When a hotel has won the auspicious title of England’s Leading Boutique Hotel on no less than three consecutive occasions, expectations are sure to be a little high. I went in wondering whether this Edwardian townhouse hotel (taking pride of place amid the rarefied atmosphere of Sloane Square) could really be so different from its innumerable competitors. How wrong I was.
Of course, when it comes to top class boutique hotels, the differences will be in the details; in those minor touches that when seen as a whole make the sum total of your experience that bit more special. Take the Draycott’s rather indulgent daily ritual of complimentary tea and homemade biscuits (try the shortbread) at 4pm, Champagne at 6pm, and even hot chocolate to round your evening off at 9:30pm. Depending on the length of your stay, you might find yourself picking up a rather indulgent addiction to all of the above that you’d probably do well to kick before returning home. Still, given that you’re on holiday, we certainly won’t judge you for taking full advantage of the chance to up your daily bubbly intake.
Still, all that would be moot if the building and decor itself weren’t up the mark. Which, you won’t be surprised to hear, they are. Housed in three red-brick townhouses combined, each of the Draycott’s 35 rooms are uniquely appointed in super-luxe Edwardian style: that means you can say goodbye to the cold sterility of neutral walls and polished glass of most generic hotels, and hello to Victorian fireplaces, plenty of period features and no end of regal splendor. Beds are pillowy soft, couches are Gentlemen’s Club chic, and the attention to detail is second to none.
Which is to say nothing of the staff who are, bar none, some of the most attentive (yet unobstrusive) we’ve come across: and trust me, we’ve been to more hotels than you’d care to mention. Throw in a lavish breakfast served in, duh, the breakfast room – fittingly named after soigne thespian extrodinaire Peter O’Toole – and a room service menu which includes a particularly exceptional grilled supreme of salmon, and you’ve truly got one of London’s best hotel experiences. Chin chin!