Strict dress code enforced in the bar (a pro for some)
Dukes Hotel is a pricey, prestigious 90-room boutique delivering an updated take on classic English luxury. It's quietly opulent and features plenty of special boutique amenities, such as a cognac and cigar garden, and a Drawing Room where traditional afternoon tea is served. The most notable feature, however, is Dukes Bar, frequented by James Bond creator Ian Fleming, and the birthplace of the famous "Shaken, not stirred" line. (The bar is, naturally, famous for its martinis -- but note that there's a strict dress code.) Rooms have upscale decor that varies between room types; lower level rooms have fresh ivory and white decor, while suites blend classic and contemporary styles. All are sophisticated.
The elegant decor strikes the perfect balance between homey and lavish
Dukes Hotel meets the discerning standards of the posh Mayfair neighborhood where it's located. The hotel dubs its style "modern classic" -- an updated take on classic English luxury. The lobby has wingback chairs and a rich mahogany front desk (with a display of actual keys behind it), while the teal-and-charcoal conservatory is pleasant and elegant. An eclectic mix of contemporary and traditional art is the result of the hotel’s impressive art collection, which started over 100 years ago.
Hallways are worth mentioning as they’re dark and mysterious, with rich wallpaper and opulent gold-gilded mirrors. Lower level rooms are elegant, with white and ivory decor, while the elegant suites have contemporary touches such as rich blue and purple accents.
Dukes’ most notable feature is undoubtedly Dukes Bar, reputed both for its fantastic martinis and for being frequented by James Bond creator Ian Fleming. The classic Bond phrase, “Shaken, not stirred,” was inspired by its setting. The hotel also has a drawing room where traditional afternoon tea is served, and The PJ Lounge, serving champagne and champagne cocktails in a stylish room decorated in lime and rose.
In Mayfair, on a peaceful cul-de-sac off of the prestigious St. James’s Street, and a seven-minute walk from Greek Park tube station
Mayfair is a posh neighborhood brimming with hedge fund managers, embassy diplomats, and the local affluent. St. James’s Hotel and Club is a convenient home base for those looking to explore the prestigious surroundings; popular activities here include dining at pricey restaurants and shopping at Selfridge’s. The hotel sits in a quiet cul-de-sac off of St. James Street.
7-minute walk to Green Park, one of the Queen’s royal parks
9-minute walk to Buckingham Palace
10-minute walk to Piccadilly circus and Piccadilly theatres
10-minute walk to London ICA
13-minute walk to Trafalgar Square
15-minute walk to West End shopping districts
11-minute tube ride to Knightsbridge shopping district
12-minute tube ride to Hyde Park Corner and Hyde Park
12-minute tube ride to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum
15-minute tube ride to Westminster Abbey and Big Ben
The rooms at the Dukes' are decorated in a elegant white and ivory decor. The 11 suites underwent a refurbishment in 2011, and received fresh bedding and upgraded decor that blends classic and contemporary styles.
Fruit and handmade chocolates are provided in the suites at turndown.
The main difference between the room categories is space. The lowest-level rooms are quite small.
The Dukes room (the lowest category) comes with a queen-sized bed and is meant for single occupancy.
The Luxury Room offers more space with a comfortable seating area.
Junior Suites are large, open plan suites with separate seating areas partitioned off by an archway.
Duchess Rooms are provided with the lone female traveler in mind, and include a makeup mirror, dressing table, smaller size slippers, lifestyle magazines, and the option to reserve a quiet corner table at the restaurant.
Fantastic martinis at the cozy bar, and old-fashioned English fare with a twist
Thirty Six by Michelin-star chef Nigel Mendham offers refined British cuisine, prepared using old-fashioned techniques in an effort to keep technology out of the kitchen.
A spot frequented by James Bond creator Ian Fleming, Dukes Bar is particularly known for inspiring the classic quote, “Shaken, not stirred.” Head barman Alessandro Palazzi is well-reputed for mixing fantastic martinis. Note that there is a dress code: smart casual (no denim or tennis shoes, and men must wear ties).
Decorated in classic neutrals, teal and charcoal, the Drawing Room and Conservatory overlook the courtyard garden and serve as spots to relax or have afternoon tea.