Sceney, Art Deco, grande dame
Brook Street Mayfair, London, England 44-20-7629-8860 www.claridges.co.uk
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At a Glance
Claridge’s has arguably been London’s top hotel since 1860, when Queen Victoria visited the property. In all the years since it has remained popular with kings, prime ministers, presidents, captains of industry, society figures, movie stars and anyone else with the substantial wherewithal needed to check in. Today the Mayfair landmark artfully combines history, Art Deco charm, top-notch service, a health club and a spa, all under one opulent roof. Have a glass of Champagne at the bar and enjoy the few modern touches, such as Dale Chihuly’s fantastical light sculpture in the foyer and the sleek Reading Room by designer Thierry Despont, and you’ll see why the hotel has its loyal fans. Rooms and suites come in a variety of styles, ranging from traditional English to Art Deco to the signature suites conceived by designers, including David Linley (furniture designer and son of the late Princess Margaret) and Diane von Furstenberg.
If you want to live large and see and be seen in the heart of Mayfair, Claridge’s is the place to do it.
The Standout: Afternoon tea—where high rollers rub shoulders
Don’t Miss: A mid-morning coffee and pastry or a pre-theater drink at The Fumoir, a transportive nook that evokes the 1920s
- Family-friendly touches (like “I Insist”—the hotel’s own card game)
- Signature suites designed by Diane von Furstenberg, David Linley and Nicky Haslam
- The humming Art Deco lobby, reimagined by Thierry Despont
- The new ArtSpace Café, with a patisserie counter and a rotating art gallery
Popular with presidents, kings, prime ministers, and movie stars, the hotel artfully combines history, Art Deco charm and top-notch service, all under one opulent roof. The English Old Guard especially love it. My mother left the hotel for a few years, staying at the Ritz instead, but one day walked into Claridge’s lobby. The first thing the head porter, Thomas, said was, “When are you coming home, Mrs. Bowes?” Have a glass of Champagne at the bar, enjoy the few modern touches, such as Dale Chihuly’s fantastical light sculpture in the foyer and the sleek Reading Room by renowned designer Thierry Despont, and you’ll see why the hotel has such loyal fans.
Rooms and suites come in a variety of styles, ranging from traditional English to Art Deco to the signature suites, designed by Diane Von Furstenberg and David Linley. Von Furstenberg’s Grand Piano Suite features signature bold prints and bright-colored fabrics, as well as original one-off furniture pieces, like vanity tables, cocktail cabinets and drawer sets, so those in search of more contemporary décor—at a price—might consider a splurge. After taking over the building next-door, the property is set to have 265 rooms once renovations are complete. There has been a full restoration of floors five and above, most of which are complete and ready to be booked. The design of these rooms is sleek and modern, maintaining Claridge’s signature pinks and blues, but with pops of light olive green as well. They lean closer into the Art Deco feel—with curvy chairs and modern lamps instead of chandeliers. The Penthouse suite is in the process of being renovated, and will include a “lake” that sits above a new inner-courtyard. For those in search of something more standard, even the entry-level rooms are spacious, starting at 400 square feet and up. All rooms feature a Dyson supersonic hairdryer as well as a Bose speaker. And though the hotel has a reputation as one of London’s most prestigious addresses, it’s family-friendly as well, even stocking the latest Nintendo Wii games and delivering a children’s magazine along with mom and dad’s morning paper.
The hotel’s massive (7,000-square-feet) health club and spa is located three stories beneath the streets of London (an ambitious project that took seven years to construct). Architect André Fu designed the space to include natural elements such as limestone, wood and water, playing homage to traditional Japanese temples and Zen gardens in Kyoto. There is a serene pool and seven treatment rooms for guests to use.
Meanwhile, the hotel is also adding a shopping complex, which will have a separate entrance from the outside but will be reachable by guests through the lobby. It will feature luxury brands, with pieces made specifically for Claridge’s.
For dining, the grand dame has several excellent choices. The iconic afternoon tea in Claridge’s foyer—finger sandwiches, teas and glasses of Champagne beneath the gorgeous Chihuly chandelier—is so popular that it sells out months in advance (bookings can be made online). The 14-seat chef’s counter at Claridge’s L’Epicerie is personal and intimate, offering a chance to interact with the chef as a specially curated menu is prepared. In 2021, Claridge’s added The Painter’s Room, a stylish Art Deco hideaway on the ground floor where guests can share innovative cocktails and small plates. And now open daily for breakfast and lunch is Claridge’s ArtSpace Café, with interiors by British designer John Pawson. A more relaxed dining concept, the café has a patisserie counter and a gallery that features rotating art exhibitions.
Who Should Stay
Jetsetters, high rollers and well-heeled families seeking total luxury and the ultimate London power (see and be) scene.
— Elena Bowes
Indagare Plus Amenities
- Seasonal welcome amenity and a 75.00 GBP F&B or Spa Credit
- Full English
- Upgraded Room Category on Availability at Check-In
- Late Check-Out on Availability
- Complimentary WiFi Internet Access