When we think of London luxury, thoughts almost immediately turn to Mayfair.
Ultra-high-end shopping, the finest dining and painfully exclusive clubs are dotted around the leafy squares and elegant avenues.
This is an area which is well worthy of its place in the collective consciousness as possibly the most upscale neighbourhood on the planet.
The price of property round here can be eye-watering, but luckily it has been home to some of the most magnificent hotels in the world for over 150 years.
These hotels are not just for out-of-town visitors, for those who have business at the local embassies or the global super-rich.
They are also the perfect venues for local Londoners who feel like treating themselves to a little opulence. What better way to reward yourself for a period of hard work than by checking into an elite five-star property, hitting the spa before a Michelin-star meal, enjoying gourmet cocktails at the best bars in the world then finally sinking into bedsheets of a thread count you never knew existed?
Here, then, is our round-up of some of the best hotels Mayfair has to offer – next time you need to escape real life for 24 hours, this is where you want to be.
The Beaumont is the most recent opening on this list, having been opened in 2014 and then gently re-styled during the various lockdowns.
The art-deco building it calls home was once the Selfridge’s car park, but is now a fabulously elegant tribute to 1920s glamour and style.
The public areas are resplendent in dark panelled woods, with traditional and modern cocktails served in Le Magritte at a standard the flappers of 100 years ago would have marvelled at.
Guests can treat themselves to all manner of relaxing services at the spa downstairs – including a hair salon – before tucking in to a steak at The Colony Grill Room and retiring to their room for the evening.
The showcase is ROOM by Antony Gormley, an imposing sculpture which dominates the front of the property and contains a suite designed to give the ultimate night’s sleep.
The Beaumont, Brown Hart Gardens, W1K 6TF
The Connaught is a home to excellence on several fronts. Its bar reigns as the best in the world, the restaurant by Hélène Darroze holds three Michelin stars and the art collection curated by the hotel for guests’ enjoyment contains works by Damien Hirst and Barbara Hepworth.
The newly opened Red Room showcases pieces – some of which have never been displayed in public before – by visionary female artists, and houses the hotel’s newest bar.
Accommodations range from elegant rooms through suites with private balconies and even include a separate townhouse with private entrance on neighbouring Adam’s Row.
This is the ideal base camp from which to explore all of London’s finest offerings, or the perfect spot to lock yourself away from the world for a while. Whichever you choose will be done in consummate luxury.
The Connaught, Carlos Pl, W1K 2AL
The Biltmore Mayfair
Just around the corner, on Grosvenor Square, lies The Biltmore Mayfair – a sprawling complex of over 300 guest accommodations and with entrances on the Grosvenor Square itself and in Adam’s Row behind.
The stunning façade, looking on to the public gardens that mark the centre of Mayfair, promises elegance and style, and the interior doesn’t disappoint. Dine at their restaurant curated by Jason Atherton, before indulging in a digestif at the stunning Pine Bar.
In the morning, explore the area more thoroughly either by borrowing one of the hotel’s Bentleys or being led on a guided walking tour, specifically designed for The Biltmore to introduce guests to the hidden history of Mayfair.
The Biltmore Mayfair, 44 Grosvenor Square, W1K 2HP
Hyatt Regency The Churchill
Technically, the northern border of Mayfair is Oxford Street so The Churchill should miss out on this list by about 300 yards but, when a property is of this standard, we can forgive them an extra couple of minutes’ walk.
As the name would suggest, there are nods and tributes to Churchill throughout, including artwork by the man himself in the suites and a cigar terrace carrying all his favourite smokes.
The Churchill boasts 2 top restaurants – Locanda Locatelli serves some of the finest Italian food in London, and has the Michelin star to prove it – allowing you to fill up in the evenings on sumptuous food, then work it all off in the morning by playing tennis on the private courts in Portman Square Gardens.
A taste of upscale London life not to be missed.
Hyatt Regency The Churchill, 30 Portman Square, W1H 7BH
Hotel Café Royal
Straddling the border of Mayfair and Soho, the Hotel Café Royal has occupied a stunning building at the tip of Regent Street since 1865.
Today it is home to astonishing luxury, from the truly magnificent Dome Penthouse on the roof to the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing centre sprawling under the entire complex.
After a session of pampering with treatments and laps of the exquisite pool, the Oscar Wilde Lounge is an opulent setting for afternoon tea – check out the Van Gogh edition, designed in collaboration with the Van Gogh Immersive Experience – while the Green Bar will provide cocktails with a background of jazz from the in-house musicians.
If you really feel like a treat, the world’s best pastry chef, Albert Adrià, brings you Cakes & Bubbles – they serve exactly what the name suggests.
Hotel Café Royal, 10 Air Street, W1B 4DY
Brown’s has been welcoming the great and good for almost 200 years, and today it offers an excellent blend of modern convenience with traditional Mayfair style.
Enter from either Albemarle or Dover Streets and you will be greeted by intricate décor and a sense of occasion carried over from the era in which the hotel opened.
These traditional touches are set alongside modern luxury amenities, including the use of a chauffeur-driven Bentley Mulsanne to take you around the local area.
Take afternoon tea in the drawing room, hop in the Bentley to be whisked up to Mount Street for some shopping, then stroll gently back down for dinner at Charlie’s, serving traditional British produce from Adam Byatt. In the morning, pop down to either the spa or gym – your choice – to be re-energised for the day ahead.
Brown’s Mayfair, Albemarle Street, W1S 4BP
Four Seasons Park Lane
This stunning property is nestled between Green and Hyde Parks, a stroll away from the shops and art galleries of Shepherd’s Market and, if you’re feeling adventurous, directly opposite Les Ambassadeurs – one of the finest casinos on the planet.
If staying in is more your style, then why not take yourself off to the rooftop spa before choosing from one of the 4 dining options for a luxurious dinner. Cigars and spirits on the heated terrace would be the perfect way to round off a day of self-care, or you could even book a suite which has its own outdoor area.
Few things embody luxury quite like views over the lights of west London and the expanse of Hyde Park while sipping a signature cocktail.
Four Seasons Park Lane, Hamilton Place, W1J 7DR
Claridge’s has been a luxury destination for over 150 years, and today is the perfect blend of tradition and modernity. It offers all the classic touches expected of a great London hotel – afternoon tea, fine dining, and a whole host of quiet corners to enjoy a cocktail – alongside sumptuous suites and an indulgent spa.
Nods to the heritage include liveried doormen and London’s last man-operated lift, while the newly-opened Claridge’s ArtSpace keeps the hotel at the cutting edge of modernity.
The space is accessed via a refurbished façade on Brooks Mews, and the inaugural exhibition hosts a collection by Damien Hirst which can be purchased for the first time with cryptocurrency.
In early 2022 the ArtSpace will be expanded further to include a café and art shop alongside a permanent gallery, ensuring that this veteran of London’s high-end hospitality maintains a place among the most relevant venues in the city.
Claridge’s, Brook Street, W1K 4HR