By Rhiannon Taylor, May 2019
One of London’s best hidden addresses is The Franklin. You could easily mistake the hotel for a private house and the only giveaway is a small sign with it’s name.
Upon check-in I’m mysteriously spotted trundling down the street with my suitcases and assistance comes swiftly to help relieve me. I enter a slick marble-clad space that is centred around a circular communal table where guests and staff alike come together to chat about comings and goings.
As part of Kiwi Collection, this discreet 35 room hotel is set in a row of four red brick townhouses knocked together on a quiet Knightsbridge street on the exclusive Egerton Gardens. Whilst guests don’t get access to the gardens there are four outdoor patios with tables and chairs that overlook the lawns, trees and flowerbeds which are particularly pretty in the Spring.
Designed by boutique hotel legend Anouska Hempel, The Franklin has Hempel’s signature touches throughout. There’s a sexy mirrored bar which overlooks the gardens and is the perfect spot for a gin & tonic. The bar flows on to the restaurant which is light and bright with saturated toned-furnishings and serves up a fabulous breakfast. There’s a buffet of cured meats, cheeses, fresh fruit, yoghurt and pastries and guests can order off a hot menu. Particularly good is the shakshouka eggs.
The hotel is owned by Florence-based Starhotels International and its Italian approach shows. The group aims to bring certain flair and hospitality to their hotel and the staff at The Franklin are smart, sophisticated and charming all at once. From breakfast to coming home in the evening, staff are eager to interact and engage with guests making them feel at home.
Rooms are slick, sexy yet completely functional. There’s a Handy phone, giving it’s international guests internet access whilst they're out exploring and an Apple TV, multiple connectivity (discreetly hidden) and Frette bedding. The bathrooms are spacious, well lit and the oversized rain showers beckon after a long day walking the pretty London streets. Guests are treated to a fabulous turn down surprise of handmade chocolates in the evening and if you book a suite you’ve got a gorgeous separate living space and walk in robe.
If you’re in the mood for afternoon tea the hotel has a beautiful Dior inspired offering, which includes cakes and sandwiches which are incredibly indulgent and match perfectly with one of their signature cocktails. And if you’re keen on heading out your the hotel’s location gives you quick access to some of London’s chicest boutiques and hotspots. It’s no surprise that this London gem is one of the best kept secrets amongst the travel elite.
We were guests of The Franklin and Kiwi Collection.