Like a life-size luxurious dolls house under the direction of designer Anouska Hempel’s every whim, to say the Franklin goes big on its opulent interiors is an understatement. Secreted away among the redbrick mansion townhouses of Knightsbridge, the hotel matches its lush décor with a location that puts it on the doorstep of some of London’s best restaurants, museums and shopping. Impeccably presented throughout, models, high flying international visitors and wealthy weekenders are the types to make the most of the splendor.
YOU SHOULD KNOW From Louis Vuitton luggage to little black dresses by Dior, the look at the Franklin is high glamor at times, so dress to impress.
Silver framed gallery clusters, mirrored four poster beds, richly varnished wooden floorboards, billowing curtains and dark hand-painted wallpaper make sure you’ll find all aspects of Anouska Hempel’s signature style in the sumptuous rooms.
With rooms facing the street and the rear gardens, you can choose between sights of the pretty row houses and the dramatic London Oratory church from one aspect and mature trees and green space from the other.
Yet more shimmering glass and mirrors makes the bathrooms sparkle. Whether that’s practical with toothpaste marks and soap suds, well, that’s not the type of thing one has to consider when they’re staying at the Franklin.
The elegant lobby is a place designed to encourage posing. Slouching among the tall palms, geometric printed wallpaper and marble tiles would not be a strong look. A good spot to linger for first rate people watching.
Given the splendour of the rest of the hotel it’s unsurprising to find that the Franklin hammam is every bit as gorgeous. Dark stone and intricate prints can be viewed through the steam.
Everything you need to enjoy a full workout can be found in the hotel gym from cardio machines to a personal trainer by request.
Italian fine dining is the theme at The Franklin restaurant, a space whose assiduously styled interior complements the pretty pastoral views of manicured gardens.
With everything you need right on the doorstep (and by everything we mean fine dining restaurants, museums, high-end boutiques and concert venues) the neighborhoods of Knightsbridge, Chelsea and South Kensington are rife for exploring on foot. Alternatively, South Kensington Tube can whisk you into Central London in 12 minutes or a Black Cab can be almost as quick.
Carry on the upscale entertainment at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (12-minute walk) where guests will sample some of the most experimental cooking around. For more Hempel style interiors, eat at the Bulgari hotel’s restaurant, Rivea (11-minute walk) a combination of French and Italian fine dining.
The martinis at the Franklin Bar may be spectacular but surely nowhere can beat Dukes Bar (13-minute drive), a favorite of Bond creator Ian Fleming. Closer to home in Knightsbridge, enjoy cocktails at the marble countertop of the Mandarin Bar (12-minute walk) at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Designed and executed to cater to guests who don’t mind paying high prices for the perfect hotel experience, The Franklin is almost faultless. Service in the compact boutique hotel is second to none and its location in the heart of Knightsbridge is perfect. If they could sneak a rooftop pool in here then it would be perfection, alas, it has to merely make do with being one of the ultimate