The Stafford ★★☆
A clubby townhouse hotel in St. James
Just two blocks from Piccadilly and Green Park, yet removed from the bustle on the cul de sac end of a crooked street, the Stafford—three 18th century townhouses linked into a hotel in 1912—feels less boutiquey than its neighbor, Duke's.
But the Stafford has three features that set it apart: the genteel lounge for afternoon tea, the carriage mews out back, and the popular American Bar (a testament to its WWII role as a U.S. and Canadian officers's club and its current 65% American clientele, many of whom leave their baseball caps and ties to hang from the rafters).
The best accommodations here involve a choice. Do you want a room on the back of the main building—a deluxe double with canopied beds and baths sheathed in marble (no. 100 also has a large private patio)—that overlooks the 18th century carriage house across the cobbled mews, with its red azaleas spilling over black wood balconies against white-painted brick?
Or do you prefer staying in a suite of the carriage house itself? These are fitted out as elegant country homes, with antiques and chairs ranged around a (non-working) fireplace, four-poster beds, double sinks in the baths, and a CD player. If the latter sound best, plump for the duplex "Guv'nors Suite" with its two bathrooms, dining nook/library, and access to the minstrels gallery.
All this, coupled with the Modern British cuisine served under chandeliers and original trompe-l'oeil painted ceilings, and thoughtful touches like guest business cards (showing your address in London) and umbrellas in the rooms, have earned the Stafford a remarkable repeat-client rate of over 70%.Book it
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- The Savoy Hotel★★★| £££
- The Connaught★★★| £££
- Duke's Hotel★★★| £££
- The Gore★★★| ££
- Juliette's Bed and Breakfast, Dawson Place★★★| ££
- Cheval Three Quays at The Tower of London Apartments★★★| £££
- The Royal Horseguards★★★| £££
- Hotel 41★★★| £££
- Charlotte Street Hotel★★★| £££