Friday, March 15, 2013

The Draycott: Five-Star Luxury on Cadogan Gardens

Occupying three lovingly restored Edwardian homes in the exclusive enclave of Chelsea and Knightsbridge, The Draycott epitomises the grandeur of old-world luxury. Hidden away down a leafy road in one of London’s most glamorous neighbourhoods and around the corner from Sloane Square, it's my favourite place to stay when I'm in London. Steeped in Edwardian splendour, each room is private, discreet and theatrically themed and adorned with Victorian antiques containing something of its theatrical namesake, such as prints, posters, photographs or miniature biographies. 

A selection of novels and travel books are nestled in every guest's room 
for their reading pleasure — in this case, The Noel Coward Suite!

The Ashcroft Suite

The Sheridan Suite

The Grenfell Suite

Many of the suites having their own cosy fireplace with gorgeous views of the tranquil private interior garden to which guests have exclusive access. With a strong emphasis on service, personal touches such as complimentary tea and homemade biscuits at 4:00pm, champagne at 6:00pm, hot chocolate before bed and a teddy bear nestled on every bed, further add to the hotels old world charm. In fact, staying at The Draycott doesn't feel like you're staying at a hotel at all, but rather like you're a privileged guest in an elegant country home, it feels so wonderfully intimate, inviting and comfortable, unlike a ‘traditional’ hotel experience. All the rooms have complimentary handmade shortbreads or English traditional sweets on arrival. 

In every room there's a Draycott teddy bear, smiling at you from the bed 
and resting against a mountain of down-filled pillows

The Draycott Library, a perfect place for a complimentary glass of champagne at 6pm

Originally built in 1889, the three neighbouring properties were extensively renovated under the watchful eye of famed interior designer, Rupert Lord. Owned for centuries by the Earl of Cadogan, the property was first constructed for Mrs Wyndham King. Further down the line, the property became the Chelsea Malcolm Club, which provided a home for the junior officers of the RAF when on leave in London during the 1950s. Following this, The Draycott was taken over by Cliveden to be the city equivalent of Cliveden House in Berkshire, so it was literally meant to be the embodiment of a country hotel in the city.

Detail in Nina Campbell's newly refurbished lounge

In 2003, Mantis took over the property and renamed it The Draycott Hotel while maintaining the charm of Cliveden House and ensuring the hotel remained a genuine ‘home away from home’. More recently, The Draycott's been gradually improving the property and just this year, Nina Campbell, one of the world’s most respected and influential interior designers, recently finished the redesign of the Draycott Hotel’s sitting room. Using lots of the Nina Campbell furniture and fabric from the collections Montacute, Paradiso and Sylvana, Nina has managed to create a relaxed atmosphere for Draycott guests to enjoy their afternoon tea. Next on the list — the breakfast room and the CS Lewis suite.

Nina Campbell’s 2012 refurbishment of The Draycott Sitting Room

Nina Campbell, one of the world’s most respected and influential interior designers

Complimentary afternoon tea at The Draycott

An enormous arrangement of fragrant lilies grace a table in the sitting room

The Draycott breakfast room

Elegant, sophisticated and luxuriously furnished, The Draycott is a timeless classic in a world of modern anonymity. Blessed with an enviable location, The Draycott is just a short walk to Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Peter Jones as well as the Saatchi Gallery, Buckingham Palace, Cadogan Hall and the National Science and History Museums, making it one of London’s best kept secrets. 

The Draycott Reception is tucked away in a small landing

An old-world wooden Guest Board announces whether you've 
stepped out or are 'at home'

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