Central, clubby and curated with 1,500 artworks, arriving at The Beaumont is like stepping into a movie or onto the set of Ralph Lauren’s recent SS20 show. Checkerboard floors, posh doormen and the overarching black and white Art Deco style suggest the Jazz Age is alive and thriving. (I felt as if I should be arriving with a hat box or at the very least wearing a fringed flapper dress).
As the first hotel project for the London duo Chris Corbin and Jeremy King – behind London institutions such as The Wolseley and Brasserie Zedel, this does not disappoint, the hotel is now owned by the Barclay Brothers. The location – in old Selfridge’s carpark – is a stone’s throw from Oxford Street but a world away from the madding crowd. It’s also a short stroll to Bond Street station, so logistically, it’s well suited to a weekend stay in the capital.
As for the interiors, the moodboard for the hotel design revolved around a fictitious character – Jimmy Beaumont who escaped Prohibition and came to find his fortune in London around 1920. Once this character was created the stylish American decorator and vintage expert, Lauren Gurvich went about sourcing the appropriate props. “We thought about what his office would look like, what art would he collect, who his friends were. So we’ve got photographs of Edward R Murrow and a bronze plaque of Charles Lindbergh.” Apparently Gurvich designed the hotel on a spread sheet, and the finished result is elegant with a dash of panache.
There are 50 classic, premier and superior rooms which feature a chic combination of large hallways, kingsize beds and are decorated in a palette of grey carpets, polished walnut and wood furniture, vintage artworks and spacious bathrooms. The aesthetic may be a little masculine for some and for those who like colour, the rooms will feel subdued and perhaps a little dark, though checking in on a wet evening, they felt cosy and cosseting. Other categories comprise 13 studios, nine suites and The Roosevelt, presidential suite. I particularly liked the bedside book selection.
One of the many benefits of being a guest at The Beaumont is so many add-ons – free minibar and snacks, internet, and access to the private Cub Room, a cosy nook on the ground floor which serves coffee, pastries and snacks. Then there’s access to the gym, salon and spa, which has hammam facilities. Specialist treatments by facialist Abigail James are also on the menu.
The piece de la resistance in terms of what to book however is “Room”, designed by Turner Prize Winner Anthony Gormley. From the outside Gormley created the squatting cubist figure to the right of the entrance façade, inside the room is entered via a white marble bathroom. The bedroom is ten metres high and is all about “sculptured darkness” with Black Forest oak lining the walls. It is minimal and monastic and not for those with a fear of the dark – though there is a shuttered window which allows light in. For a feeling of zen, and the kudos of staying in a Gormley suite this is a must for art connoisseurs.
As for dining options, The Colony Grill is the place to be in the evening after a pre-dinner drink at the Magritte Bar (refreshed by interior designer Nina Campbell – you may be distracted by its impressive collection of books). The Beckhams have regularly posted family outings from The Colony Grill and I can see why. Not only is there a red carpet entrance, the menu – featuring American classics – appeals to all ages and tastes while the service is discreet and personable, whether you’re an A-list star or “civilian” guest. It’s open from breakfast onwards, has daily specials, and the vibe is pure New York. I loved the Old Hollywood style décor and have often suggested dinner here with friends who have come to love it as much as I do. The prices are extremely reasonable for the setting and service on offer.
I stayed at The Beaumont for a milestone birthday and would liken it to an Armani suit. It needs no embellishment and makes you feel a million dollars.
Need to Know: The Beaumont, 8 Balderton Street, Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair, London; www.thebeaumont.com
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