Q: What is it? A: A pleasant place in a particularly practical location. Wouldn’t be complete without that painting of the incredibly fat Italian man on the wall above the honesty bar.
It’s anonymous but it’s nice.
It’s the antidote of the St Martin’s Lane Hotel. It’s not brash. It’s not loud. The library has a painting of a fat Italian bloke hanging over the honesty bar. You could actually feel the family ties to sister hotel The Gore. But the first owners of the Pelham were Tim and Kit Kemp, founders of the Firmdale hotel chain. Kit Kemp has made herself quite a name by creating hotels with “a sort of English eccentric look” – a look that often means cosy. The Pelham is no exception.
“A sophisticated city townhouse…”
It’s actually not one house. The Pelham consists of three town houses knocked together, hereby creating a maze of staircases, corridors and 52 rooms and suites. It is a maze: The restaurant is below street level. The entrance to room 310 is oddly located between two fire doors. The concierge is tucked into a tiny space along with stored luggage, address books and maps.
Make no mistake, Sasa turns helping guests into an art form. He’s the main reason why it’s very easy to feel well taken care of at the Pelham. But the rest of the people you meet are contributing. Reception is nice and a request for a late check-out is dealt with in a generous manner. Also, breakfast is way better than you’d normally expect from a London hotel.
Location kicks ass
The South Kensington tube is less than a minute away. Piccadilly, Circle and District lines all connect there. If you’re on a budget, get on the tube at Heathrow and go the 15 stations to South Ken. Cash single fare is £ 4 but with a topped up Oyster Card, you’ll make it for much less. If you want to stay in a quiet neighbourhood, you may opt for another place in the area, as this place is always busy. Nearby (43 Thurloe St) you’ll find the Boujis, a private member’s club which has been the London epicentre of superficiality for a few years now. La Cave à Fromage is a smellier place with over 200 different cheeses to choose from. Museums are found on Cromwell Rd less than a four-minute walk from the hotel.
Finally, it’s star time: The Pelham is not a hotel that brags about itself, but it sure gets things done the right way. Four stars, and solid ones they are too.
15 Cromwell Place
London, SW7 2LA
+44 (0) 20 7589 8288