HO­TEL OF THE WEEK ST JAMES’S HO­TEL AND CLUB

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE - ANDY MOSSACK

WALK­ING UP to the en­trance, I re­minded my­self of all the pre­vi­ous own­ers and mem­bers of a busi­ness which be­gan as a Trav­ellers Club for diplo­mats b ack in 1857.

Ian Flem­ing, Win­ston Churchill, Peter De Savary and his show biz in­vestors: Michael Caine, Sean Con­nery, Tim Rice, Dud­ley Moore, Liza Minelli and Pete Townsend. Heady days.

Since then, it has had its ups and downs yet re­tains the air of so­phis­ti­cated ex­clu­siv­ity, de­spite its il­lus­tri­ous past. I was look­ing for­ward to see­ing what lay be­hind the leg­end.

With just 60 rooms, St James’s is a cosy lux­ury bou­tique, tucked away on a quiet cul-de-sac off St. James’ Street. It still has an air of gen­tle­man’s club; the orig­i­nal works of art, the hand­made silk wall­pa­per, the Mu­rano glass chan­de­liers and a stun­ning vin­tage stair­case.

And there’s a savvy concierge whose se­cret un­veil­ing of the mys­te­ri­ous short cut on to Green Park was very wel­come. Ac­tu­ally, it was no se­cret at all, I made that bit up, but it was said to once be the en­trance kept for pri­vate vis­its of the Queen.

I stayed in the 6th floor ter­race. A lounge area of sink-into so­fas, plush car­pet­ing and fine fur­ni­ture led out on to a charm­ing flow­ered ter­race over­look­ing May­fair, re­plete with wicker fur­ni­ture. In­side was a bed­room with a Hyp­nos mat­tress, crisp linen, a Jacuzzi bath, a walk-in trop­i­cal shower, twin sinks and Etro and Penhaligon toi­letries.

Sur­pris­ingly, there was a dis­tinct lack of power points (one of my pet hates) par­tic­u­larly as there was a fine hairdryer to use but nowhere to plug it in near a mir­ror, and worse, no ket­tle for tea and cof­fee or espresso ma­chine which is pretty much de rigueur in ho­tels these days.

Back down that stun­ning stair­case, Miche­lin-starred Wil­liam Drab­ble’s Seven Park Place. Like the ho­tel, Seven Park Place is small and cosy. RATES: Rooms from £410 pn. www.st­jameshote­land­club.com

Star rat­ing: Michael Caine, Sean Con­nery and Liza Minelli were mem­bers

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