Welcoming Belmond Cadogan
It takes skill and a lot of experience to become not just any general manager, but a good one. When Belmond found Klaus, his credentials were already excellent, having held positions at The Berkeley, Claridge’s and Le Richmond Geneve. Now he’s turning his attention to Chelsea, and Klaus is excited. “The hotel has been an established part of the cultural heritage of Chelsea since it first opened in 1887 and is associated with many notable names, including socialite Lillie Langtry and author Oscar Wilde,” Klaus says.
Now under Belmond management, it’s a landmark for the luxury hotel chain as its first in London. As such, the hotel is on a mission to offer the service and amenities synonymous with Belmond, while retaining the charm and character of Chelsea. The focus, says Klaus, is on preserving a legend, embracing quiet luxury and celebrating a “rich, quirky history”. As such, the design is very considered. “We are retaining the exuberant Queen Anne style and original details, such as working fireplaces, mosaic floors and wood panelling, and celebrating British artistic talent, with various commissioned pieces to be found throughout the hotel,” he says. Even the design of staff uniforms has been carefully considered, inspired by 1960s London and the King’s Road. “Designs see Peter Pan collars and strong check prints, a nod to Mary Quant and other designers who made their mark in the area,” Klaus says.
Guests staying at the hotel will have access to Cadogan Place Gardens as well as a private entrance at 21 Pont Street, once home to Lillie Langtry. The idea, says Klaus, is that guests will truly feel at home in the hotel and, of course, this is elevated with excellent dining, too.
The hotel’s restaurant, helmed by the award-winning Adam Handling who trained at Gleneagles, will showcase the chef’s commitment to sustainability, offering modern British fare and a commitment to zero waste.
As for wider offerings in the area, Klaus will be able to send guests to many of his favourite local spots, which include “the Royal Court Theatre, Granger and Co. and the newly reimagined Pavilion Road, where you can find some of the best local ingredients from the independent retailers – Bread Ahead’s doughnuts are not to be missed”.
The hotel will also offer some insider experiences – Klaus is particularly excited for guests to have the opportunity to breakfast with a local London ‘cabby’ at the taxi shelter opposite the hotel.
In anticipation of such a huge undertaking, I ask Klaus what he thinks makes for a good general manager, and his answer is focused on teamwork. “Everyone’s role is just as important as mine. It’s very important to me that we work all together to really make this hotel a success.”
With that kind of attitude, we have no doubt it will be, and we’re counting down until the day its doors open. See you soon, Belmond Cadogan.
75 Sloane Street