Its main purpose is to attract tourists and business travellers, but if you can make locals return time and time again, you know you’re doing something right.
I’ve talked about The Connaught many times on this blog – I’m a huge fan of both hotel bars, The Coburg and The Connaught Bar – but despite numerous visits over the last few years, I had only ever experienced it from a food and beverage perspective, and mostly after dark.
Until a few weeks ago that is, when I was invited to spend the night.
Arriving on a Saturday afternoon in bright daylight reveals a different side to The Connaught – while the dark wood staircase still feels dramatic and imposing, the lobby is filled with light from the conservatory-style Espelette restaurant.
On check-in, I heard some of my favourite words: “we have a lovely suite for you, Mr Thomas”. And, well, what a suite!
The ceremonious hand-carved double doors of The (penthouse) Apartment open on to a huge foyer that leads to the bedroom, beautifully designed in cream and lavender with a four-poster bed, fainting couch and a serene sense of space.
From your bedroom, follow the corridor to your dressing room, walk-in wardrobe and bathroom, or go for a wander in the other direction where walkways filled with objets d’arts and paintings guide you to a truly stunning sitting area, designed in blues and purples with a marble fire place.
Measuring over 3,000 square feet with two terraces overlooking Mayfair, The Apartment is surely one of the most desired hotel suites in London.
What I love most about The Apartment is that it’s not only somewhere to spend a night or a weekend, but somewhere you would want to call home. You would need a pretty hefty budget to do so, but it genuinely feels like home away from home. A gorgeous, stylish, utterly fabulous home, that is.
One of The Connaught’s biggest strengths is that it manages to blend tradition with modern touches so well – it can be formal yet cool; grand yet homely.
Helene Darroze at The Connaught, which holds two Michelin stars for its French haute cuisine and is one of my favourite Michelin starred restaurants in London, has recently launched a new menu concept.
With a philosophy that the ingredient is the star of any dish, Helene has created a menu highlighting her favourite ingredients and producers. Select 5, 7 or 9 items from the menu (Pumpkin, Lamb, Black Truffle, for example) and you will receive your own menu with one course created around each selected ingredient.
A recent lunch to showcase the new approach highlighted the chef’s focus on and trust in her suppliers, resulting in an experience that feels both luxurious and comforting.
The Connaught’s Aman Spa is the first of its kind outside of an Aman Hotel, and it brings an Asian aesthetic and style to the hotel. While smaller than many London hotel spas, its strength lies in its intimacy and serenity – I only saw one other guest while relaxing next to the gorgeous pool.
My love of the warmth of the Coburg Bar (above) and the glamour of The Connaught bar have been well documented, but delve further into the hotel and you may stumble upon the intimate Champagne Room. Not strictly a full bar, but a secret spot for a clandestine meeting with some seriously good Champagne.
The Connaught combines elegance, glamour, subtlety and a unique sense of cool to create a timeless masterpiece of a hotel.
Book The Connaught With Bon Vivant Travel
For help with planning your next visit to The Connaught Hotel, contact Bon Vivant’s luxury travel team here.
Thanks to our Virtuoso affiliation, we can offer our clients the following VIP benefits:
- Complimentary upgrade*
- Complimentary full English breakfast
- £60 food and beverage credit
- Late check-out and early check-in*
*subject to availability
Bon Vivant Travel Guides
I have paid my own bill on numerous occasions but my overnight stay was covered by the hotel – our editorial policy can be viewed here.