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March 7, 2014updated Dec 20, 2023

Staying Wellesley

By Chris Boyle


You’re very well off.  You are a successful global businessperson. You travel a lot and are inspired by beautiful hotels.  When you’re at home perhaps you are a cigar smoker and connoisseur of fine cognac.  Why not build your own hotel?  If you did or are thinking about it, you would be among a growing trend for the super rich.

In this case London based property developer Khalid Affara created The Wellesley with the prime location of 11 Knightsbridge and some 36 rooms and suites of near perfection.  Modern art deco with a wink to Gatsby, the quality finishes are evident both in public areas and in the rooms.

General Manager Stefano Lodi describes the property as “a boutique grand hotel.”  There are 100 staff and many of the suites and rooms can be combined, and buying out an entire floor can provide combinations of four to seven bedrooms.  High tech security can be programmed to ensure only you and your guests have access to the floor, including from fire escapes.

There is a house Rolls Royce available for guests to go within 1.5 miles of the hotel.  There is a full restaurant, The Oval, again stunning in its aesthetics, a Jazz Lounge and a Cigar Terrace.  The Wellesley Suite in fact has its own private humidor as homage to its owner’s fondness of a good puff.  A collection of rare cognacs is on offer, some going for as high as $4,000 per glass.

While return guests are the bread and butter of luxury hotels, in one case a happy guest sent his jet back to pick up two bottles of a favored cognac at over $200,000.  Needless to say, the hotel is hoping for more such clients.

In the meantime, it is represented by Preferred Hotels.

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