Review of St James’s Hotel and Club in Mayfair

Hidden down a cul-de-sac off the stylish streets of Mayfair, St James’s Hotel and Club offers a pocket of discreet luxury in central London.

The attractive Victorian townhouse dates back to 1857 when it opened as a private member’s club for diplomats and the upper classes. For more than 160 years, the building has welcomed an illustrious list of guests through its doors, including the likes of Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill and Sean Connery.

Today, the five-star boutique hotel retains the distinguished feel of a member’s club, with well-appointed rooms, attentive staff and award-winning dining in-keeping with its prestigious postcode.

First impressions

The hotel’s public spaces are small but stylish, and what the interior lacks in grandeur it makes up for in attention to detail. Plush velvet seating, glass chandeliers and striking artwork mixes with period features including a grand central staircase and paneled walls. The concierge and reception staff were warm and welcoming, adding to the intimate atmosphere.




1857 The Bar is a chic space where guests and club members can enjoy a quiet drink or light meal in a laid-back environment
– St James’s Hotel and Club

While there’s not much in the way of facilities (space for spas or gyms is unsurprisingly limited in a Victorian building) in-room wellness treatments can be arranged.

Rooms

St James’s has 60 guest bedrooms, ranging from the impressive penthouse suite with its own rooftop terrace to superior rooms with balconies. The décor is decidedly contemporary with silk wallpaper and sleek black furniture, with spacious Hypnos beds. Bathrooms are finished in black natural stone and feature deep tubs and rainfall showers, with Penhaligon’s toiletries and fluffy robes offering a touch of luxury.


Superior room at St James's Hotel and Club

Rooms are modern and stylish, with silk wallpaper, sleek black furniture and spacious Hypnos beds
– St James’s Hotel and Club

In-room amenities are no-frills – there’s a desk area, TV and mini-bar – but with the capital’s main action right on the doorstep, there’s not much need for mod-cons. Despite the city center location, external noise was almost non-existent.

Eating and drinking

The newly renovated 1857 The Bar is a chic space where guests and club members can enjoy a quiet drink or light meal in a laid-back environment. There’s an extensive choice of rare wines, premium spirits and classic cocktails, as well as the oldest collection of vintage ports in London.


A port cocktail, served at 1857 The Bar, St James's Hotel and Club, Mayfair

Special port cocktails from the vintage collection are served at 1857 The Bar
– St James’s Hotel and Club

Undoubtedly the star of the show at St James’s is the gourmet restaurant, Seven Park Place. The menus are designed by Michelin-star chef, William Drabble, and feature a creative medley of simple, flavor-packed dishes made from seasonal produce with French influences. The team of friendly and passionate staff were keen to share their culinary knowledge to enhance the dining experience.


Seven Park Place restaurant at St James's Hotel and Club, Mayfair

The hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant Seven Park Place, offers an intimate atmosphere
– St James’s Hotel and Club

The eight-course Gourmand menu, which was adjusted to a pescatarian version as a last-minute request, was exceptional, with each dish more delicious than the last. Highlights included hand dived scallops (which really did melt-in-your-mouth), grilled fillet of turbot with crab butter sauce and an indulgent dark chocolate cremeux. The sommelier’s chosen wine pairings brought out the flavors of each dish beautifully.


Roast South Coast Turbot, William Drabble, Seven Park Place restaurant at St James's Hotel and Club, Mayfair

The grilled fillet of turbot was a highlight from the eight-course Gourmand menu
– St James’s Hotel and Club

For breakfast there’s a continental option which includes a selection of fruit, cereals and freshly baked pastries, or a cooked menu including a generous full English, smoked salmon and eggs every way.

Things to see and do in Mayfair

With its central location, St James’s Hotel and Club is conveniently located within walking distance of most of London’s main attractions and exclusive shopping destinations.

Shopping – just a short stroll from the hotel is Mayfair’s upmarket boutiques and renowned fashion houses. Head to Bond Street for designer brands and antiques or the historic Burlington Arcade for luxury accessories. The iconic Fortnum and Mason department store is worth a visit to peruse its high-end homeware and artisan hampers. The flagship stores of Oxford Street and Regent’s Street are a 20-minute walk from St James’s.

Food and drink – Mayfair offers a diverse range of dining options, from affordable favorites like Hard Rock Café to celebrity haunts like Sexy Fish and 34 Mayfair. For laid-back dining head to Mercato Mayfair, a street food market housed in a restored church, or choose from a variety of international restaurants at St James’s Market, from Italian to Scandinavian. Drink-wise, Mayfair has everything from swanky cocktail bars to cozy pubs – be sure to grab a drink in the historic Coach and Horses.

Green spaces – Green Park and the adjoining St James’s Park, home to Buckingham Palace, can easily be accessed via a shortcut from the hotel. Hyde Park is just a 10-minute walk and well worth a visit to stroll around the Serpentine Lake and Kensington Palace Gardens. If you’re after a quiet spot to relax, there’s a couple of leafy gardens in St James’s district.

Galleries – Mayfair is renowned for having some of the best galleries in London, including the Royal Academy of Arts and its famous summer exhibition, as well as a handful of small-scale galleries housing prestigious artwork collections. The National Gallery and Portrait Gallery are also just a 15-minute walk from the hotel.

Tourist attractions – despite the quiet setting of St James’s Hotel, there’s a number of major sightseeing spots on its doorstep. Piccadilly Circus, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, as well as the bustling nightlife and theaters of the West End, can be reached by foot in under 30 minutes.

Rooms at St James’s Hotel and Club are available from £ 420 per night. To find out more, visit stjameshotelandclub.com.

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