REVIEW: Sofitel, St. James
Behind a stunning neoclassical façade just along from Trafalgar Square you’ll find the smart and effortlessly continental Sofitel London St James hotel. The perfect embodiment of Parisian elegance, the hotel pulls together fine French cuisine and stylish Coco Chanel-inspired décor, with comfortable rooms and a visually stunning spa bedecked in pinks and purples.
Downstairs, you’ll see inviting dark leather banquettes and opulent staircases (leading up to a fabulous wine cellar) in The Balcon restaurant, and grand afternoon teas taking place in the beautiful Rose Lounge. We sampled some truly great beef burgers in St James Bar next door (modelled on Coco Chanel’s 1920s apartment) as a private function was taking place. Entertained by the friendly waiters dancing around to the entertainment, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal, making use of traditional French recipes and fine ingredients. A short walk through the foyer will bring you to striking modern artwork (fun to look at, if a little at odds with the hotel’s theme).
In the opulent So Spa you’ll find unspeakable grandeur – think spa ‘butlers’ tailoring every detail to your preference (from lighting to music and fragrances) to a beautiful manicure and pedicure area – enough to make any beauty addict weep after a day pounding the pavements in busy central London.
Up to your bedroom (honed by French architect and designer Pierre Yves Rochon, with rich fabrics in shades of chocolate, almond and olive) you’ll find mahogany furniture, checkered tiles and an altogether quite minimal vibe. Smart and business-like, the decor won’t blow you away, though the beds are super soft and indulgent – perfect for curling up in while you consider heading back out into the night. A hotel location this central shouldn’t be wasted on a night in watching television, but when the baths are this deep and the robes are this cosy, you’ll already feel like you’re living la vie en rose…
DETAILS: 6 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AN, GB