Blakes London was created in 1978 as the world’s first luxury boutique hotel. Based in South Kensington and Chelsea, it is famous for its design, service and privacy. Recognised for the characteristic colour of the facade, it occupies a group of Victorian Houses; the main ones being the Blakes and Benzies.
Blakes is a seductive design journey through India, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and on to the Pyramids, back through Italy and ending up in the heart of London. An elegant and eclectic ethnic picture is reflected in the abundance and luxury of accessories on display in the hotel. These include furniture and artefacts found all over the world by Anouska Hempel herself and evoke a past of intriguing, dark mysteries over the years of her far-flung travels to exotic destinations.
The rooms and suites are decorated in deep, rich tones – and the resulting subtle contrasts and compositions are both luxurious and operatic. What might have easily slipped into being ‘over the top’ is somehow neither too saccharine nor too precious. Rather, these interiors are fascinating exercises in design imagination, choreographed by the masterly eye of Anouska Hempel herself.
The Chinese Room evokes an ‘opium den’ and is adorned in luxurious soft furnishings and myriad slipper orchids. Inside, guests will find a profusion of candles and will be able to leaf through the exotic pages of books stacked high. Chinese ancestors smile knowingly down from the walls while black lacquer trays and colourful canapés provide the perfect background. Guests will also enjoy the gentle and elegant service that glides unobtrusively from room to room, giving the most discreet attention one could ever wish for.
Yet at the same time the place is busy, bustling, bohemian and beautiful. The room itself is the epitome of decadence and comfort dedicated to the likes of Chanel and Dietrich, and is the place to be before and after enjoying delights of an evening in London. Marlene herself is rumoured to appear under certain light, leaning seductively on the piano.
The bar is also hugely popular with London’s fashionable ‘it’ crowd who regularly pop in for a sharpener! The restaurant walls are exotically layered with fans, made from the feathers of rare birds from exotic climes such as Brazil and the Ecuadorian rainforests.
Tables are adorned with the finest appointments, however nothing can overshadow the cuisine, which, like the décor, draws its inspiration from all corners of the globe. With a top-class concierge and room service running day and night, your every last wish can be catered for. Blakes is a romantic whirlwind from the minute you step through the door – so full of fantasy and fun – you are guaranteed to have a great time.
Around each corner there is a surprise and the chance to discover more of the mystery and magic that has been created here. If the term ‘design hotel’ means attention to detail and the entire aesthetic experience, then Blakes London veritably deserves that title and embodies Hempel’s motto: ‘Design, Refine, Repeat’, on an individual level. Blakes London endeavours to work in close association with Anouska Hempel Design to deliver a world-class experience both in Architecture and Design creativity.