My husband and I make it a point to get way every year in early November to celebrate our anniversary. Some years we have the ability to take more time then others. This year, our time to go away was very limited. As my husband had not been to London in 12 years, we decided to take a long weekend where we can explore the neighborhoods, museums, restaurants and shops of London.
There is no shortage of intriguing hotels, classic or new, on the London scene. But the buzz generated over The Beaumont in Mayfair, open since September 2014, is what captured my attention as it has appeared on so many of the ‘best’ lists this year. And, as Mayfair is my absolute favorite area in London, we decided to check it out and see what all the fuss was about.
One of the best Virtuoso perks that The Beaumont provides is the complimentary one-way transfer from the airport to the hotel. A driver greeting us at the arrival hall at Heathrow and escorting us to his waiting S class Mercedes Sedan was a fabulous way to start our trip, especially after an overnight flight across the Atlantic. I had a sense we were in for a gratifying stay and I am happy to say the Beaumont did not disappoint.
Inspired by the great hotels of the 1920s, the five-star hotel occupies a historic Neoclassical building dating back to 1926 (when it was a handsome parking garage) and is conveniently located on Brown Hart Square. The location could not be more ideal with The Beaumont tucked away in a quiet corner overlooking the garden (fun fact: the Brown Hart Garden is said to be the only place in London where quarreling is strictly forbidden by law!), with little noise or traffic yet conveniently a few steps from the boutiques, galleries and museums of Mayfair, St James’s and the West End.
A boutique-size hotel by some standards with 73 rooms (including 23 studios and suites), The Beaumont’s handsome Art Deco design is a nod to its past but with contemporary American touches, noticeable the minute we walked into the lobby. Antique and vintage pieces are scattered throughout the hotel, including an impressive collection of original art, posters and photographs, dating from the early 1900s to the mid 1950s. The result is a mood that is very soothing and sophisticated, if not adult-like. The hotel’s restaurant and bar, The American Bar and The Colony Grill Room are immediately off the lobby as is The Cub Room (the guest-only lounge and bar) serving as the hub of the hotel.
In the lobby, where reception and the concierge are also located, afternoon tea is served daily from 3-6 p.m. This is not your average English tea. The typical finger cucumber and egg sandwiches are instead replaced with some cucumber bagels, lobster rolls, pastrami reubens and red velvet cake. While I did not have the opportunity to experience the tea (too busy shopping!), it did seem odd to situate it in the lobby with people coming and going through the front door rather than in the lounge or restaurant.
A small spa and gym are located on the lower level which includes a Hammam equipped with a steam room, sauna, cold plunge pool and two treatment rooms. There is also a salon and a traditional grooming service for men including wet shaves. I didn’t have the opportunity to try the services out myself.
Back to the American Bar, as perhaps nothing impresses me more than a really great hotel bar for pre-dinner cocktail or evening nightcap. Otherwise known as Jimmy’s Bar, this is your go-to for bourbons, whiskeys and classic cocktails, whether you like it shaken or stirred. Jimmy’s Bar belongs to the great tradition of American bars that became legendary in London and Paris during the 1920s. Places where Ernest Hemingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald might have frequented. The walnut-paneled interior is lined with hundreds of photographs of British and American celebrities who haunted Mayfair in those days.
The Cub Room, a private nook of a bar and lounge area is reserved exclusively for guests of The Beaumont and their visitors. Complimentary morning tea and coffee service along with pastries are offered in the morning, a delightful feature not typically offered in other hotels but should be. The Cub Room offers a clubby, intimate setting for those who want a bit more quiet than the bustling Colony Grill.
The Colony Grill Room serves the most sublime breakfast, one of the top five I’ve ever eaten in any hotel. Unlike many hotels that offer a buffet style set up, breakfast here is à la carte (a unique feature of Virtuoso is that full breakfasts are often included in your rate instead of just continental breakfast). The food was so good in fact I had the same items every single morning for fear of missing out because they were that good. Tip: You must start with a half a grapefruit. While it may sound boring on paper, the way it is presented is just exquisite.
During our stay, the staff at The Beaumont (impeccably-dressed I might add) could not have been more wonderful and accommodating to our every need. Just as an example, my husband wanted to watch an NFL football game which was not showing on television and the hotel staff spent hours trying to figure out how to get it on in our room. The effort made to make our stay enjoyable certainly did not go unnoticed with special mention to Angel, the concierge, and Jeff, the chauffeur of the hotel’s vintage Daimler. We felt like like the royal family taking the complimentary car a few times around Mayfair. This is another incredible perk of The Beaumont and I would recommend other future guests to take it to the War Rooms, Bond Street, the theater (as we did) or, of course, Buckingham Palace.
We were very fortunate to be upgraded upon arrival at the hotel to a Classic Suite, which we loved (another benefit of Virtuoso!). A separate living room area made our suite feel more like an apartment with an ample 660 square-feet to relax for the two of us. A powder room in addition to a full bathroom with a sunken tub was a wonderful bonus.
There are some specialty suites at the hotel such as the Mayfair, the Terrace Suite and the Roosevelt. I did get an opportunity to check out one particularly unique one: the 1-bedroom Gormley Suite. A small staircase leads you to the sleeping quarters within the split-level suite, accessed through a black curtain and then a pure white marble bathroom. You enter a cave-like room encased in dark wood panelling with no access to televisions or any wireless plugs or devices. Its really quite something special to see and perhaps sleep in for a night! The exterior is no less remarkable with a three-story sculpture on the facade, commissioned as a piece of public art from sculptor Antony Gormley.
The Beaumont is a terrific addition to the London scene!
Guest Review by Romi Howard. Photo credits: Romi and Jeff Howard and The Beaumont hotel
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Your 2019 Virtuoso Rate Includes:
• Upgrade at check-in, subject to availability
• Full English Breakfast for two daily
• One-way Airport or Train Transfer to/from any London airport or London Rail Station in a luxury sedan
• In room bar included (including alcohol)
• 50% offer on pre-registered rooms or 50% offer on late check out rooms to 6pmon the day of departure (subject to availability)
• Early check-in/Late check-out, subject to availability
• Complimentary Wi-Fi
Why book Virtuoso?
- Personalized travel assistance
- 24/7 online booking
- Special rates & exclusive offers
- Guaranteed Room upgrade*
- Complimentary full American breakfast
- Early check-in, Late check-out*
- Exclusive on-site amenities (varies by hotel)
- * based on availability on time of arrival