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The first thing I was told when I stepped into the Claridge’s in London – fine, after the obligatory welcome speech – was that Bono was spending the night at their Brook Penthouse. They offered me a quick walk-through of his room (well, apartment if you will) because the suite was easily twice the size of a condominium home here, including an expansive balcony which overlooks Mayfair in Central London. If that doesn’t already speak volumes about this oft talked about hotel in London, perhaps the fact that the hotel dates back to the 19th Century will. Known as London’s art deco jewel, Claridge’s star-studded reputation includes Yul Brynner, Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Bing Crosby and Katherine Hepburn. The hotel has also hosted state delegations post World War 2, and the Royal Family still chooses to have many of their private parties at Claridge’s.
And the impressive facts just kept rolling in as I was taken on a tour of the hotel: “Oh, the bar at the lobby is Tom Ford’s favourite, and did we mention that Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz was just here last night? This chandelier here (in the main dining area at the lobby) is the same as the one at the Victoria & Albert museum…” I was half expecting the Queen to walk casually past.
The main lobby is definitely the place to see and be seen. Straight out of a 1920s art deco catalogue, the shiny geometric-shaped flooring and ornate winding staircase are the first things you notice when you step in. It felt like a harmonious marriage of modern and historical – and the way the newfangled touches bring out the old building spell it clear. There’s no room for criticism nor is anyone going to say the Claridge’s is distasteful, because put together, it’s anything but. It’s less than grandiose, with the right amount of classy.
Your stay will be an impossibly unforgettable one. Situated in the heart of London’s West End and a stone’s throw away from the shops of Bond Street, South Molton Street and Oxford Street, there’s nothing better than hitting the streets and running back to your luxurious room to kick back a little. In fact (and I generally don’t believe in kicking back in cities like London because there is so much to do), I’d trade a trip to Harrods to staying in.
Claridge’s offers 203 bedrooms, including 67 suites and two penthouses. Each room and suite in the hotel is unique, with its own welcoming atmosphere suited to each guest. My Linley suite was a beautiful haven of rest, and boasted an entrance hall leading to a large sitting room, a spaciously posh bedroom and a bright marble bathroom. You’ll spend the first half an hour fascinated by the knick-knacks, detail and vast amount of colour in the suite – from the mix of wood panelling and mirrors on the wall, lavender sofa and the vintage clock on the wall in the sitting room, to the sink with a Hollywood mirror in your bedroom and the pop of mint green and deep tub in your bathroom – trust me, it’s a gargantuan feat to tear yourself away.
Each suite also comes with a welcome bottle of chilled Laurent Perrier champagne, chocolate truffles, a full selection of Nespresso capsules and machine and bottled water for the day.
The Reading Room restaurant and The Foyer – Designed by Thierry Despont, the elegant Reading room offers a daily menu for lunch and dinner as well as one-course ‘Claridge’s classics’ throughout the day. Breakfast is served in both the Foyer and Reading Room restaurant, as is the famous Afternoon Tea.
The Fumoir – An intimate, candlelit bar perfect for a sophisticated cocktail.
Claridge’s Bar – It has one of London’s widest champagne menus, and that’s enough reason to one to go.
Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s – Run by Head Chef Steve Allen, book yourself a table for one of the finest dining experiences in London, celebrating flavourful combinations of the freshest ingredients.
Conferences, Meetings and Private Dining Rooms – A choice of four banqueting rooms on the ground floor and five private rooms on the 6th floor.
By Air – London Heathrow is the city’s main airport and is approximately 45 minutes drive to the hotel. Gatwick is 1.5 hours away by car and London City Airport also serves the city. Claridge’s would be delighted to arrange a private car pickup and transfer to the hotel in one of their Mercedes or Bentleys.
By Train – The nearest underground station is Bond Street which is served by the Central and Jubilee Lines. Victoria Station is 15 minutes by car which is served by several main line underground links as well.
Brook Street, Mayfair
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7629 8860
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