Editors' Picks

The Connaught Hotel

Glamorous, dignified, proper

Carlos Place, London W1K 2AL

44-207-499-7070

See Website

Indagare Adored

At a Glance

There’s an unmistakable sense of dignity and gravitas at the Connaught—its atmosphere, architecture and staff seem to say, “Welcome. This is how you run a proper hotel.” For nearly a century after it opened in 1897, the Connaught was operated almost as a private club, with guests staying for weeks. You didn’t have to be referred by a regular to get a room, but it felt that way. As late as the 1990s, no credit cards were accepted, nor were jeans permitted. In the years since, an air of privilege and propriety has continued to infuse the 122-room property. Following its last major renovation, in 2007, the Connaught emerged with its shell and its soul intact but with a fabulously glammed-up interior that preserved original antiques and architectural flourishes and added 33 additional contemporary rooms and modern amenities, including a proper gym, a sleek Aman Spa and pool, the David Collins–designed bar, the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Hélène Darroze plus two more restaurants under the direction of Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

**The Standout:** The Aman Spa—the only spa of its kind outside of an Aman resort, which now includes a subterranean swimming pool **Don’t Miss:** A martini from the martini trolley at the Connaught Bar, a winner of *The World’s Best Bar Award*(among many accolades)

Indagare Loves

  • The size of the hotel’s suites and variety of their décor, unmatched in London hotels
  • The mahogany staircase, which so impressed Ralph Lauren that he replicated it in his Madison Avenue flagship
  • The three-Michelin-starred Hélène Darroze restaurant
  • The collection of over 3,000 artworks by such icons as Damien Hirst, Louise Bourgeois and Barbara Hepworth

Review

After an extensive, $123 million renovation in 2007, the venerable Connaught emerged with its shell and its soul intact but with a fabulously glammed-up interior that merges historic and contemporary details with old world manners and modern amenities. Antiques and original architectural flourishes (most notably the massive mahogany staircase, which Ralph Lauren copied in his flagship store in New York City) were preserved, while winning new touches included a wing with 33 additional contemporary rooms, a proper gym and the sleek Aman spa and pool. The three on-property restaurants and bars have a discrete and contemporary atmosphere that draw high-profile guests seeking privacy and comfort.

Longtime loyalists have remained dedicated to the 121-room property for its convenient location within walking distance to Mayfair’s shops and art galleries as well as for its high-touch service, while a trendier crowd has arrived thanks to the intimate, David Collins-designed bar, a hot spot for a pre-dinner cocktail, and the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Hélène Darroze.

Indagare Tip: Philanthropic types should consider booking the Prince's Lodge suite, which features beautiful Afghan furnishings. A portion of the proceeds from the booking are donated to Prince Charles' charity, The Turquoise Mountain Foundation. Also, the one-bedroom Sutherland Suite has gorgeous details, artwork and a 1909 Steinway grand piano.

Who Should Stay

Traditionalists who want five-star service and a true English sensibility.

Written by Simone Girner

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