Lovely hotel, wonderful staff and a great location.
Each room is decorated differently. Our room was gorgeous, with fabric wallpaper and coordinating decor. The staff was helpful and friendly with any needs. They also gave good restaurant recommendations. The location could not have been better. The South Kensington underground stop was directly across the street. Despite being on a busy street the rooms were quiet. The area also has plenty of good places to eat (as well as a huge variety.) The Natural History Museum is down the block and the V & A and Harrods are close as well.
There were only a couple things that were negative. The first is that the elevator stopped working during our stay. When you are on the third floor with narrow London stairs this was not fun. The other was the bizarre decor of having a mirror for the back wall of the bathtub/shower. Unless you are designing a bathroom for a model or movie star this makes no sense.
They charge for wifi but do have a laptop in one of the sitting rooms for guests to use.
This is a review for their afternoon tea, rather than actually staying at the hotel. I just wanted to make that clear. Because the afternoon here, for us, was lackluster at best.
I had booked their Detox Afternoon Tea through a Time Out deal. I called asking if they could do Sunday and they said no, unless I wanted to sit in their library and do it. Sure, why not? Sounds like fun.
We arrived and told them we were there for afternoon tea. They started to bring us downstairs to their bistro when I mentioned I believed we were in the library. The man taking us did a double take and looked at me like I was insane. But he checked and, sure enough, we were. Clearly they don't do library tea very often.
This should have been a clue, since when we sat, our waitress brought us our menus. We ordered and soon she brought us our tea and food. And that was the last we ever saw of her. No one ever came to check on us again. In fact, before we were leaving, I actually had to go to the front desk to ask if there was anything else we needed to do. I think they were surprised we were even still back there.
It was also the little things, like sitting us in giant chairs not made for the little tea table, making it awkward to turn them and face the right way. Or no place to put our coats (we ended up putting them on the couch and I felt bad since what if people wanted to sit there?) The library was beautiful though, made of old wood and very quiet. A grand place to get work done or have tea.
But the tea would have to be good and here... it was only OK. There were three different types of detox tea, each with it's own elements (one for remoxing toxins, one for healthy skin and another, called Skinny Bitch, for loosing weight. An off name for something in such a classy hotel and even the waitress was embarrassed to say it when she pointed out the items.) The platter of food that came down was elegant but very very small for two people. One open faced salmon sandwich each, one scone each, one little cake each and a little bit of fruit and cut veggies with a small tub of hummus. Again, nice, but worth £25 a person?
It was a beautiful space but the service and tea was one of the most disappointing I'd had in London. Sad too, I've heard nothing but great things from this spot.
I searched for a smaller boutique hotel and came across The Pelham Hotel. It was a hit. Apart from the atmosphere in the hotel with the richly ornamented rooms full of fine details such as colorful tailored fabrics and original artworks, it breaths the air of the traditional private houses and traditions in the neighborhood.
It is small and that is why they are able to keep it very personal and it has cosy fireplaces to have a drink around in the evening, when tiered of all the cities impressions or have a high tea around. Also it is within a walking distance of the Victoria & Albert museum and Harrods. Straight across you will find the famous Exhibition Road with all it's eateries such as: Pain Quotidien, Muriel's Kitchen, Cafe Creperie with a mega choice of sweet and savory pancakes, even whole wheat ones. But you can also choose from Spanish, Libanees, Indian and Italian restaurants.
In the heart of South Kensington lays the Pelham Hotel, a gorgeous boutique hotel in which no expense is spared.
If a hotel can exemplify all that is truly British then the Pelham does it in spades, with gorgeous decor, big bedrooms and bathrooms, and superb serivce.
The rooms are plush as can be, with all the mod-cons, and anything you desire is just a phone call away (read: toothbrushes at 4am, concierge delivered within minutes. Yes, I tested it). Room service was fairly good for hotel standards, but not as exceptional as I would've expected for a hotel of such a high standard.
Exquisite Hotel, in the borough of South Kensington, couldn't be better...
What a wonderful surprise it has been to spot the Pelham in a Clive Head's painting! His wide-angle positioning gives you a sample of what it is like to walk towards the Pelham. Find a full-size picture of the "Coffee at the Cottage Delight" to soak up the athmosphere. The piece was painted in late 2009 / early 2010, and the groundworks visible in the background have all been concluded by now.
Sarah L. has written a charming review, to which I only dare to add that the rooms are a tad on the tiny side.
I really love this hotel.
I would recommend The Pelham for virtually anyone. Firstly, the location is outstanding. It's located across the street from the South Ken tube station, and the central location means that restaurants, museums, nightlife are walking distance, as is some of the best boutique shopping in all of London.
The hotel itself is suberb: the restaurant is very good, especially if one orders the daily specials (the chef's off menu specials, such as the avacado tempura, are to die for) or has breakfast (an increadibly lavish buffet that is visually stunning). The rooms are all very well designed. But, especially for Americans making their first trip, one would be wise to keep in mind that some can be very small, as they are in Europe in general. But even the smallest rooms are carefully planned and I find them to be very welcoming, with many elegant, designer touches and quite comfortable even for long stays. Having said that, if you can afford it, the larger rooms are even better. Regardless of size, all have wonderful marble-lined bathrooms with Molton Brown accessories. The attention to detail is extraordinary. Highly recommended.
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