The handsomely groomed red-and-white Victorian façade of the St James's Hotel & Club Mayfairâ€‹ only hints at the quintessential Mayfair elegance held within. Located on a cul de sac beside Green Park in the heart of Mayfair’s historic clubland (think gentlemen sipping brandy and discussing renovations on their country homes, rather than untsa-dance music), this icon has been fully restored to its former glory, offering all of the grown-up glamour you'd expect. Glamour like Murano chandeliers, hyper-comfortable beds, a museum-worthy portrait collection and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
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A sweet treat from Seven Park Place's kitchen in a keepsake tin
Noon, but possibly later, if availability permits. Check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $247.20 (£191), excluding tax at 20 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional service charge of 5% per room per night on check-out.
Rates exclude breakfast (£16 for Continental).
Don’t miss the hotel’s cocktail hour, not just for the delicious concoctions on offer in the bar, but also for the ever-changing popcorn flavour of the day. Try to catch one of the hotel's cheese and wine or chocolate masterclasses. Sommelier Christophe Thuilot has extremely trustworthy tastebuds and his unconventional pairings (soft Tunworth cheese with cider) give a new twist to the classic cheese board. Or indulge yourself by barely leaving your bed: the hotel's teamed up with Perfect 10 Black Label, to offer guests a pampering menu of spa and beauty treatments. Facials, massages, mani-pedis, reflexology and hair-coiffing are offered alongside luxury wet shaves for resident gents.
At the hotel
In-room spa and beauty treatments, free WiFi throughout, valet parking (£59 a day). In rooms: flatscreen TV, VDA multimedia system with music and videos, iPod dock, minibar, free bottled water, Hypnos beds, Penhaligon's bath products.
Our favourite rooms
The huge sixth-floor Terrace Suite is the ultimate London crashpad: vast, with an open fireplace and a large terrace overlooking surrounding St James. Even more decadence-drippingly exclusive, the St James and Westminster Suites (which can combine to create the Penthouse) are accessed via their own private lift. More modest – but still featuring the same sumptuous silk wallpapers, polished stone bathrooms and hi-tech gadgetry – are the Executive Rooms – ask for one with a Jacuzzi or a balcony.
Mr Smith should definitely bring an extra bag (or money to buy one) – the gentlemen’s tailoring options in Mayfair are unparalleled in London.
The hotel has an impressive stash of 20th-century portraiture, including the 1920s–50s Rosenstein Collection, which adorns its public spaces and suites.
Cots (£36 a night) and extra beds (£60 a night) can be added to rooms. There’s a kids’ menu, and babysitting can be arranged (minimum four hours) with three days' notice. The kids’ concierge can arrange attraction tickets, day trips and early high teas.
For privacy, secure the spot in the alcove by the window.
Modern Mayfair man, poised Piccadilly princess.
St James Hotel & Club Mayfair's Michelin-starred restaurant, Seven Park Place, spreads itself over a few small and simple rooms around the bar area, leant a fresh feel by the lemon-yellow banquettes and black and cream slipper chairs. In addition to the jus and foams of Chef William Drabble's dinner selection, there’s an all-day bar menu of more low-key gastro-pub dishes in William's Bar & Bistro.
The hotel bar is lined with contemporary artworks and silk- and cashmere-coated wall coverings; in a smart palette of gold, lemon and blue – a discreet champagne-supping spot for West London’s smart set.
Dinner is served until 10pm, lunch from noon to 2pm and breakfast from 7am to 10.30am.
A menu of salads, soups and pasta is available 24 hours a day.
The nearest airport is London City, nine miles away. From here, you can fly to Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.
The hotel is a few minutes away from Green Park Tube (on the Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria lines). Victoria station is less than 2 miles away.
Local parking costs £55 for 24 hours.
Worth getting out of bed for
St James's Hotel & Club Mayfair is an easy stroll from the leafy lakeside St James's Park, where the park's wildlife officers feed the pelicans every day at 2.30pm. The Serpentine Gallery, which hosts regular events and exhibitions of cutting-edge art and sculpture, is at the far end of the park. You're also very close to the Institute of Contemporary Arts, better known as the ICA(+44 (0)20 7930 0493), and, of course, Buckingham Palace.
Mayfair’s and Piccadilly’s finest and most fabulous eateries are all within ambling distance of St James’s. The closest isLe Caprice (+44 (0)20 7629 2239), which is just around the corner and serves a beguiling menu that attracts royals, stars and diners of discernment. Saka No Hana(+44 (0)20 7925 8988) is the St James’s Street outpost of Alan Yau’s Japanese haute-cuisine empire and satisfies sashimi cravings with style. Any other oriental culinary whims can be met at Nobu (+44 (0)20 7447 4747) in the Metropolitan London and nearby Berkeley Square. 50-year-old London landmarkBentley's (+44 (0)20 7734 4756) is a five-minute walk away on Swallow Street, owned and helmed by Irish superchef Richard Corrigan, who does speactacular things with fish. From the other side of the culinary globe, Automat (+44 (0)20 7499 3033) on Dover Street provides American brasserie fare (burgers to boast about) and while lunch, dinner and afternoon tea at The Wolseley (+44 (0)20 7499 6996) are indisputably fabulous, it’s the incredible breakfast menu that’s really worth raving about.
The 1707 Wine Bar (0845 602 5694) in Fortnum & Mason’s food hall lets you sample the wares on the neighbouring wine shelves for a £10 corkage fee. Louche and lively Aura (+44 (0)20 7499 9999) on St James' Street is a members' club, kitchen, and one of London's most cash-flashing club nights.
Bond Street, Park Lane, Mayfair. All of the coveted properties of the London Monopoly board line the path to our hotel. As a child, you just knew that you were a winner if these cards were in your hand, and as an adult it’s no different. With each passing street and landmark, we realise we’re in for something very special.
