Luxury hotel glowing with Edwardian charisma near Sloane Square

ARRIVING ON A RAIN-SOAKED winter's night proved the perfect time to get to The Draycott. Stepping inside to a world of warm fires, glowing lamps and solicitous staff  was like manna from heaven. As we burst inside from the elements, our bags were whisked upstairs and two glasses of chilled champagne apppeared as if by divine telepathy.

Guests can't help but love The Draycott. Three grand, redbrick Edwardian townhouses have been knocked together to create this quintessentially British hotel that feels rather like the home of a splendidly wealthy uncle. Its entrance marked by an ever-so-discreet brass plaque, this is an intimate luxury hotel tucked in a corner of Chelsea that mixes old-style charm with fullsome creature comforts.

Inside, you're into The Draycott's comfort zone of sink-into-me sofas, antique prints and cosy fireplaces. The drawing room looks out onto leafy Cadogan Gardens – perfect for summer wanders, while an informal lobby lounge invites you to kick back.  

Hit the spot
Steps away from Sloane Square, in poshest Chelsea.

Classic bedrooms are rich in comforts. We loved the four-poster Ashcroft suite.

Be savvy
There's a teeny two-person lift and street parking is a headache; leave the car at home.

Be smitten

Swagged haven of luxe off Sloane Square.

Splashes of Edwardiana

Guests at The Draycott get supremely spoilt. Not just by the cossetting staff, for whom we soon discovered nothing’s too much trouble, but by complimentary treats laid on throughout the day. In the best of English traditions, there’s tea and biscuits at four, a glass of champagne on the house at six and late-night hot chocolate from ten to see you off to beddy-byes.

Our vast bedroom – the Ashcroft – was all grand Edwardiana with high ceilings, a cosy sofa and a fire (already lit) dancing in the grate. There was also a balcony from where we could gaze over the private gardens at the rear – The Draycott's secret trump card – thinking how gorgeous they would look on a spring afternoon.

Big beds (custom-made for the hotel), crisp Sea Island cotton bedlinen, burnished antiques, swagged curtains, silk pleated lamps and plenty of plump pillows are matched by marble bathrooms loaded with Penhaligon body-pampering stuff. You’ll even find a beautifully scripted hand-written card with your name on the door.

Bedrooms also have a touch of theatre: each takes its name from a big literary or stage name, with prints, photographs and a miniature biography. You can get under the covers with Sheridan, Coward, Christie and Olivier, then dip into the leather bound Visitor’s book and find out who has slept in your bed before you. Various Hollywood A-listers are known to call this place home in London (though staff at The Draycott are the soul of discretion), so you never know what you'll find.

With rain lashing at the windows, plans for a night out in Chelsea were rapidly abandoned and we  happily bunkered down for the night with a DVD and a room service supper. A deliciously pink rack of lamb (me) and a mushroom stroganoff (the wife) arrived 20 minutes later with a bottle of Chablis on ice. All blissfully followed by our night under a featherlight goosedown duvet.

You're right in the heart of Sloane country here and just a cab ride from tLondon's West End. With the glitzy stores of Sloane Street, King’s Road and Knightsbridge on our doorstep, and a new-found glint in my wife's eyes, I could tell my plastic was in for a caning.

The Draycott Hotel was reviewed for Room for Romance by Mark MacGee

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




Dining in
Decked with masks of famous artistes (among them Dame Kiri Te Kanawa) the snug dining room is just the place for a hearty English breakfast to set you up for the day. There’s round-the-clock room service and private dining, too: expect British favourites like beef Wellington and shanks of lamb.

Dining out
There are several first-class restaurants within a ten-minute walk. Try nearby Daphne’s or La Poule au Pot, or jump in a cab and dine like a celeb at Gordon Ramsay on Royal Hospital Road.

The dining room at the Draycott Hotel.

What’s cooking?
Traditional English breakfast or a vitality packed continental.

Dress the part
It’s smart but unstuffy.

Top table?
Tucked in the corner.

See & Do
Take a leisurely stroll along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or feed the ducks in St James’s Park. Shop your heart out on Knightsbridge, try some popular culture at the nearby Royal Albert Hall or hit some of South Kensington’s showpiece museums: the V&A, Natural History and Science museums are all within range.

Whether it’s swanky designer gear on Sloane Street, exotic nibbles in Fortnum and Mason’s food hall or off-the-wall pop memorabilia in Soho, there’s everything to buy and every excuse to give your plastic a workout.

After dark
Take in a West End show, a star-studded production at the Covent Garden Opera House or a Soho fringe revue. If you’re keen to sample some neighbourhood drinking haunts, try the Chelsea Potter or the Chelsea Ram – both popular with locals. Schmooze a club member to get you into the K Bar on Fulham Road for a funkier nightclub experience.

Pick up an heirloom at Chelsea’s annual British Arts and Antiques Fair.

Get green fingers at the famous – and high society – Chelsea Flower Show.

Artsy Chelsea comes into its own with gigs, exhibitions and open days for the Chelsea Festival.

Cadogan Gardens, London, SW3 2RP

Parking (charged) is available nearby, but you won’t want a car here.

Victoria station – one mile.
Underground: Sloane Square or Knightsbridge.

Around GBP 45 from Heathrow. Private transfers can be arranged.

London Heathrow – 45 minutes

Rooms and suites
24 rooms, 11 suites

Special features
Rooms come with Edwardian high ceilings, Victorian antiques and reminders of leading theatrical stars. Many have working fireplaces and views over leafy private gardens.

All rooms have DVD players while suites come with a fully kitted-out kitchen. Some also have four-posters.


Rates guide
GBP 200 - 400

Open all year



Minimum night stay?

Breakfast is served until 11am, so there’s every excuse for a lie-in.

Room service
Available 24 hours a day.


Well behaved dogs are welcome in some rooms.

Air conditioning
Yes – all rooms

English and all major European languages

Wedding license?

Eco conscience
Recycling and energy conservation are practised.

Your contact
John Hanna – general manager

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