Belmond Cadogan, London
With an enviable location on London’s prestigious Sloane Street, Belmond Cadogan is a historic property dating back to 1887 which has been fully reconceptualised. Having played a significant part in the social history of the Kensington and Chelsea area, Victoria Noakes takes a look at what the hotel has to offer today’s guests…
With a host of royal and celebrity names contributing to its storied past, including Prince of Wales Albert Edward, who would go on to become King Edward VII, socialite Lillie Langtry and poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, Belmond Cadogan was built in 1887 in Queen Anne style. The hotel has seen a $48m development, which draws inspiration from the neighbourhood’s rich character, providing an elegant meeting place for both international visitors and the local community.
“Belmond Cadogan Hotel is a London legend reborn. Throughout the decades the hotel has always provided international travellers and Londoners alike with an impeccable retreat with a tradition of serving piping hot tea and an escape from the busy city. Today we provide our guests with a luxurious space to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Chelsea,” states Klaus Kabelitz, General Manager at Belmond Cadogan Hotel.
The hotel’s 54 bright and striking rooms and suites reflect its rich heritage whilst also offering a touch of modern indulgence, creating a stylish retreat for guests. Luxurious white fabrics are offset with pops of vibrant colour and beautiful floral displays, and all rooms feature large, inviting beds and marble bathrooms. Junior suites are uniquely designed, with hardwood flooring, views of the city or Cadogan Place Gardens and intriguing details which help tell the story of the building’s fascinating history. Other suites include a separate bathtub and shower, walk-in closet, living and dining room area and balcony, and speciality suites such as the Penthouse Suite and Royal Suite feature high ceilings and a fireplace.
Guests are given private access to the hotel through 21 Pont Street and a key to Cadogan Place Gardens – a stunning garden with ornamental planting, manicured lawns and tennis courts – usually reserved for locals only. The gardens are also home to Chelsea Physic Garden, London’s oldest botanical garden, established in 1673. Throughout the hotel a sense of celebration of British culture, design and quirky eccentricity is apparent, from the dramatic entrance through the grand doors off Sloane Street to the impressive fireplace, sweeping staircase and bronze cast of 600 books. Every detail of the hotel knits the past together with the present, with thoughtfully-placed antique artefacts sitting alongside commissioned modern art and bespoke, handcrafted furnishings.
Unique details like the Prince of Wales’ feathers in Lillie Langtree’s original dining room, botanical mosaics on the floor tiles and wood panelling help keep the historical fabric of the hotel alive, whilst lush fabrics and relaxing furniture add a contemporary feel. Playful elements can be discovered around the hotel, such as Oscar the peacock, made up of thousands of Swarovski crystals, standing in the entrance to the private dining room – a nod to Oscar Wilde. In addition, personal pictures of Chef Patron Adam Handling placed in the bar gives the feeling of being in a private home.
With Chelsea being home to many major artistic institutions, art and literature play a vital role in the design and feel of the hotel, embracing the culture of its location. Over 400 pieces of original artwork by predominantly British artists are showcased within the property, including a painting depicting the history of Cadogan Estates by Simon Casson taking centre stage in the hotel lobby. Five female British artists have also been commissioned to create statement artwork in the guest rooms inspired by the botanicals in the private gardens. What’s more, in-room private libraries have been curated by family-owned Chelsea bookshop, John Sandoe.
Belmond Cadogan also offers guests an unrivalled dining experience at destination dining room, Adam Handling. Celebrated chef Adam Handling is the visionary behind the hotel’s impressive menus, and is tipped by The Caterer magazine as one of its ’30 under 30 to watch’. Serving traditional, seasonal food using modern recipes, the open kitchen with chefs’ tables and bar seating showcases the talented chefs at work on theatrical dishes. The menu encapsulates the best of British, with a keen focus on sustainability. The hotel bar, accessed directly off Sloane Street, serves classic cocktails, champagne and whisky, whilst afternoon tea with a nostalgic charm is served throughout the day in the tea lounge, Cadogan’s, which by evening becomes a private residents bar.
Other amenities at the hotel include a spa suite, where guests can choose from a range of massages, facials and beauty treatments, 24-hour fitness suite equipped with a selection of cardio and resistance machines plus free weights, and full library incorporating fiction and non-fiction titles and destination guides. The hotel’s concierge can assist guests in discovering the local area with privileged access to cultural hot spots.
Hugh Seaborn, CEO of Cadogan, says: “The Cadogan Hotel has a colourful history – and a wonderful future. Belmond is the perfect partner for us to preserve its unique heritage and character, while evolving into a true retreat for today’s luxury traveller and ‘home from home’ for locals. It fits perfectly with Sloane Street’s international cachet and our vision and strategy for ensuring it becomes the most exclusive and luxurious shopping street in the world, while celebrating the eccentricity, creativity and beauty of the surrounding neighbourhood.”