REVIEW: St James’s Hotel And Club
Decades ago, such was the opulence and grandeur of St James’s Hotel and Club that it was not uncommon to see Sir Winston Churchill or James Bond author Ian Fleming lounging at the bar. Modern day celebrities from Elle Macpherson to Michael Caine, Dita Von Teese to David Attenborough have deemed the hotel’s club perfect for a tipple or two, with dozens more choosing to rest their weary heads in the stunning boudoirs above.
From the exquisite wallpaper and luxurious bedsheets to the marbled bathrooms equipped with televisions, the hotel’s attention to detail is exemplary. The hotel’s red facade, tucked away behind the glitz of The Ritz, is immediately recognisable and utterly enchanting. Every piece of furniture and every metre of fabric – from the Murano glass chandeliers to the walls lined with Loro Piana cashmere – has been carefully selected. A beautiful art collection (including fine examples of Impressionist, Expressionist and Cubist work from all over Europe) is displayed in public areas as well as guest rooms – I could have spent hours poring over each piece.
After checking in without a hitch and enjoying a brief tour of the hotel’s restaurant and bar (again, covered in wonderful artwork and sumptuous furnishings) I was taken to a Deluxe Suite, which I had the good fortune to stay in for one night. Offering everything I could possibly wish for in a hotel room, this was to help St James’s become my favourite ever hotel.
Complete with a King size bed, separate living room and bedroom areas, free Wifi and a jacuzzi bath, the room was 40 square metres of comfort and relaxation. Gorgeous Etro bath products in day-glo pink, green and orange tubes injected the black polished stone bathroom with style and modernity while fabulous fabrics in classic colours deliver the understated glamour the hotel has become so famous for. A Bose iPod dock and stylish writing desk complete the living room, creating a true ‘home from home’ feel (if you live in a palace, that is!)
Seven Park Place, the Michelin star restaurant launched in 2009 by head chef William Drabble, is decorated with similar elegance in rich jewel colours, seating just 26 covers at 9 tables. Unfortunately I did not have the pleasure of eating there, but I’m told the William’s signature French dishes, created using the finest British ingredients, are excellent – in particular, the poached native lobster tail with cauliflower purée and lobster butter sauce is said to be unmissable!
Leaving the hotel for a walk in one of the most famous postcodes in the capital, I was again struck by the hotel’s heady mix of modern art, quaint detail and impressive history. Smiling staff clearly proud of the building’s heritage were more than happy to talk about the area and their beloved hotel, and it comes as no surprise to me. With all the usual trappings of a 5* luxury hotel, St James’s somehow managed to go above and beyond the usual standards without over egging the pudding. When can we move in?
Amy @ Fashionbite xx