Entry-level rooms are small for a five-pearl hotel
Entry-level rooms don't have separate showers and tubs
No tea or coffee service in rooms
Before St. James's was a luxurious boutique hotel, it had a distinguished past as an exclusive Gentlemen's Club. In both common areas and guest rooms, there are luxurious details like handmade silk wallpaper, plush velvet chairs, and Murano-glass chandeliers. The hotel has a Michelin-star restaurant directed by executive chef William Drabble and a more casual bistro and bar. Its 60 rooms and suites have minibars, flat-screen TVs, docking stations, 24-hour room service, and smartphones, though entry-level rooms are tiny for a five-pearl property. In-room spa treatments are available at any hour, but there's no fitness facilities on-site. The hotel is exceptionally located in the exclusive Mayfair neighborhood, an easy walk to restaurants, shops, and attractions. Travelers may want to comparison shop the neighboring properties like The Stafford London and Dukes Hotel.
Luxury boutique hotel with distinguished history and exclusive feel
Previously owned by Michael Caine and Sean Connery -- and frequented by Winston Churchill and Gregory Peck -- this striking red and white Victorian building, once a Gentlemen's Club dating back to the late 1850s, continues in the footsteps of its own distinguished past. The hotel underwent an extravagant renovation in 2008 and undergoes soft renovations yearly.
The lobby and lounge have an exclusive yet charming old-world atmosphere with plush velvet chairs, wood wainscoting, and silk-paneled walls. There are also striking contemporary elements, such as black lacquered furniture set against gold and cappuccino-toned accents. The in-house art collection includes everything from Cubist masters to Mongolian war helmets and 1930s caricatures, which decorate the bar. Guests shouldn't be fooled by the extravagance, though -- staff are friendly and little extras, like a kids' concierge service, make this hotel appealing to a range of guests, though the hotel is most frequented by business travelers and couples.
In high-end Mayfair neighborhood near exclusive restaurants and shops
The St. James's Hotel and Club is located on a quiet cul-de-sac off St. James's street in Mayfair, an exclusive neighborhood known for its pricey restaurants and shops, many within a five-minute walk of the hotel. There are plenty of tourist attractions in walking distance, too, including Buckingham Palace (10-minute walk) and Trafalgar Square (15-minute walk). For sights farther out, the Greek Park tube station is only a five-minute walk.
14 minutes to Westminster Abbey and Big Ben via public transit (22-minute walk)
20 minutes to The British Museum via public transit
20 minutes to Victoria and Albert Museum via public transit
22 minutes to Tate Modern via public transit
26 minutes to Shakespeare's Globe Theater via public transit
Luxurious rooms with high-end amenities and decor -- but entry-level rooms are relatively small
The St. James's elegant rooms and suites offer sophisticated old-world charm and contemporary details with sleek, black lacquered furniture, handmade silk wallpaper, velvety headboards, Murano-glass chandeliers, and chic black-and-white bathrooms with chrome fixtures. Superior Rooms -- the entry-level size -- are a bit of a squeeze for such a pricey property, though, measuring only about 215 square feet, and Deluxe Rooms are only a bit larger. Entry-level rooms also have combination (not separate) showers and tubs. Upgraded rooms can get quite luxurious with four-poster beds, fireplaces, separate bathtubs and walk-in showers, terraces, and other extras. The Penthouse Suite is the property's crown jewel with a large private rooftop terrace with city views.
The rooms' Hypnos mattresses are extremely comfortable, and all rooms have desk areas, safes, minibars, and free Wi-Fi, plus flat-screen TVs and iPhone docking stations (Sony or Bose). For the length of stay, guests are given smartphones with free Wi-Fi and free local and international calls to US and other countries. Oddly, rooms don't come standard with coffee/tea service, but room service is available 24 hours.
Michelin-rated restaurant, bar and bistro, and dedicated concierge -- however wellness facilities are limited
While the hotel lacks some of the extra features of five-pearl properties, what it does have, it has with style. Most notable is the on-site, Michelin-rated dining room, Seven Park Place, serving French cuisine and headed by executive chef William Drabble. The more informal William's Bar and Bistro also serves dishes created by the executive chef, along with drinks and afternoon teas. A full English breakfast is available for an extra fee. The hotel also offers private dining and 24-hour room service.
While there are no on-site wellness facilities, the hotel has a partnership with the nearby spa to offer a huge range of in-room treatments, from massages to facials to pedicures, all available 24 hours. Personal training sessions can also be booked, though there's no fitness center on-site. The hotel has several plush lounges, evoking the days of a historic Gentlemen's Club, meeting and event spaces, and free Wi-Fi throughout. There are dedicated concierges, including a kid's concierge, who offer exceptional service and can arrange for just about anything. Cribs and rollaway beds can be requested but cost extra fees. Valet parking is also an additional fee.
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