Once an Old English Gentleman’s club, The Stafford London Kempinski has a reputation that others could only dream of. The Stafford is extremely well-hidden and even has a secret passage that links guests directly to Green Park, making it one of the most exclusive hotels in the entire city.
It is however no secret that visitors to London are spoiled for choice by way of luxury accommodations on offer. Indeed in the immediate vicinity one can encounter Duke’s, St. James Hotel, and even The Ritz. Like it’s competitors in the St. James neighbourhood, the Stafford offers guests a quintessentially British experience from the point of check-in til long after they have returned home. Where the Stafford does set itself apart however, is by placing itself at such a vantage point in offering various types of rooms and experiences, split across three buildings. The main building houses 67 rooms that are comfortable and cosy, all individually designed to ensure guests feel at home. In the Carriage House, guests can ensure an incredibly unique English country home experience – with strong prints and wood furnishings to give an earthy appeal. In the Mews, the hotel’s most recent addition, one can enjoy contemporary furnishings and cleaner cut lines. The décor is particularly feminine throughout the hotel, so despite it’s heritage as a former Gentleman’s Club, the Stafford is not the place to assert one’s masculinity.
The Stafford Experience
The Stafford by Kempinski is situated in an unassuming and hidden location in St James, up a small alleyway that would only be visited by guests to one of three hotels in this area. As you turn the corner into St James Place, the exclusivity of this property is revealed. The bellmen will rush to your aid as you exit your black cab, walk through the front doors, and are greeted by the reception team who are ready to assist you with check-in. I was even coat-checked, which was later hung in my closet when my luggage arrived in my room.
It’s difficult to describe the level or service on offer at The Stafford without making it sound as if it is somehow over the top – because it isn’t, rather it is the perfect dose to make you feel like the most important guest in a hotel that believe me, hosts a lot of important guests.
This attention to detail extends far beyond the initial point of check-in. When I later asked for directions on my way out of the hotel, I was promptly brought a hotel umbrella to utilise on the off chance that it may rain during my outing. Later in the evening when I enjoyed an evening meal in the hotel restaurant I was again made to feel like the most important guest in the room, as were others at the tables around me. It is this level of commitment to each guests’ experience that sets the Stafford apart from its competitors, and leads me to conclude this would have to be one of the most well-managed luxury properties in the entire city, which is quite a claim given the high volume of luxury properties in London.
Breakfast the following morning was served again in the Lyttleton restaurant, and I was highly anticipating the full cooked English Breakfast menu. The cold breakfast buffet in the centre of the room was slightly underwhelming and could perhaps do with a re-think, given the slightly constrained selection. While servers were doing their best to manage a few tables at once, there were a few unhappy customers given the time it was taking to receive their tea or breakfast orders. While I am spoiled back in Australia with perhaps some of the world’s best brunch menus, it is hardly unsurprising that the cooked English breakfast was slightly underwhelming.
Upon check-in I was informed I had received a generous upgrade to a Master Suite, which was located in the Mews – The Stafford’s most recent addition. When I walked into the room, I could immediately see why these room types attract a much higher room rate. Room space in London is a luxury on any occasion, but this was particularly spacious in a way that one could only refer to it as hugely oversized… but it was a welcomed luxury for my two nights in-house.
Room highlights included a separate powder room, private wardrobe space tucked neatly away in a corner by the window, incredibly lush linens and sizeable marble bath complete with aromatic bath salts. But the real gem in the Master Suite was the extensive office space, complete with ample reading material to leave you finding your only difficulty during your stay that you won’t want to leave your room, let alone the hotel.
Book the Stafford If…
If you want a quintessentially British experience, The Stafford Hotel in St James is for you. The hotel still retains most of its’ original charm despite modernizations and refurbishments over the years. The staff are exceptional and will quite literally bend over backwards to ensure you have a memorable stay.
World of Wanderlust was welcomed as a guest to experience the hotel.