From the outside you would never know this was a hotel, and herein lies its charm. Unlike some of the Mayfair grand-dame hotels, The Franklin is totally understated, allowing guests to slip into the townhouse existence of privileged locals. The Franklin’s position in peaceful Egerton Gardens in Knightsbridge is optimal, close to shops like Harrods and Harvey Nichols and the V&A museum and just a short taxi ride into the West End. And there is an assiduous ‘guest experience team’ on hand to arrange excursions for guests, though many may choose to simply relax in its pretty private garden.
Recently acquired by Italian entrepreneur Elisabetta Fabri, the hotel reopened in August 2016 after a lengthy renovation. It has retained its Englishness, but now has shiny new interiors by whimsical designer Anouska Hempel. The 35 rooms and suites now boast carrara marble and limestone floors, mirrored furniture and Italian velvets and silks, giving a touch of opulence to this Victorian house. There is also a dedicated ‘wellbeing floor’ with a spa and hammam.