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Hotel Review: The Pelham, South Kensington in London

By Chloe Boston  |  February 12, 2020

South Kensington is the neighbourhood of choice for many visitors to London thanks to the abundance of must-see museums and galleries in the area. Whilst the Natural History and Science museums are just a three-minute walk away from each other in South Kensington, The British Museum is also located nearby in Bloomsbury. Perhaps most notable of all is the Victoria and Albert Museum, world-renowned for its many exhibitions on fashion, design, art and more. The famous red bricks are visible almost immediately upon exiting South Kensington underground station, so for any culture vultures wanting to stay as close to the arty action as possible, a stay at The Pelham is a must.


The Pelham Hotel - King suite living room
Country home intimacy meets London town house living in The Pelham

Forming part of the Italian group Starhotels Collezione, this classic Kensington townhouse hotel blends quintessential English personality with unexpected bursts of extravagance. Designed by renowned interior designer Kit Kemp, The Pelham is as glamorous and vivid as you could hope for, with theatrical colour schemes and vintage furniture throughout the property.

The 52 characterful rooms and suites all benefit from Kemp’s touch, as do the cosy common areas, which are clad with wood panelling and hefty framed oil paintings. ‘The Drawing Room’, where afternoon tea is served, and ‘The Library’ are both available to all guests to use throughout the day, allowing them to really make themselves feel at home.

The charming guestrooms very much echo the atmosphere within the rest of the hotel – the result being a mix of retro furnishings and contemporary design style. Each room is different, offering guests even more reason to continue returning to the hotel, but every one has its own quirks and jazzy patterns. Whether floral, checked, colour-blocked, or geometric, every room guarantees a playful aesthetic whether in the wallpaper or in the headboards and bed linen. Our room was painted a deep fuschia pink with orange and white patterned furnishings – a colour combination you might not expect from the conservative white townhouse exterior of The Pelham. Amenities include Penhaligon toiletries and Marshall speakers.


The Pelham London Exterior
The hotel is perfectly positioned in the heart of South Kensington for exploring the galleries, museums and other cultural attractions of the capital

Situated just steps from South Kensington tube station, travelling to The Pelham after a long or short journey is positively pain-free, as it is easily reachable from Heathrow or Gatwick as well as St Pancras International. Once at the hotel, some of London’s most popular museums like the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the V&A are all less than five-minutes walk away. Walking around South Kensington is picturesque and cinematic, with wide avenues lined with neatly trimmed trees and red buses driving past.

Access to the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines from South Kensington underground ensures guests can reach all areas of London within around 30 minutes of travel. Museums and galleries are just a short ride or walk away, as is the glitzy shopping district of Knightsbridge, including Harrods and Harvey Nichols.


La Trattoria is the basement restaurant headed by chef Alfred Russo, offering an Italian sharing plate concept

Afternoon tea is always a colourful affair at The Pelham, with the pastry menu being regularly switched up by the talented chefs to reflect ever-changing cultural scene in London. During the striking Mary Quant exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Pelham is offering a specially designed Quant-inspired tea. The playful pastries bring the 60s to life, drawing on the history of British icon Mary Quant who is often considered the originator of the miniskirt. A vibrant display of savouries and sweets resembling mini-dresses, fashion prints and makeup celebrate Quant’s style, and is the ideal first course before heading to the V&A to visit the exhibition.

La Trattoria is the basement restaurant headed by chef Alfred Russo, offering an Italian sharing plate concept. The menu features only the best of classic Italian comfort food, such as a hearty lasagne, four cheese gnocchi, antipasti, and pizzas, and would be a hit with all of the family.


The Pelham welcomes families of all sizes, with spacious rooms allowing for cots, as well as the VIK (Very Important Kids) programme. Children are welcomed with games, colouring and reading books at check-in, and parents can utilise a bookable babysitting service too.

For longer stays, families will love the split-level Mews Suite with a lounge, dining area, and own private entrance.

The Pelham London Drawing_Room
The hotel offers signature furniture and artwork throughout


Rooms from £203 per night.

Address: 15 Cromwell Place, London, SW7 2LA, UK
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7589 8288