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San Domenico House, London 

29-31 Draycott Place
Tel: 44 20 7581 5757
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
This 16-room property, a reincarnation of the former Sloane Hotel on Draycott Place, is ideally situated for exploring Chelsea's history and upscale shops. The hotel, two redbrick houses, contains a warren of staircases and landings supplemented by a tiny elevator. Lavishly furnished with late-eighteenth- and nineteenth-century paintings and antiques, the cozy interior feels more like a quirky private home than the ubiquitous no-place of global Hotel Land. The thick scent of candles strikes an off-note, however, as do occasional stumbles in the decorating: What could an homage to Napoleon be doing in a London drawing room? The heated towel rail in the gleaming bathroom may not always work, but the bedroom lighting is perfection, the continental breakfast as good as any in Milan, and the Italian staff not only attentive but dazzlingly handsome.—2006 Hot List

When to go: London is a year-round destination, but spring through fall has the best weather.

Which room to book: Nos. 204 and 302, if you can manage the stairs, for views of Chelsea's ornate redbrick cornices and gables (doubles, $395–$447).

Amenities: Bar/lounge

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