You know those hotels that make you feel like you’re a local in the cities you want desperately to be a local? That’s what it’s like to stay at 11 Cadogan Gardens. A short-term rental this is not, but a tony townhouse hotel in the most coveted neighborhood in London. The Chelsea property boasts bathtubs of our dreams, cozy nooks that people actually use for reading, and one of the city’s best new restaurants. Here’s our review.
Budget Level: Luxe ($300+/night)
Lodging Type: Boutique Hotel (56 rooms/25 suites)
What You Need to Know
Originally built as four townhouses by Lord Chelsea in the 19th century, the prestigious property is located on a nearly-hidden street, making it a once-popular destination for traveling Victorian aristocrats and politicians. The townhouses have since served a members-only club, and later a hotel that manages to marry elegance without an ounce of pretension. There’s a warm welcome at the check-in space, a library where you’ll find guests flipping though fashion magazines, and a beautiful bar that’s fit for afternoon tea, pre-dinner cocktails, and, most certainly, Instagram.
Upscale and in-the-know. This is the kind of place we can imagine celebs hiding away or even real-life royalty tucking in for the night. It makes sense, as the property once held court as a private club. Rooms feel as if you’re staying in a very wealthy local’s apartment. What's more, no room (or suite) is alike. The decor and furnishings feel chic and very British with pops of color, dark wood, and bold metallic finishes. It would be easy to stay put in the designer digs and never leave, but since there are loads of spaces for gathering, most people mill about, which creates a buzzy social environment.
Who Will Love It
11 Cadogan Gardens’s aesthetic and location mostly appeals to well-heeled travelers, many of whom are familiar with London and prefer to avoid the tourist sites. And while the hotel is family friendly, it’s geared mostly towards couples or adults who are here for shopping, dining, and gin-and-tonic-ing.
Who Might Not
Travelers who prefer a big-box chain with cookie-cutter rooms won’t find it here. Although there’s a gym in the basement, it’s sparse and often unused, since the city is so walkable.
The hotel’s restaurant. Hans’ Bar & Grill, a new-ish addition to the property, is one of its finest. This pretty pub is packed with locals who come in for everything from morning coffee and green juice to evening champagne celebrations. Helmed by Adam England, the atmosphere is more upscale than the name might suggest, and the salt-and-pepper squid starter, steak and salmon entrees, and daily pudding dessert can be counted as the best meal during our trip. In addition, the hotel breakfast is served here, and is equally incredible. (Try the avocado toast with a poached egg or the full English breakfast.)
When booking directly with the hotel, guests receive a full English breakfast, two-for-one cocktails at the bar, and free wifi. All rooms include a newspaper, still and sparkling water, and concierge service.
Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About
Taxes and parking is additional.
How to Get a Deal
Book directly through the hotel’s website for the best rates and extra amenities.
In the Neighborhood
The property is located steps from Sloane Square, with Knightsbridge, South Kensington, and Victoria within close proximity.
LHR is about a half hour’s drive; LGW is about an hour, each depending on traffic. Alternatively, the tube is available at the cost of about $5 and takes about a half-hour's time.
The Bottom Line
If you want to feel like an impossibly posh local, book a room at 11 Cadogan Gardens.