Fringed by Hyde Park and Green Park, Mayfair is as bucolic as it is wealthy. Encompassing some of the city’s – nay, the world’s – most expensive real estate, it’s no surprise that there are several notable hotels littered among the million-pound homes. From London landmark the Ritz, to historic Claridge’s, now you can choose one of the most famous spots to rest your head with the jetset.
The ultra-luxurious Connaught is renowned for its excellent service and sophisticated decor – but what else would you expect from a Mayfair establishment? Five minutes’ walk from Bond Street station, the location is hard to beat, but its style is what keeps it competing with London’s top hotels. Modern art mixes with traditional gilded ceilings and marble floors, plus the place is home to a gastronomic empire. Hélène Darroze at the Connaught holds two Michelin stars, while Jean-Georges at the Connaught serves Far Eastern flavours made with farm-to-table produce. Should sightseeing overwhelm you, the Aman Spa here can revive you with a dip in its smart black-granite swimming pool.
Como Metropolitan is a calming oasis from the moment you step inside. Wellness is the focus here, with a multitude of treatments available at Como Shambhala, the hotel group’s impressive spa outpost, and a specified yoga channel available on your in-room TV. The zen approach is everywhere, including the understated rooms with pops of colour and floor-to-ceiling windows offering uninterrupted views over Hyde Park. Permission is granted to indulge a little in the hotel restaurant – the famous Nobu, no less – and you’d be remiss to leave without trying the revered black cod with miso.
Stay inside a piece of art – literally – at the Beaumont, where Antony Gormley’s sculpture Room moonlights as a hotel suite. This striking one-bedroom suite has an oak-walled bedroom that you access via a short marble staircase from the living room; there’s only a bed here, nothing else. The rest of the hotel is slightly more maximalist inside an exquisite Art Deco building. Rooms are furnished in muted greys, punctuated with purple and dotted with historical photographs and book collections. The Colony Grill and two hotel bars will transport you back in time. Best order a martini and toast to bygone eras.
The Four Seasons name may conjure up images of New York, but the Mayfair offering is a world away from the bright lights of NYC. Located on Park Lane overlooking Hyde Park, its location is ideal for the super-rich, meaning you can expect a whole lot of luxury. Rightly so, as the hotel is designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, one of the most celebrated hotel interior designers in the world. Rooms are luxury modern, with Art Deco touches in the mid-century furnishings and geometric mirrors. Grab a nightcap at the opulent Amaranto bar, before slipping into your plush bed and feeling the rest of the world slip away.
There are only five restaurants in the UK that hold three Michelin stars, and the Dorchester is the home to one of them. It’s a good indication of the luxury you can expect from a stay here. The hotel opened in the 1930s, and its original furniture has survived multiple renovations, striking a perfect balance between contemporary comfort and vintage glamour. The hotel concierge can help with almost anything you might want during your stay, from tables at in-demand restaurants to exclusive shopping trips. However, for an unmissable meal, look no further than Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, for your three-Michelin-star gourmet experience.
It really doesn’t get fancier than this. The Ritz is a London institution, famed for its lavish decor and delicious afternoon teas. Both are worth a stay here, but it’s the atmosphere that will really captivate you. Always buzzing and the perfect spot for people-watching, a stay here will leave you feeling relaxed and pampered. As one of the world’s leading hotels, you can expect exceptional service and exquisite food – particularly at the Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant, where you can enjoy a memorable evening dining on the modern British menu designed by chef John Williams MBE.
At the cheaper end of the Mayfair scale, Flemings, spread across 13 classic townhouses, is big on guest experience. Sometimes simplicity is key: and here that means a timeless interior, excellent service and delicious food. With wood-panelled walls, jewel-toned velvet furnishings and a marble-clad lobby, stepping inside the gilded doors of Flemings certainly has a palatial air. Best of all, you can live like a royal without being completely out of pocket.
Brown’s is steeped in history. Founded in 1837, it has played host to such famous guests as Agatha Christie, Oscar Wilde, Theodore Roosevelt and Napoleon III. Its interiors are a masterclass in understated elegance, expertly combining muted colour palettes and individualised wallpapers, with bespoke paintings and artefacts that speak to its rich history. Avoid the Tube and make use of the hotel’s chauffeured Bentley Mulsanne, though you won’t need to venture far for one of the best meals in town. Charlie’s is perfect for a special dinner: serving modern British fare from Michelin-star chef Adam Byatt, it’s the perfect place to lap up the hotel’s impeccable service.
If the red-brick facade and imposing white columns of the Biltmore exterior don’t capture you, its interiors will. Rooms are resplendent, with panelled walls, parquet flooring and mirrored cherry-blossom motifs by the beds. Award-winning chefs Jason Atherton and Paul Walsh hold the reins at the Betterment, where you can order plates of seasonal produce with wood-fired meats. Enjoy a nightcap at the Pine Bar, where you can order cocktails and rare whisky from velvet armchairs. Located just off the shopping-hub of Oxford Street, the Biltmore is in the thick of things, but tucked away enough to feel quiet.
This article is an updated version of a story created by Abigail Malbon.