The Stafford, London, England Review
London is a city of shopkeepers and innkeepers. The choices in hotels are many but most are large and faceless. I’ve stayed in many such establishments over the years. This time I was looking for something more intimate but with all of the amenities of the leading hotels of the world. The Stafford, located on St. James’s Place, is just such as place.
The Stafford is centrally located. Everything is only a few minutes away either by foot, tube, or taxi, whether it’s the theaters of the West End, a walk through Green Park, shopping in Mayfair boutiques or on Bond Street, or popular tourist destinations including Buckingham Palace.
As my taxi pulled up to the hotel, the doorman greeted me, took my luggage, and escorted me to the front desk. The front desk clerk welcomed me to the hotel and I was pleased to find out that, despite my very early (10 a.m.) arrival, my room was ready. She showed me to my room and walked me through its many features. A bellman brought bags up a few minutes later and offered coffees or tea. A wonderful double espresso with warm milk appeared a few minutes later.
Each of the 105 rooms and suites is individually decorated. My Mews Master Suite had an elegant entryway, a separate living room, underfloor heating throughout, and clever touches such as a closet bar that lights up to illuminate the closet (see slide show at end of article).
Furnishings were modern and tasteful and the living room, with a working fireplace, was a wonderful place to hold meetings and entertain guests. . A mini bar was stocked with water and juice (all complimentary).
The bed was one of the most comfortable I’ve encountered in a hotel in recent years and I enjoyed a refreshing night’s sleep. Turndown service included a bottle of water with a very heavy glass (presumably so it could not be accidentally knocked down) on the nightstand.
ROAD WARRIOR SUPPORT
A desk and chair were in one corner of the living room and I found two sizes of personalized stationery with my name waiting for me. Internet was wireless, fast, and free. A very large safe was in the bedroom closet although it was on the top shelf and required a stepstool to reach. When I needed a European to UK plug adapter the concierge sent that up within 5 minutes of my request.
There is a very well-equipped gym in the Mews and, had I had the time, I could have also visited the Third Space, a fitness club with swimming pool that is a ten-minute walk away. There are also four private meeting rooms that can accommodate anywhere from two to 44 guests.
My baggage made it to my destination since I didn’t check any bags, but the Stafford does offer a “Baggage Emergency Response Squad” service for those whose luggage does not make it to the hotel with them. Upon arrival, a guest arriving sans luggage would receive a first-aid kit that includes woolen socks from New & Lingwood of Jermyn Street, knickers from either Turnbull & Asser or Rigby & Peller, a Stafford teddy bear (in case a child’s favorite stuffed animal is among the missing), and Floris bath products and toiletries. The hotel’s staff will work with the airline to expedite the return of the missing bag(s) and, if necessary, will arrange for complimentary laundering of the clothing worn at arrival. There is no additional charge for any of these services and the hotel will also help obtain attire suitable for a business meeting if necessary, although the cost of such items would be borne by the guest.
Breakfast is served in the Stafford Restaurant and a full and hearty English breakfast is available. The American Bar is a wonderful place for an informal dinner as well as drinks and the food we had was excellent. See the Dining at the Stafford slide show for details on this.
For special events, the Stafford Wine Cellar, which dates back to the 1600s, is available.
The Stafford is an oasis of calm in the midst of a very busy city. It meets all of my criteria for a top hotel, including perfect service, comfortable rooms, an excellent location, and wonderful food. I can’t wait until my next visit.
The Stafford London
16-18 St James’s Place
London SW1A 1NJ
Telephone: +44 207 493 0111
–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.
THE STAFFORD, LONDON
THE STAFFORD – THE ROOM
THE STAFFORD – DINING