Claridge’s

Timeless art deco elegance in Mayfair
VERIFIED LUXURY
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 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.
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Our Inspector's Highlights
• This is a historic hotel. A diplomat once called Claridge’s and asked for the king, and the phone operator famously replied, “Certainly sir, but which one?” And while that was back in 1947, it still happens — more than eight heads of state stayed at Claridge’s during the Summer 2012 Olympics. But it’s also a celebrity hot spot. Everyone from Audrey Hepburn to Anne Hathaway has checked in there. And guest Spencer Tracy once said, “Not that I intend to die, but when I do, I don’t want to go to heaven. I want to go to Claridge’s.”

• Snag a seat in the intimate Fumoir Bar. While there are only a handful of tables, the dim lighting, dark wood walls, etched mirrored murals, black-and-white vintage photos and eggplant-colored velvet banquettes give the small space a glamorous ’30s feel.

•The 1898 art deco décor is best seen in the dramatic Foyer. The elegant look hasn’t changed, though designer Thierry Despont added one modern touch — an elaborate sculptural chandelier from Dale Chihuly made up of more than 800 curlicue glass pieces that hangs above an oversized display of white roses in the middle of the room.

• To enjoy The Foyer at its best, make a reservation for afternoon tea, an institution at the luxury hotel for more than 100 years. You’ll enjoy live piano music while you sip from the aqua-and-white-striped teacups.

• The guest room bathrooms are a highlight with white marble floors and wainscoting trimmed in forest-green marble. The focal point is the mosaic tile wall behind the bathtub; it sports a teal inverted ziggurat shape outlined in black with a gold stripe in the middle.
Things to Know
• 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.

• If the provided pillows don’t lull you into sleep, call the front desk to choose from 12 different options, including a V-shaped one that helps your back and a crescent variety that sits around the neck.

• The hotel also will give you a complimentary cell phone if you need one during your stay (though you must pay a daily insurance fee).
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 Restaurants
• 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. With symmetrical sandwiches, perfect patisserie and a curated selection of 23 teas by connoisseur Henrietta Lovell, you could easily lose an afternoon here.

• The 94-seat, light-filled Fera opened in 2014 to critical acclaim. British chef Simon Rogan 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.

• To get a front-row seat on how dishes are developed, reserve one of the six nightly seats in the Fera Development Kitchen, where Fera's chefs experiment with creative cuisine.

• You’ll always find a crowd in Claridge’s Bar. Londoners sit in the red leather stools, armchairs and sofas for some after-work champagne — the bar carries more than 50 labels, including Louis Roederer Cristal Brut — under the silver-leafed ceiling.
Getting There
Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR
TEL44-20-7629-8860
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