Smart and intimate townhouse in backstreet Kensington

TUCKED INTO THE BIJOU BACKSTREETS of Kensington, The Cranley is just the kind of intimate London townhouse hotel you’d love to stumble across. All is pristine outside with smart box trees and window shrubs, not to mention parasols and  tables perfect for lingering on a balmy summer’s eve.

The cosy lobby lounge with its cushiony sofas, country-house oil paintings, Baroque-style mirrors  and a flickering fire is just the place to drop anchor. We happily plumped ourselves down in a couple of deep armchairs to tuck into oven-warm scones and a pot of tea – all compliments of the house.

Three late Victorian townhouses have been combined to create The Cranley in this little backwater just minutes from the buzz of Gloucester Road. Home since the 1860s to generals in the Crimea War, a London perfumier and a motley collection of stockbrokers, barristers and spinsters, they are just the place these days for lazy weekends in town with your partner, as well as the odd girly shopping trip.

Minutes from the shops and cafes of South Ken. 

Splash out on the terraced penthouse suite, or sink into a four-poster room.

Be savvy
Some rooms have lift access, though many don’t.

Be smitten
Inviting London home-away-from-home. 

Marble and lacquer

Bedrooms are both spacious and spruce. Ours had high ceilings, a tall bay window with pencil-striped blinds and an oak four poster dressed in snowy white with deep pillows to dive into. Bathrooms stocked with Zen toiletries are tiled in honey-coloured marble with lacquered wood mirrors.

Top floor rooms are snugger and may lack those lofty ceilings but come with expansive views over the London skyline. The penthouse suite is a winner with a fabulous rooftop terrace where – on a good day – you can see every London landmark from the Millennium Wheel to Canary Wharf.

Colours throughout are classic and restrained. The original Victorian floor tiles in the entrance hall set the tone, and their shades of coffee and cream with flashes of plum and Chinese blue are echoed throughout the hotel.

There’s no stiff-upper-lift service here – friendly staff who soon get to know you are one of the Cranley’s many plusses, and the informal lobby lounge feels more like someone’s front room than a stuffy reception. 

Breakfast is brought to your room, and we started the day slothfully wrapped in our waffle robes with a brimming cafetiere of coffee, a basket of flaky pain au chocolat and the morning papers, watching Kensington street life outside. Good? Just the ticket.

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



Upgrade your enjoyment as well as your room, with bargain prices at Cranley Hotel

Book before 31 July and receive a complimentary upgrade. As well as this you can expect a complimentary welcome drink, canapes, and afternoon tea, the perfect pick-me-up after a morning's shopping maybe. Prices start from a special low of only GBP 120 per room per night.

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Dining in
There’s no breakfast room so every excuse to have a just-out-of-bed breakfast served in your room. A full room-service supper menu for lazy nights in features dishes such as lamb casserole with minted new potatoes,  braised beef in brandy and vegetarian lasagne, with Belgian chocolate pudding to follow. Drop into the lounge between 7-8pm for a glass of champers and canapés.

Dining out
A five-minute walk along the Brompton Road brings you to South Kensington, with its wall-to-wall eateries. La Bouchée is a little piece of France with a relaxed-to-comatose atmosphere, while splashier haunts include Bibendum (great oysters) on the Fulham Road or more decadent Daphne’s.

Langtry’s in Pont Street serves British staples like toad in the hole with crackling, roast pheasant or Gressingham duck. For informal eats, there’s a candlelit branch of Carluccio’s opposite South Ken station. Excellent Indians include Noor Jahan, yards from the hotel.

The Cranley

What’s cooking?
Room service suppers like chicken Dijon, cheese platters and Club sandwiches.

Dress the part
Relax – it’s home from home.

Top table?
In your room, with Kensington at your window.

See & Do
There’s stacks to enjoy around here. Catch an exhibition at the V&A Museum, see the new hands-on Launchpad gallery at the Science Museum or soak up life in late Victorian England at first hand at the Linley Sambourne House. The Gothic excesses of Brompton Cemetery are also worth a wander.

Nearby Bute Street has some great neighbourhood shops with an art dealer’s, two French bookshops and an Italian gelaterie.

After dark
Call in for a nightcap at the Duke of Clarence, just down the road, or try some of the late-night bars of the South Kensington café strip.

Join the green-fingered socialites at the Chelsea Flower Show.

See life on the catwalk in close-up at London Fashion week.

Bina Gardens, London SW5 OLA

No guest parking – best to leave the car behind.


Mainline: Victoria station, 1.5 miles
Underground: Gloucester Road (five mins) or South Kensington (ten mins). 

GBP 8 from Victoria

London Heathrow – 18 miles

Rooms and suites
39 suites, 2 rooms

Special features
Many rooms have four-poster or half-tester beds. All come with a bathtub and shower, flatscreen TV and a well-stocked minibar.

DVD players are available on request for suites and four-poster rooms (bring your own DVDs). 


Rates guide
GBP 250 – 365

Open all year



Minimum night stay?

(Charged extra). Served in your room until 10am – choose from continental or cooked.
Room service
Available morning and evening



Air conditioning

Yes – all rooms

English, Polish, Slovak and Czech

Wedding license?

Eco consicience
Recycling policies are in place.

Your contact
John Alexander – general manager

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