, the decor, the friendliness of the staff.

Don’t expect

No spa or gym but the staff are happy to recommend places nearby for everything and we knew it didn't have one when we booked it.

Rating

Stayed on 1 Aug 2015

We loved

Quiet area for central London. Good lobby area with comfortable sofas where you really can sit without feeling you are in the middle of a hotel.

Don’t expect

I felt our particular room was shabby, small and in need of renovation. We were moved, with the assistance of Mr & Mrs Smith, to a room much more in keeping with the publicity for the hotel.

Rating

Stayed on 16 Jul 2015

We loved

The location and the old feature of the hotel!

Don’t expect

A big hotel including big reception or large bathrooms, but had everything what we needed. Maybe bring your own hairdryer.

Rating

Stayed on 25 Jun 2015

We loved

The feeling of staying in a Kensington townhouse, great location, the personal touches and very friendly staff. The air-con was broken in our room and when we insisted this was a deal-breaker for us, they gave us a different room, upgraded us, and the excellent housekeeping staff moved our belongings while we were out (with our permission of course) -what amazing service and gesture. We stayed for almost a week and loved it.

Don’t expect

Lots of options for room-service as they have no restaurant on site, but with such a great location there is so many places to eat. Also, you can always use deliveroo for a cheeky take-out in your room if your feet are weary.

Rating

Stayed on 3 Jun 2015

We loved

The location and the staff.

Don’t expect

Full hotel amenities on-site. Decor could do with a little refresher.

Rating

Stayed on 5 Mar 2015

We loved

I only stayed one night but liked the intimacy of the hotel, the personal treatment, the cleanliness and also the location.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Sep 2014

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