Swish and seductive extravagance in SW3

FLAIR AND FLAMBOYANCE make atmospheric Blakes – designed by Anouska Hempel – a true couture hotel. The foyer in this swish London townhouse hotel is a throwback to days of the Raj, with retro-style Edwardian trunks and rattan chairs, while deliciously decadent bedrooms are designed to seduce the senses.

Choose one that’s white on white on white, or others in theatrical golds and blacks. Each is an original, and ravishing colour schemes range from the vivid and dramatic to the restful and soft. Trompe l’oeil and fabric covered walls are set off by exotic silks, velvets and swagged drapery. Sensuous colour palettes are ripe with cardinal reds, lavender, vanilla and tea rose.

The result melds the exquisite with the plush, mixing design opulence with 21st century comforts. Sip a cocktail in the atmospheric bar or surface for air in the hotel’s courtyard garden, before dining on beautifully presented east-west fusion cuisine in a heady and intoxicating setting. Blakes remains a sought-after lovers’ hideaway in chicest Kensington.

Hit the Spot
In tranquil, smartest Kensington.

The scarlet-walled Cardinal suite scores on sheer boudoir Wow. Take a Luxury suite for a softer French provençal feel, with gossamer nets, stencilled floor and white furnishings.

Be Savvy
It's a place for sensualists with cash to splash.

Be Smitten
Be swept away in SW3.

Seductive dining

Our quarters had black walls, gold lamps, colonial wooden blinds, an exquisite hand-painted floor and a vast bathtub you could almost set sail in. We snuggled into a palatial four-poster swathed in sumptuous silk folds and sipped champagne, feeling shamefully decadent.

Blakes’ glossy-black restaurant has been aptly described as being “like an opium den managed by Coco Chanel.” Start swooning – lots of other guests do, and proposals here are rife. Oriental screens and swish decor add to the expensively decadent feel.

Bedrooms invite you to choose between the pleasures of the Orient, a 1930s cruise liner, or a sultan’s harem. Some are more masculine in deep copper and brown, while the light and lovely 007 suite is all biscuit and white, with a huge four poster and French doors.  All invite you to soak up the sheer extravagance of it all. “It's fabulousness personified,” as one visitor enthused.

Blakes Hotel was reviewed for Room for Romance by Mike North

Click on any picture to enlarge it and move through the gallery.








Dining in
East meets West in Blakes' moodily dark restaurant, and there’s an eclectic range of dishes to try. Try the miso soup with silken tofu, honey spiced duck with coriander raita and chicken and pomelo salad. If it's too much bother to get dressed, there's 24 hour room service.

Dining out
You're just a stroll from the bars and brasseries of South Kensington and Fulham Road. Excellent eateries within close range include Bibendum (just the place for oysters and champagne) or Daphne's on Draycott Avenue.


Blakes restaurant

What’s cooking?

Try langoustine salad with basil aioli, crispy chicken with a ginger sauce or charred tuna with miso dijon drssing and green tea noodles.

Dress the part

The sleeker the better.

Top table?

Almost all are suitably intimate.

See & Do

What’s not to do around here? You’re minutes from London’s museum country (V&A, Natural History and Science museums) and a short tube ride from Hyde Park Corner, Buckingham Palace and the West End.

Blakes is currently building an exclusive spa and fitness club, due to open shortly.  There is a small fitness room on site.

Give your plastic a workout at the glitzy stores of Knightsbridge and Kensington High Street. A mooch around the food hall at Harrod's or the boutiques of Beauchamp Place is a must.

After dark

Get your nightlife fix downstairs at expensively low-lit Blakes bar, where the champagne flows till late.

Take in the heady scents of the famous Chelsea Flower Show.

Fight for tickets to Wimbledon – even if it’s just for the strawberries and cream.

Roland Gardens, London SW7 3PF

There is nearby garage parking and free street parking close by after 6.30pm.

Mainline: Victoria station – 15 minutes  by cab
Underground: Gloucester Road (Piccadilly Line) and South Kensington (District/Circle lines) – five minutes.

GBP 50 from London Heathrow. Private transfers can be arranged.


London Heathrow – 18 miles.

Rooms and suites

43 rooms and nine suites.

Special features
Signature rooms are four-poster fantasy trips.

Rooms have DVD and CD players, satellite television and wi-fi internet. There’s also private dining in suites, if you’re trying to keep the paparazzi at bay.


Rates guide
From GBP 350

Open all year



12 noon

Minimum night stay?


Breakfast is served until 11am. 

Room service

Available 24 hours a day.


No restrictions.

Small dogs are allowed but must not be left unattended.

Air conditioning



German, French, English, Japanese, Korean, Poruguese and Spanish.

Wedding license?
Yes – for up to 85 guests.

Coming soon
All rooms are currently being developed by Anouska Hempel and a new fitness and wellbeing centre is to be completed this year.

Your Contact
Steve Carrodus – general manager


We'll be adding guest ratings of Blakes based on your feedback in the next few months.


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