Another month, another hotel launch in London… the capital has recently welcomed the arrival of Conrad London St James, aka the epitome of five star luxury.
The ambience at Conrad London St James – which effortlessly blends a historic 19th century building with locally inspired style and design – is instantly relaxing. Our dismal journey on the Jubilee line faded to a distant memory as Luis and his team of all smiling staff showed us to our table in the Blue Boar restaurant.
Expect cuisine of steaks, oysters and ribs served in an opulent setting, complete with wood panelled walls and chocolate hued leather banquettes. Even if you aren’t staying at the hotel, you must eat here: head chef Rob Stephen’s modern menu has the wow factor in spades. Starters such as Scallops with cauliflower and bacon and Goats cheese souffle are delicate while mains – think a plate of Partridge accompanied with watercress, game chips, truffle and bread sauce – are more spectacular still. There’s also an extensive, well chosen wine list that will appeal to both the connoisseur and casual wine enthusiast alike.
For post dinner drinks, head next door to the Blue Boar Bar to sip a swish cocktail. Haute Living isn’t normally one for sticking to the safe parameters of a hotel bar, but Blue Boar – home to a division bell and featuring an exclusive drinking room, private nooks for power broking, carefully selected local ales, classic cocktails and fine wines surely ranks as one of the swankiest in the capital. We loved the 3-D political caricatures from cartoonists Gerald Scarfe CBE, Martin Rowson and Simon Bingle that adorns one of the walls.
Strong political themes – apt given the hotel’s location in Britain’s political heartland – flow throughout the property: keep your eyes peeled for the stunning Tom Clark sculpture in the lobby.
We had arrived at the hotel with plans to party hearty in the capital but, with just one night to play and so much luxury and comfort on offer at Conrad London St James, we were content to pull on fluffy white robes and curl up in our room and enjoy flashes of smart sophistication.
Decorated in a tasteful palette of grey, beige and taupe, the rooms are an exercise in measured elegance and the kind you never want to leave. There are 256 rooms and suites spread over six floors yet somehow you feel as though you are the only people at the property. All accommodation boasts the softest pillows money can buy, modern technology (42” HD televisions and complimentary high speed WiFi) and go the extra mile touches including Nespresso coffee machines and newspapers delivered directly to your door in the morning with the compliments of Conrad St James. Meanwhile the film star bathrooms come equipped with an array of Aromatherapy Associates toiletries (you’ll feel a strong urge to stash a few in your bag), a powerful rain shower and bath you could lose yourself in.
However the icing on the cake is arguably the Conrad Suite – surely one of the most spacious in the capital. The suite enjoys a private lift and entrance in addition to extensive bedroom and living areas, adorned with several unique pieces of artwork, and can be connected to eight other suites to create an entire private wing and houses several unique pieces of inspirational artwork.
The next morning we enjoyed a long lie in (what’s the point of staying at Conrad London St James, if you don’t make the most of it?) without worrying about missing breakfast (it’s served until a civilised 10.30am). Dinner was a hard act to follow but breakfast proved to be just as impressive: pile your plate high from the bountiful Continental buffet or choose from the a la carte menu – we ordered eggs so good, that the chickens must have had a five star life rivalled only by Kim Kardashian West.
Consumed too many calories? Ward off any weight gain in the basement gym – a true study in technology – or take advantage of the local parks and jogging routes recommended by the hotel’s staff who are friendly without being overbearing, and full of fabulous suggestions. They came across as kind, professional – and proud of the Conrad project.
And rightly so. St. James is the perfect destination – there’s no feeling to match that of being slap, bang in the heart of London within walking distance of Westminster Abbey, The Houses of Parliament, and Buckingham Palace – and Conrad London St James the perfect host: one night here felt like a week away. All told if you want to put the pep back in your step before the party season commences, a night at this newcomer should definitely do the trick.