The Franklin Hotel
What We Love
- Retreating to the cozy study with a blazing fire and a cool drink
- Quirky design touches like the rows of mirror-framed pressed herbs that adorn guest room walls
- Up-to-the-minute Samsung flatscreens equipped with Apple TV
- The hotel backs onto the private and quiet Egerton Gardens, a welcome green respite in the midst of London
What To Know
- Minibars are stocked with all Italian products
- Breakfast – while a feast of Italian treats – is a pricey £35
- The restaurant is helmed by Michelin-starred chef Alfredo Russo
- Free WiFi
There’s a champagne bar adjoining reception—a sign of what’s truly important at the Italian-run Franklin Hotel designed by Anouska Hempel, perhaps most famous for her work on London’s opulent Blakes Hotel. Inside the connected four Victorian red-brick houses, the palate is monochrome grey and there are mirrors everywhere you look, but soft Italian velvets and silks give everything a surprising European warmth—an effect that manages to be inviting while also extremely chic. There is no shortage of brand names here—the linens are Frette, the TV is Apple, the phones Jenson, the bath products Penhaligon—and everything is as luxurious as possible. In addition to a guests-only hammam and library, there’s also a restaurant where chef Alfredo Russo presents a modern Italian menu worth lingering over.
In the Area
The Franklin’s excellent Knightsbridge location means it’s possible to hit most of London’s most upscale stores on foot. Harrods is less than half a mile from the hotel; walk a few steps further and you’re at Harvey Nichols. The designer boutiques that line Sloane Street can be reached in ten—perfect for escaping back to the hotel for a mid-afternoon rest and cup of tea. If you tire of shopping but still want to look at pretty things, the world’s biggest collection of decorative arts and design at theVictoria & Albert Museum is a five-minute walk from the hotel, while the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum are just past that. Hyde Park is also a quick stroll from the hotel, and the nearest tube stop, South Kensington, is a couple of streets away.
How to Get There
Spent 4 nights here at the end of June. Staff was very friendly, professional and personable. Our reservations included breakfast each morning and the food was very good. The hotel is located in an upscale and quiet neighborhood close to Harrod’s, Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum as well as walking distance from Kinnsington Palace and Hyde Park. Our A/C worked fine. Consierge Miko was exceptional. We were given red carpet treatment and felt very welcome and appreciated. Beautiful courtyard in the back.
We spent the first 2 of our 5 nights miserable and unable to sleep due to the A/C not working correctly in our room (London was having 84-86 degree F weather). Weirdly, even though they apparently had fans available, and we were complaining, no one ever offered us a fan to use. Eventually we were moved to a room with working A/C, but suffered thru 2 awful days.
Be aware there is a 5th floor not served by an elevator, so you could have to walk up at least one flight of stairs to reach your room.
The decor has a strong point of view. The ceilings are white, the walls are the dark gray you get if you tell a Goth Teenager they can't paint their room black, and the furniture is mirrored. I mean, every, single piece of furniture is mirrored. I found it stark and depressing. The bathrooms however are done in lovely warm honey-colored travertine.
Fine dining with old friends in London. Great dishes, good wine and excellent service. You should definitely try the Franklin restaurant as soon as you'll be in Chelsea. And try also the bean soup with fois gras.
My 9 days stayed at the hotel was absolutely fantastic. The location is no doubt very convenient. Knightsbridge & South Kensington both left or right within 10 minutes of walk, absolutely love it. My room 503 was perfect in every way but my wife & daughters room 502 was a little downer. While we were there, we experienced one of the hottest summers in London reaching 38.5c. The air condition in 502 was not performing at it's optimum but after a few calls to the reception, they are kind enough to offer a relocation in room 101. The staffs there are friendly, warm & welcoming. Especially the staffs at the restaurant. A special shout out to Sylvia (a restaurant staff), Thank you for looking after us for the 9 days, I am very sure we will meet again. Thank you The Franklin London.
We booked afternoon tea for 2 - it was a birthday treat from my daughter. Booked for 2.30 because we did not want to have lunch and a tea - so glad we only had tea - there was so much food for 2 people - very dainty but lots of it and such good value. It was a special themed Mexican tea which when you read the menu sounded a little bit weird but it was gorgeous. The octopus and sweetcorn and capers s/w was just like an upmarket prawn s/w and the mixed beans and chilli in with egg was gorgeous. All the breads were different and homebaked. The scones - lime zest and a chocolate and banana were a little too big and were more like shortbread rather than scone but tasted delicious with lemon curd and clotted cream. The desserts were a flan ( more like a caramel custard), mini cinnamon churros in a chocolate dip - yum, an exotic finely diced fruit salad and a chilli chocolate slab of a painting of Frida Kahlo who the tea was based around and the V & A museum is hosting an exhibition to. All this washed down with a choice from a large selection of teas. When a second pot of tea was requested there was no problem. Sparkling water was provided again with no extra charge. At £35 per head for central London I thought this was very good value and a nice change from the traditional afternoon tea. The service from the staff was excellent.