london: blakes hotel renewal

© blakes - a stylish pad in leafy south kensington

opened way back in 1978, london's blakes is the planet's original luxury boutique hotel. created by designer anouska hempel in a bohemian yet decadent style, it's tucked away in a quiet corner of leafy south kensington, and has been the pad of preference for those susceptible to exuberant grade 'a' aesthetics, impeccable service and discretion. the hotel has recently refurbished its 47 rooms, each featuring sumptuous furnishings and state-of-the-art technology, including bang & olufsen ipod docks and televisions. blakes' signature suites include the corfu, a pristine all-white french provençal suite with an abundance of gossamer nets and mother of pearl furniture, and suite 007, the largest suite in the house, featuring original french art nouveau doors, hand-painted white floors and a large victorian drawing room complete with fireplace and bookcases.

hempel also created the courtyard, a secluded green oasis adorned by bay trees that draws inspiration from a traditional japanese garden. another addition is a full-fledged gym fitted with the very latest in keiser training equipment and reserved for the use of hotel guests. the hotel's refurbishment program extends to the popular blakes bar and restaurant which now boast a dazzling decorum of eastern and oriental motifs. the bar menu perfectly echoes the aesthetics, serving exotic cocktails while the restaurant complements these with an array of refined fusion dishes. location: 33 roland gardens [south kensington].

© blakes - hotel lobby, refurbished guest room and bathroom [top to bottom]