May­fair’s bou­tique ho­tels

Bou­tique ho­tels in one of London’s most ex­clu­sive vicini­ties - May­fair

Business Traveller (India) - - CONTENTS -

May­fair has main­tained its sta­tus as one of London’s most elite zones since be­fore World War II. Af­ter the War, it did lose some of its al­lure, only to re­gain it around the mid-1990s, thanks to re­fur­bish­ment of the build­ings here. Iron­i­cally, this so­phis­ti­cated area gets its name from “May Fair” that took place from 1686 to 1764, where the peas­ant class en­joyed all sorts of dance and mu­sic. The fair was later moved to Fair Field in Bow be­cause the af­flu­ent res­i­dents felt it di­min­ished the ap­peal of the neigh­bour­hood.

Over the years, May­fair has evolved from be­ing just an ex­pen­sive col­lec­tion of res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties to in­clud­ing of­fices by noteworthy brands, high fash­ion stores, Miche­lin-starred restau­rants and lux­ury ho­tels. It cov­ers the en­tire area between Hyde Park Cor­ner, Mar­ble Arch, Ox­ford Cir­cus, Pic­cadilly Cir­cus and Green Park.

While five-star prop­er­ties at May­fair con­tinue to at­tract leisure and busi­ness trav­ellers alike, a num­ber of bou­tique ho­tels have upped the charm of this up­town area. With in­no­va­tions in their of­fer­ings, these bou­tique ho­tels break from con­ven­tional hos­pi­tal­ity con­cepts and cre­ate a fresh travel ex­pe­ri­ence for their guests.

Here are five bou­tique ho­tels you could con­sider as op­tions in London’s ex­clu­sive post­code.

45 PARK LANE

“You’re our guest, not a room num­ber,” reads the 45 Park Lane ho­tel’s web­site elab­o­rat­ing on its unique but­ler ser­vice. The ho­tel as­signs a “host” for ev­ery room who acts as a round the clock concierge and bank of knowl­edge on London.

Part of Dorch­ester Col­lec­tion, a lux­ury ho­tel op­er­a­tor, 45 Park Lane has an in­ter­est­ing back­story. About five decades ago, the build­ing housed The Play­boy Club and was nick­named “the hutch on the park” – a to-be-seen-in hang­out in the ‘60s for those with deep pock­ets. On ac­quir­ing the prop­erty, Dorch­ester Col­lec­tion de­signed the ho­tel to repli­cate a cosy house. Ev­ery now and then it show­cases works by mod­ern artists, also on sale, at any of its in­house venues.

Each of the 45 rooms and suites have “a 1920s heart, dipped in ul­ti­mate com­fort”, and over­looks Hyde Park.

CUT, its in-house Amer­i­can restau­rant is pop­u­lar for its range of steaks amongst other of­fer­ings. The menu cre­ated by chef Wolf­gang Puck also in­cludes dishes like pan-roasted lob­ster, burg­ers and risotto. Bar 45 is the prop­erty’s chic drink­ing hole, which serves sea­sonal hand-crafted cock­tails and “ROUGH CUTS” – a bar menu of fin­ger foods like Wagyu slid­ers, Dorset crab rolls and grilled Steak fries.

A one-night stay in June is up­wards of £750/`70,000. dorch­ester­col­lec­tion.com

ARTIST RES­I­DENCE LONDON

As the name sug­gests, Artist Res­i­dence has a high de­sign quo­tient. It is one of the five prop­er­ties in Eng­land by the chain, which de­scribes it­self as “eclec­tic lux­ury”. This ho­tel is sit­u­ated on Cambridge Street near May­fair in Pim­lico. Break­ing away from the con­ven­tional in­te­ri­ors of most ho­tels, Artist Res­i­dence London em­braces ab­stract de­sign sen­si­bil­i­ties – think, old style iron beds with clean, straight lines, oth­er­wise plain wall mir­rors with one dis­tinc­tive fea­ture, and wash­basins with sep­a­rate hot and cold knobs for the faucet.

It all started in 2008 when Justin and Char­lotte Sal­is­bury in­vited artists to dec­o­rate rooms in re­turn for board­ing at their bed and break­fast in Brighton. Hun­dreds of artists trans­formed the place with praise­wor­thy works and Artist Res­i­dence was born as a con­cept ho­tel brand. In 2014, they brought their chain to London.

This stylish prop­erty has just ten rooms (with free wifi and a Ne­spresso cof­fee ma­chine), a cock­tail bar and an all-day din­ing restau­rant. Each room is uniquely

de­signed with con­tem­po­rary ur­ban, graphic or street art on all or any of the walls, ceil­ings, rus­tic wooden floors, and con­tin­ues in its vin­tage fur­nish­ings.

The high­light of the ho­tel is its soughtafter Claren­don Cock­tail Cel­lar that was once an old Vic­to­rian pub in 1872. Con­sid­ered quite the gem in London’s ex­clu­sive nightlife scene, it fea­tures ex­posed brick walls, red bar stools and dim light­ing. Its in-house restau­rant, the Cambridge Street Kitchen has a tran­si­tional sea­sonal menu. The head chef cu­rates new fu­sion dishes from avail­able lo­cal pro­duce.

A one-night stay in June is up­wards of £245/`22,865. artistres­i­dence.co.uk

THE BEAU­MONT

The de­but ho­tel of Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, restau­ra­teurs who own the Wolse­ley, the De­lau­nay and other gourmet eater­ies in London, The Beau­mont opened in 2014. Ac­com­mo­da­tion at the 73-key prop­erty in­cludes three, two and four room, stu­dio and suite cat­e­gories re­spec­tively.

