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11 Cado­gan Gar­dens

Per­fectly sit­u­ated, on a bliss­fully peace­ful Chelsea side-street only 200 me­tres from Sloane Square and min­utes away from some of the world’s best shop­ping, is 11 Cado­gan Gar­dens, a chic 5* bou­tique ho­tel which of­fers an op­por­tu­nity to take a 21st cen­tury taste of late 19th cen­tury, up­per-class life. Not that the ho­tel lacks con­tem­po­rary ap­peal - far from it – its 56 op­u­lent gue­strooms and suites, each unique in lay­out and dec­o­ra­tion and some with their own front door onto the pave­ment, are im­pec­ca­bly fin­ished and the ul­tra-modern mar­ble bath­rooms are heav­enly. There’s even a state-of-the-art gym! Built by Lord Chelsea in 1887, orig­i­nally as four of a block of stately town­houses, No 11 be­came the home of a ‘mem­bers only’ club, a tem­po­rary Lon­don base for the gen­try, no­bil­ity and politi­cians vis­it­ing the cap­i­tal. Amaz­ingly, this sur­vived un­til 2012 and only then did the ho­tel come about, re­tain­ing much of the char­ac­ter and charm born of its long life as a place of dis­creet he­do­nism. Light­ing is un­threat­en­ingly ‘soft’ and the sense of tra­di­tion just oozes from the chan­de­liers, the pol­ished wood and pan­elling, the many uniden­ti­fied por­traits of for­mer mem­bers (some dam­aged – pos­si­bly way­ward cham­pagne corks?), the well-stocked li­brary and lounges and the sur­vival of a nos­tal­gi­cal­ly­noisy, an­tique el­e­va­tor. Although changes are afoot, the es­sen­tial na­ture of the ho­tel will be pre­served. First-class ser­vice and at­ten­tion to guests’ sat­is­fac­tion are pri­or­i­ties, the cock­tail bar is sim­ply clas­sic and the sump­tu­ous af­ter­noon teas (with Cham­pagne ac­com­pa­ni­ment) will con­tinue to amaze and de­light – noth­ing bet­ter on a dark af­ter­noon, in front of a glow­ing open fire. Re­cently be­com­ing a mem­ber of the elite Iconic Lux­ury Ho­tels group, which in­cludes Chewton Glen, Clive­den and Ly­gon Arms, Broad­way, sym­pa­thetic en­hance­ments to all the bed­rooms and lounges are al­ready un­der way. The resur­gence of this part of Lon­don, as a leisure des­ti­na­tion, is ob­vi­ous, with in­de­pen­dent restau­rants, bars and cafes spring­ing up on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. 11 Cado­gan Gar­dens has ex­cit­ing plans to add to the mix, con­vert­ing a row of pre­vi­ously un­used garages and open­ing a top-class restau­rant, due to open in May 2018, fronting on Pavil­ion Road. Nat­u­rally, the new and ex­panded kitchens will pro­vide par­al­lel ben­e­fits for the ho­tel’s guests through im­proved res­i­dents’ din­ing fa­cil­i­ties. With Tiffany & Co just around the cor­ner and Knights­bridge wait­ing at the far end of Sloane Street, the se­cluded lo­ca­tion is un­matched. When, af­ter a well-earned rest, you wake up to bird­song, oth­er­wise leafy si­lence (in Cen­tral Lon­don!) and view the empty streets and gar­dens, you may be­gin to ap­pre­ci­ate just how spe­cial this ho­tel is. 11 Cado­gan Gar­dens, Chelsea, Lon­don SW3 2RJ

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