A grand dame London hotel with a history as rich as many of its guests, Claridge’s justifies its high rates with exceptional standards of luxury and service. Dating all the way back to 1812, if you like your luxe hotels to come with a who’s who of famous figures attached, then here’s your pick. Queen Victoria and Audrey Hepburn are two famous dames whose footsteps you’ll be walking in at the hotel in the center of Mayfair, a place where nostalgic notions can have you breaking out in goose bumps — just us? Attracting a well to do, sophisticated crowd, the restaurants and bars encourage a quieter intimacy than similar luxury hotels, an atmosphere that suits the hotel’s regal image.
London’s reputation for rain is slightly exaggerated, however, the complimentary Burberry macs make for a good way of keeping dry when the heavens do decide to open.
The hotel has a general sense of art deco panache and the rooms follow suit with an updated version of 1920s elegance. All muted pastel colors, soft chenille cocktail chairs and opulent, gigantic beds. Rooms are largely decorated in the same style while the suites are where the décor runs wild. In particular, the Signature Suites take bespoke luxury to another level, coming with a personal butler to wait on you hand and foot.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Connecting rooms can be arranged for families if a multi-room suite is an extravagance too far.
Black and white marble and more art deco flair can be found in the ostentatious bathrooms with tubs and walk-in showers depending on the room.
Hotels like Claridge’s are about anticipation and in terms of first impressions the moment you see the mammoth redbrick building decorated with flags billowing above its foyer, you know it’s something special. The lobby itself is a grand art deco hall full of clashing checkerboard tiles, bouquets of flowers, crystal chandeliers, gilt antique mirrors and intricate cornicing — so pretty smart it’s fair to say.
Beauty and wellness treatments are available to guests in the plush spa rooms. The intimate spaces are soothing and serene, ideal for indulging massages, manicures, pedicures and various treatments.
A refined place to train, the polished wooden floors of Claridge’s fitness center are almost shiny enough to see your reflection, which would definitely make for a novel way to check on your form. Fortunately, there are mirrors for working on your posture and if you want an expert opinion on your technique an in-house personal trainer will be happy to assist.
Michelin starred fine dining is on the menu at Claridge’s with their in-house restaurant Fera. If you’re an inquisitive foodie, book into Fera Development Kitchen where the gourmet menu is all about experimenting with flavor and technique to produce contemporary British dishes. As well as the odd Michelin starred restaurant, Claridge’s is also famous for its afternoon tea. Having perfected the service over the last 150 years, it’s one of the best in town.
If the Fera is cutting-edge and the afternoon tea is traditional, then the Fumoir Bar is timeless charm. The sumptuous bar takes the art deco glamor (did we mention Claridge’s has a thing for art deco?) vibe to another era with its rich burgundy and chocolate color scheme and candlelit tables offering a fantasy kind of place to sip on ridiculously well-made cocktails. If you like a brighter space with the benefit of daylight to go with your vintage champagne and aged whisky, try the Claridge’s Bar.
A luxury hotel could hardly be better located than Claridge’s, with a vast range of luxury boutiques, Michelin starred restaurants, and private galleries in close vicinity.
Elegant and just a touch eccentric, 34 Mayfair (5-minute walk) is a restaurant in Grosvenor Square that’s going to rekindle your love of steak and grilled fish—if you ever lost it, that is. Pure Mayfair, Cecconi’s (10-minute walk) is a staple of the well-heeled central London crowd who go for the chance to eat delicious classic Italian food in a swanky dining room.
Follow on from the Fumoir Bar with more 1920 interior charm at The Luggage Room (2-minute walk). Drink the cocktails and enjoy the ambiance of this stunning bar. If you’re a celebrity or just the type who likes exclusive drinking spots then go to The Met Bar (14-minute walk) and drink classic cocktails.
WHY WE LIKE IT
If you want all the sights and sounds of grandiose London then Mayfair is the place to be. And in Mayfair, when it comes to hotels, Claridge’s is one of the best. Service is impeccable, the art deco interiors have lost none of their style and the drinking and dining options have the potential to make you a shut-in throughout your stay—though if you do choose to leave, culture and fun can be found within minutes of the front door. Stuffier then the Langham but just about more contemporary than the Savoy, Claridge’s also has its famous name to tempt with.