The Art Deco-styled rooms are punc­tu­ated with black and white pho­to­graphs, orig­i­nal paint­ings, an­tiques and books. Win­dows over­look May­fair or the gar­den court. The plush mar­ble bath­rooms are fit­ted with floor heat­ing.

Rec­om­mended is the “ROOM” suite (£1,278/`1,19,299 on­wards per night), which is in a “gi­ant semi-ab­stract” sculp­ture by Antony Gorm­ley. It is de­signed as a dark, mys­te­ri­ous wood-pan­elled space for guests to achieve a med­i­ta­tive state of tran­quil­lity.

In­cluded in the room rates, across all ac­com­mo­da­tion cat­e­gories are tea, cof­fee, juices and baked goods in The Cub Room, which is The Beau­mont’s lounge bar. This is in ad­di­tion to the free in-room mini­bar that ex­cludes al­co­holic bev­er­ages. A vin­tage Daim­ler is avail­able on re­quest for free drop-offs within May­fair.

Try the rec­om­mended lob­ster à la Russe or New York hot dogs at The Colony Grill or en­joy a bour­bon at The Amer­i­can Bar. The white mar­ble Art Deco spa of­fers Ha­mam treat­ments, in ad­di­tion to a steam and sauna. The gym is open round the clock. The Lo­tus Room is its glam­orous space for in­ti­mate events for up to 60 peo­ple.

A one-night stay in June is up­wards of £495/`46,206. beau­mont.com

THE LANESBOROUGH

The Lanesborough is a part of the Oetker Col­lec­tion, a Ger­man hos­pi­tal­ity com­pany that owns ten lux­ury ho­tels. Fol­low­ing a re­fur­bish­ment project, the 93-key ho­tel re­launched in 2015.

Rooms and suites are dec­o­rated in beau­ti­ful pas­tels and colo­nial style fur­nish­ings. Each room has an en­trance

As the name sug­gests, Artist Res­i­dence has a high de­sign quo­tient. It is one of the five prop­er­ties in Eng­land by the chain, which de­scribes it­self as “eclec­tic lux­ury”

foyer for added pri­vacy, writ­ing desk, sep­a­rate seat­ing area and un­der oor heat­ing in the bath­rooms. e in-room tablet can be used for house­keep­ing, room ser­vice, restau­rant reser­va­tions and to browse the in­ter­net. On re­quest, com­pli­men­tary tea or co ee is served with the wakeup call.

e ho­tel tai­lors three-day itin­er­ar­ies for guests (on re­quest), which in­cludes the Tower of London, St. Kather­ine Docks, Re­gent Park’s open-air theatre, Carn­aby Street, Soho and ends with a per­for­mance at the Royal Al­bert Hall and din­ner at the ho­tel’s Miche­lin-star restau­rant Celeste.

At Celeste, spe­cial menus paired with be­spoke wines are the norm. It is man­aged by four Miche­lin-starred ex­ec­u­tive chef Flo­rian Favario and three Miche­lin-starred chef Eric Fre­chon. e a er­noon tea here, though ex­trav­a­gant is worth the ex­pe­ri­ence with so pi­ano play­ing in the back­ground of e Lanesborough’s rich am­bi­ence.

Guests can also re­lax with beauty and well­ness treat­ments at its Club and Spa. If vis­it­ing on busi­ness, the seven event rooms are o ered for ei­ther a cock­tail

The a er­noon tea here, though ex­trav­a­gant is worth the ex­pe­ri­ence with so pi­ano play­ing in the back­ground of The Lanesborough’s rich am­bi­ence

gath­er­ing, pri­vate sit-down din­ner or a board­room meet­ing.

A one-night stay in June is up­wards of £650/`60,660. oetk­er­col­lec­tion.com

THE LEONARD BOU­TIQUE HO­TEL

Sit­u­ated in the heart of London’s lux­ury shop­ping lo­cal­ity in Mar­ble Arch, it en­joys scenic views of Hyde Park. Ac­com­mo­da­tion in the 49-key Leonard Ho­tel ranges from sin­gle and dou­ble rooms, to spa­cious suites and fam­ily rooms. e brand also o ers ser­viced apart­ments for ex­tended stays.

It has a ded­i­cated theatre desk where one can book tick­ets to plays and mu­si­cals in the city, as well as sight­see­ing tours and lunch and din­ner reser­va­tions at any London restau­rant. ere is a Clas­sic Pa­rade ser­vice that o ers the likes of Fer­rari, Lamborghini, Mercedes and Bent­ley for how­ever long you wish to rent the su­per­car dur­ing your stay for travel any­where in the UK.

e a er­noon tea at the only din­ing op­tion here, Sey­mour’s Restau­rant, takes you back to the Vic­to­rian era with its tra­di­tional Bri­tish menu. It has a se­lec­tion of tea and co ee along­side scones, cakes, clot­ted cream and sand­wiches. You can also or­der the Royal A er­noon Tea that is served with a glass of cham­pagne. is restau­rant and bar cre­ates a homely vibe with plush sofa chairs, rich drap­ery and so car­peted oors. An­tique art­work and real re­places ll the place whose sig­na­ture dishes in­clude Scot­tish smoked salmon, lamb cut­lets and mixed berries crum­ble with cus­tard.

A one-night stay in June is up­wards of £153/`14,284. leonard.com

PRE­VI­OUS PAGE: The Beau­mont CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: a room in Artist Res­i­dence London; The Beau­mont's sit­ting room; and 45 Park Lane's ex­te­rior

TOP: The Lanesborough's lobby

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