The Connaught

A posh Mayfair landmark
VERIFIED LUXURY
There’s an air to The Connaught that can only be achieved by a property of this age and grandeur. It oozes the glamour of those who have walked its halls since it opened in 1897, from actors Lauren Bacall, Dirk Bogarde and one-time resident Alec Guinness, to presidents, directors and fashion names that the hotel staff, in its utmost professionalism, refuses to divulge.

The Five-Star hotel feels more like a private mansion with shining marble floors and grand pillars, original wood paneling and a sweeping mahogany staircase that winds up through five floors — Ralph Lauren was so enamored with this feature, he replicated it in the flagship Madison Avenue store in New York.

With a ratio of three staff to one guest, the top-notch attention you receive from the moment you walk through the revolving doors of this London hotel makes you feel like a VIP.
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Our Inspector's Highlights
• Having been visited by various members of the British monarchy over the decades, it’s the only hotel to be granted permission to use the Buckingham Palace “royal red” in its carpets. Te hotel does take its name from Queen Victoria’s seventh child Arthur, Duke of Connaught, after all.

• Located in the heart of Mayfair, The Connaught is a perfect base to explore the rest of London, including the theaters of the West End, open spaces of nearby Hyde Park and Green Park and the designer boutiques, galleries, antique stores and restaurants a stone’s throw away on Mount Street.

• A personal butler is on call to attend to every whim and a well-connected concierge desk (it once arranged for a pair of lion cubs to be brought to the hotel) ensures you are well looked after.

• Before you step into the hotel, Tadao Ando’s bronze tree water feature greets you, omitting a mysterious mist every 20 minutes. Inside, around every corner, stairwell, nook and cranny, there hangs or sits a piece of art: from the black-and-white shots by legendary photographer Horst P. Horst that line the route to the spa.

• With an Aman Spa on-property, guests can benefit from the spa’s signature discreet, attentive staff and Asian-influenced treatments during their stays.
Things to Know
• With a well-heeled and international stream of guests, the dress code in the hotel is a bit more sophisticated. Rethink the sneakers and jeans, though staff won’t make you change out of them at breakfast.

• The Five-Star hotel offers a more traditional wing with period Victorian décor and a modern wing with smooth beige stone and no carpets in the bedrooms. Make sure you specify which wing you’d prefer when booking.

• For a special occasion, the Sommelier’s Table, hidden in the limestone wine cellar below the hotel’s kitchens, offers up to eight diners a unique experience in which the sommelier selects wines to your pre-discussed tastes and chef Darroze creates a bespoke menu around them.

• The gym at the Connaught is sleek and well-appointed with enough equipment to suit any fitness nut or beginner. It’s housed one level above the spa, but guests first check in at the spa desk and are then escorted upstairs to the modern fitness space, which is set at an appropriately cool temperate and infused with energetic background music.

• The philanthropic Prince’s Lodge, is like stepping inside a fairy tale, with hand-carved furniture, stained-glass windows and an oak-beamed, double-height ceiling. Three percent of revenue from this suite is donated to the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, an Afghanistan non-profit regenerating the old city of Kabul.
The Rooms
• The 121 Guy Oliver- and David Collins-designed guest rooms have instantly relaxing muted tones, bespoke and contemporary furniture, fine Italian linen, marble en suites with 17-inch LCD televisions, intelligent air and heating systems, walk-in showers, organic Bamford toiletries, Bose entertainment systems and Nespresso machines (in the suites as standard, but available complimentary upon request for all other rooms).

• The Connaught’s suites are so delicious you’d be forgiven for spending your whole time in London in your room. There’s the Sutherland Suite, complete with grand piano, as well as The Library Suite, with a charming secret bookcase door.

• At the top, there’s The Apartment, all 3,068 square feet of it, which offers, in addition to a private staircase, bar and kitchenette, a wrap-around balcony that looks out over the rooftops to London landmarks such as the BT Tower, Westminster and The Shard.

• The bathrooms may not be the largest, but they’re well-appointed and inviting, with pristine all-white décor. Here you will find luxurious bath products by Bamford, with a botanical, geranium-based scent.

• A welcome gift of still and sparkling water and goodies such as macarons or fresh fruit is presented in each guest’s room upon their arrival. In the closet, you’ll find a large logoed carrier bag and an umbrella with the hotel’s signature brown and turquoise houndstooth print.
The Restaurants
• To taste The Connaught’s Victorian roots, there’s the mighty afternoon tea, a truly British affair served up in the bright Espelette restaurant, which looks out onto Carlos Place.

• Hélène Darroze, combines seasonal dishes, top-quality ingredients sourced largely from France and the British Isles, with a sprinkle of fun. Its namesake is the inspiration for the character Colette in the 2007 Pixar movie Ratatouille.

• The Coburg has the largest selection of champagne vintages in the world and an abundance of history to match. James Bond fans can follow in the footsteps of its creator Ian Fleming, who was a former waiter here, serving the navy intelligence regulars or French general Charles de Gaulle, who did business with Winston Churchill within these walls.

• With a Gatsby-esque glitz, Connaught Bar allows guests to enjoy a late-afternoon martini in style.There’s much more to choose from than shaken or stirred, with the addition of one of eight house bitters.

• In the new part of the building is the 20-seater Champagne Bar. A glass oval ceiling looks up to a life-size bronze diver by sculptor Sophie Dickens, granddaughter of Charles, and the magical photographs of floral bouquets submerged in water, taken by Gilles Bensimon, work together to create the feeling of being immersed in a pool.
Getting There
Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL
TEL44-0-20-7499-7070
NEARBY AIRPORT(S)
LHR (30-45 min)  
The Connaught
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