Background and Concept
Stately home five-star luxury in the heart of London is exactly what guests can expect when they visit this historic hotel. The hotel is conveniently located in the regal St James’s, Mayfair area and is just minutes from many of London’s iconic landmarks and must-see attractions. Accommodation is set across four distinct areas; within the main Victorian house, the Mews Suites, the Carriage House and the Gate House. Rooms are stylish with sumptuous furnishings – some with four-poster beds and the hotel’s suites are truly elegant boasting a range of unique and exclusive services for guests. The Game Bird, is the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, presents a modern British menu, presented with great flair and creativity.
The ambience is cool and sophisticated. The American Bar is for those in the know, serving a range of creative cocktails and Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Its cosy corners are perfect for intimate meetings, the atmosphere encourages lively chats and the private courtyard is perfect for al fresco dining.
The building itself opened in 1912 and before that, the hotel’s 17th-century buildings were3 private homes of local aristocrats. During WWII the hotel became an important refuge for American officers stationed in the city, lured to the American Bar with the lure of a decent cocktail and later the wine cellars were transformed into an air-raid shelter for the Blitz.
One of the wonderful things about The Stafford is the service, the staff are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable and can’t do enough to help, it’s woven into the DNA of the hotel (learn more about this in our interview with COO Stuart Procter). You will see this the moment you step through the door and start chatting to the doormen as well as in the restaurant and bar where staff know the menus inside out.
Preferred Hotels and Resorts
The Stafford London is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts who represent the finest and most diverse global portfolio of independent hotels and independent hotel experiences. Five distinctive collections allow you to craft your own inspirations as you travel the world in search of memories and new opportunities. Preferred Hotels & Resorts requires that each of its member hotels conform to the Preferred Standards of Excellence, renowned quality standards that are measured by yearly anonymous on-site inspections carried out by professional third-party experts.
Tucked away on St James Place it’s a five-minute walk to Green Park tube station, while the main drag of Picadilly is on your doorstep. Across the road is Mayfair and theatreland is a ten-minute walk. One of the unique things about this hotel is that it has the feel of being in a country estate and at night you could hear a pin drop, you almost have to give yourself a pinch to remind you that you are in the heart of central London.
At the time of writing guests receive a complimentary airport transfer from the hotel to London Heathrow when booking two nights or more in a Suite. Transfer to other airports is available for a supplement.
Rooms and Suites
Guest quarters are split into rooms and suites across three buildings in the hotel. Rooms feature sumptuous fabrics, fine artworks and marble bathrooms, with some even offering four-poster beds, with each room being individually decorated with its own colour theme and furniture. Suites at The Stafford are designed to be your home from home with extra space than guest rooms and additional exclusive services and amenities
Rooms and suites are spread out over four buildings: the Main House, the Carriage House, Mews and the Gatehouse.
The Main House
The Main House is where the reception, restaurant and dining room are locations. each room and suite here is decorated with its own individual colour theme and furniture – think Victorian grandeur with modern comforts.
Separate to the main house and set within an historic 380 year old Grade II listed building that was once the forme stables of f British nobleman and politician Lord Francis Godolphin. The Carriage House Rooms and Suites serve as a chic and private oasis, offering you understated opulence overlooking a quiet, cobbled courtyard in the heart of the hotel.
The Mews is designed to be a private residence in the heart of the city. All the guest quarters in this building are suited with views overlooking the main courtyard of the building. Design is contemporary and crisp with lots of space to unwind and relax in.
The Gate House
Enter via a private entrance to the epitome of luxury. The Gatehouse is set over three floors, with spacious open plan living and dining room, two generously sized bedrooms, featuring original fireplaces and wooden exposed beams, and each room tastefully decorated with contemporary artwork.
Our Suite – Mews Master Suite
During our visit we stayed in one of the gorgeous Mews Master Suites. One of the nice things about the Mews and Carriadge House is that once you have checked in you don’t need to go through the hotel to exit, you can leave via the main courtyard.
My Mews Suite was huge, with an entrance foyer that had a connecting bathroom for guests.
Heading into the lounge it was probably one of the biggest I have seen in a suite in central London. Which included a living space and to the left-hand side a business/work area with a large desk and bookshelves filled with books.
The Nespresso machine ready for my morning coffee and a welcome bottle of champagne was a lovely sight to behold!
The bedroom had a large TV, and to the side double wardrobes with a cornucopia of drawers and shelving to store your clothes for longer stay guests.
The main bathroom was finished head to toe in rich marble, with a speterate bath and walk-in shower. Toiletries by Floris.
The view from the suite window looking into the courtyard felt very unique considering we are in the centre of London.
Food and Drink
The hotel is home to award-winning restaurant The Game Bird (it’s our new favourite restaurant in London) as well as the American Bar, where cocktails take you on a journey through America’s history, and the menu boasts exciting Mediterranean-inspired dishes and if you keep your eyes peeled you might see a celebrity or two who are known to frequent the hotel’s bar.
The American Bar
American cocktail bars became popular in London and Paris during the Art Deco era, a heritage celebrated in this, one of the oldest American bars in the capital. Set within The Stafford hotel, it has a private cobbled courtyard and serves a range of Mediterranean style dishes. Operating a walk-in policy after 3pm, it’s overseen by Bar Director, Benoit Provost and the Director of Mixology, Salvatore Megna, with an enviable cocktail list. The menu features a range of drinks dedicated to its namesake, such as The Frontier (Corte Vetusto Mezcal Espadin, Hendrick’s gin infused with jalapeño pomegranate and lime juice) and Lady Liberty (Hendrick’s gin, Solerno liqueur, St. Germain liqueur, green Chartreuse, kaffir lime and lime juice).
The Game Bird
Now under the direction of the Michelin-starred Lisa Goodwin-Allen in association with Executive Chef Jozef Rogulski, The Game Bird at The Stafford serves contemporary and elegant British dishes in a relaxed setting in the heart of St James. Gala Pie, Dover Sole, Potted Southport Shrimps, Jacob Cross Lamb, Butter-Poached Native Lobster and of course, The Game Bird itself (Roast Squab Pigeon, with buttered Turnips, Apple and Bacon Barley Risotto) are just a few of the items you can expect to find on the menu. It highlights our island’s incredible produce, with a focus on seasonal ingredients. Pop by for a lighter bite of Exmoor caviar accompanied by hot English crumpets or try out their exquisite Afternoon Tea which is served between 12 – 7 daily.
What I Ate
I was told by the waiter (who was fantastic) that the salmon was amazing, so I tagged it on as a pre-starter. And I wasn’t disappointed, it’s theatrically cut on a trolly at your table and then sprayed with whisky.
Breakfast like dinner didn’t disappoint, it is served à la carte and to the same high standards that the dinner came as.
The Wine Cellar is a fascinating space; built in the 17th Century and used as an air-raid shelter during WWII it is now home to a collection of over 8,000 of the world’s finest wines.
Their Technogym fitness suite in the Mews building is conveniently located to offer you modern gym facilities on your doorstep. For larger sport and leisure facilities, the hotel has partnered with The Lansdowne Club in Mayfair, which guests can access for a daily charge of £20.
If you are looking for a London hotel that is a bastion of timeless luxury and quality, mixed with contemporary amenities, style and service then The Stafford cannot be faulted. There is nothing I would change about this hotel, keep up the good work!
Address: 16-18 St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NJ