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Timeless Art Deco elegance in Mayfair

197 Rooms / 67 Suites

Stepping into Claridge’s is like entering another era, with art deco glamour and regal touches throughout. This Forbes Travel Guide Five-star London hotel has been opening its doors to guests since 1856, becoming a regular go-to for a roll call of who’s who, including Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Bing Crosby, Alfred Hitchcock, Lulu Guinness and Kate Moss. In 2012, it became a star in its own right, as the subject of two BBC docu-series, Inside Claridge’s.

One of the reasons the hotel is a star is its impeccable, make-it-happen service. Claridge’s once installed a Jacuzzi in a room at the request of a guest. Simple requests receive the same attention to detail — ask for restaurant recommendations and the concierge will instantly furnish a list of names and addresses and will have one hand on the phone to get you into the hottest new restaurant.

Moments from Bond and Oxford streets, the hotel sits in the heart of affluent Mayfair. You don’t have to venture far for London’s best shopping, restaurants, galleries and parks, making Claridge’s a prime place to check into during a visit to the capital.

The Rooms

From the 344-square-foot Superior Queen to the 2,874-square-foot Brook Penthouse on the top floor, the rooms at Claridge’s are generous in size. Handing the décor decisions largely over to interior experts and designers David Linley, Guy Oliver and India Mahdavi has resulted in a 197-strong collection of unique accommodations, each one swathed in opulence and boasting original Victorian, Georgian or art deco features, with adjoining rooms accessed through a Narnia-esque wardrobe.

The signature suites are a standout. Each has its own unique chic décor and amenities, but all come with butler service. Fans of fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg can soak up her eclectic style in the Grand Piano Suite (her first foray in interior design). The Brook and Davies penthouses both have two bedrooms and a rooftop patio with a retractable canopy that gives you views of London.

The feel may be traditional throughout the rooms, but top-of-the-line entertainment, bespoke mattresses, contemporary art, rain showers and organic Bamford toiletries ensure they aren’t dated. Some have terraces either looking over the rooftops of central London or an inner courtyard. Those seeking solitude should request the latter.

The Food

Claridge’s remains one of the top places in London to experience the delicious Victorian ritual of afternoon tea, with children catered for here with their own menu. It’s served in the Thierry Despont-designed Foyer, which feels like sitting inside a beautiful Victorian birdcage with a striking white glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly hanging from the 18-foot-high ceiling, or the more intimate adjacent Reading Room. With symmetrical sandwiches, perfect patisserie and a curated selection of 23 teas by connoisseur Henrietta Lovell, you could easily lose an afternoon here.

Down the hall and through a theatrical entrance is Fera. This 94-seat, light-filled space opened in 2014 to critical acclaim. British chef Simon Rogan, who also helms Northwest England-based L’Enclume, frequently updates the à la carte and tasting menus built around seasonal and organic ingredients, sourced largely from his farm in the Lake District. This fresh, modern take also extends to the woodland-inspired décor, which includes beautiful Lalique glass, a sandblasted manzanita tree in the center of the space and original art deco lighting.

A small bar adjacent to the main restaurant serves up a selection of seasonal cocktails. Classics get a Fera twist with ingredients such as pea shoots, cider honey, Isle of Wight tomato and Pershore Cox apple. Dotted on one wall are sketches of former Claridge’s guests such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Dita Von Teese, Christian Louboutin and Kristin Scott Thomas, created by artist-in-residence David Downton (whose illustrations have appeared in Vogue) from his base in the hotel’s seductive Fumoir bar. On another are photographs of other familiar film and fashion faces, shot by Ellen von Unwerth. Tables at Fera and the Foyer are snapped up months in advance, however, there are always some held back for guests.

The Feel

After walking in to this primely positioned Forbes Travel Guide Five-star hotel, you know you’ve stumbled upon something special. You’ll find a glossy checkerboard floor, a sweeping staircase, vertiginous ceilings and London’s only remaining manned lift, where you’re greeted by name and a couch offers a place to rest for the short journey up to your room. Wide corridors, created originally to cater to Victorian dresses, add to the grandeur. A partnership with premier florists McQueens means you’ll see impressive flower displays scattered throughout the luxury hotel. They are refreshed with a different look every Thursday.

Claridge’s also has a long-held relationship with the fashion, film and art worlds. The Mayfair hotel works with a well-known designer for the creation of its fabulous Christmas tree (previous collaborators include Dolce & Gabbana, John Galliano and Alber Elbaz) — an annual must-see event. A partnership with Burberry means suite guests have the British brand’s iconic trenches hanging in their wardrobe for use during their stay. After 160 years, Claridge’s is still the place to see and be seen, and it feels as fresh as the day it opened.

DETAILS - Insider Information About This Hotel

DETAILS - Insider Information About This Hotel