As we approach a quiet cul-de-sac just off St James’s Street, we catch our first glimpse of the elegant St James’s Hotel & Club. The red façade of the imposing townhouse, against the backdrop of snow flurries, seems quite perfect for a Valentine’s weekend away.
As we step inside, friendly faces, warm glowing lights and silk-lined walls await our arrival. The receptionist shows us to our room, and forgoes the standard room tour (at our request), allowing us to explore the nifty gadgets and opulent surrounds ourselves. Later, though, we realise we should have had her identify the little knob in the bathroom that we never quite figured out.
Before heading back out into the horizontal pelting sleet and snow, I pour two glasses of cognac and Mr Smith slips the iPod in the Bose SoundDock. The melodic voice of Jason Mraz infiltrates the space and we survey our rooms. Yes, rooms – a living area, bedroom and a fabulously appointed bathroom.
Both the bedroom and sitting room are illuminated with Murano glass chandeliers and swathed in sensuous materials – velvet, silk, leather and cashmere. Carefully curated art pops against a soothing palette of taupe, cream and steely grey. Modern aristocracy with a wink and a nod to contemporary style best sums up the vibe.
Before I make my way into the next room, Mr Smith summons me with these words, ‘The bathroom was clearly designed with Mr & Mrs Smith in mind!’ He’s right of course, and for a moment I am enthralled by the massive tub, L’Occitane toiletries, heated towels, a built-in LCD television and fluffy robes. Not to mention the large glass rain-head shower with a granite bench. I love the Mr Steam unit that allows us to turn our shower into a personal steam room. A clever touch.
I refrain from filling the bath and diving in until after dinner. We grab two umbrellas and make our way towards Covent Garden for dinner. Mr Smith and I have a rule about dining and local cuisine, one should usually avoid ordering ‘non-indigenous’ meals. The corollary to the rule is don’t order blackened catfish outside of Louisiana. We know this lesson far too well from experience, and almost always end up disappointed.
However, ask any Texan expat what cuisine she misses most, and the answer is usually Mexican (purists will say Tex-Mex). So you can imagine our excitement when we heard about a fabulous Mexican restaurant in London. Clearly we have decided to throw all rules out the window for just a weekend. Plus, it is London. If you are going to find decent Mexican food in the UK, it’s going to be in London, isn’t it?
Apparently we are not the only ones to hear of Wahaca. A long queue of fashionable diners, also desperate to get in, lines the long staircase leading to the large, modern restaurant and bar. Being in no hurry, we make our way to the bar and order mint-infused mojitos concocted with tequila rather than traditional rum. One word: yum! The heart of the menu is hispanic street food of the type one would find from local vendors in Mexico City. We order slow-cooked pork corn tacos, Mexican noplaito (cactus) tostadas, smoked mackerel with black beans and chipotle mayonnaise and, of course, refried beans. The cards continue to stack in our favour. We leave full, happy and satisfied.
Tired from a wonderfully late night, I find it difficult to rouse myself from our blissful, palatial bed the following morning. The promise of a hot shower, a smoked salmon omelette and super-creamy brie make waking up more bearable. The St James’s Seven Park Place restaurant, headed by William Drabble, manages to combine the right mix of contemporary surroundings, ‘proper’ jazz (Miles, Chet, Ella) and sumptuous breakfast. Even Mr Smith’s porridge seems somehow decadent.
The London weather co-operates with us on our second day. Though it’s difficult to fight the temptation to spend the entire weekend in our room, Mr Smith and I decide to set out and take in some of London’s sights and offerings. Leaving the St James’s Hotel & Club, we are immediately met with St James’s Palace and, right around the corner, Buckingham Palace. Not bad neighbours to have for the weekend.
We decide to play tourist and wander the streets on a brisk but sunny day. In a leisurely fashion we take in everything from the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and Trafalgar Square. We stopped in to visit the Van Goghs, Cezannes and Monets at the National Gallery, and make a quick trip to Harrods Foodhall for pantry provisions.
Back in our room I reluctantly pack my luggage and opt for one more well-earned soak in the bath before setting off for home. A perfectly quixotic weekend.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in St James's Hotel & Club Mayfair’s Guestbook below.
The hotel felt very luxourious and intimate, tucked away in the corner of Park Place off St James. The staff were very helpful and attentive and provided a tremendous upgrade in order to better accommodate us for our stay.
ByCharles Edward, SilverSmith
Stayed on 10 Nov 2018
The staff is very courteous and attentive. The executive room was perfect. The Michelin restaurant was outstanding. A great place for an intimate dinner.
The room temps were a little hard to control, you had to call the front desk for any real adjustment. It was either too warm or too cool, so we opted to keep it on the cool side.
Stayed on 5 Oct 2018
Hotel is pretty, close to Buckingham palace and you can get a proper cup of English tea at any hour of the day. Comfortable bed and nice bath amenities.
To be able to work out on the weekends – they don't have a gym, the gym they have arrangements with is closed on the weekends and they had no alternatives. Concierge services consisted of a front desk person googling reviews online which I can do myself. Overall, the service level booking this hotel with Mr & Mrs Smith was far superior to what I experienced at the actual hotel. I would call this hotel just ok.
Stayed on 14 Sep 2018
The spacious junior suite!
To lounge about in your room with all the shops of Mayfair to explore!
Stayed on 22 Dec 2017
The location, the decor and furnishings. The 1st-class service, friendliness of the staff and being in such a luxurious environment.
To be disappointed – you wont be!
Stayed on 22 Nov 2017
This is a proper haven in the heart of London – best of both worlds!
Stayed on 4 Nov 2017
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