The Stafford Hotel London‘s location matches it elite ambiance and reputation. Ensconced in Mayfair, one of the most posh of London neighborhoods, its home on St. James’ Place is invisible from the busy high street of Piccadilly.
A short walk into a quiet, elegant courtyard brings you to a blend of Tudor and modern architecture – and into Stafford’s unique blend of centuries’ old British atmosphere and modern convenience. We had a night set up at the hotel to get a feel for this unique London destination.
The hotel’s smoothly mixed blend of formal presentation and 21st century strikes you immediately upon the walk across the hard wood-floored, Victorian-furnished lobby – to an elevator that brings you to the tastefully appointed, beautifully lit guest room.
I was upgraded to one of the hotel’s Presidential Suites. Sure, it’a hotel’s way of putting their bet proverbial silk slipper forward. I’m left to base expectations on the more basic room on the extremely up to date and pristine three-room set-up laid out for me.
For a London hotel of the Stafford’s reputation, location and price, the facilities more than live up to their expectations. The media/review rate was £175, with traditional roommates running well north of $400 with the current exchange rates. The Lyttelton Restaurant, the American Bar and the room service are all top shelf.
If there is is any minor complaint after staying at the Stafford, it would be that its intense attention to detail and painstaking courteousness make some aspects of the stay seem a little cold. The staff is so professionally polite and the atmosphere so delicate and refined that it loses some warmth and personality.
Don’t mistake this claim for an accusation of poor service or rudeness. Nothing could be farther from the case. You’d be hard pressed to find a more professionally run, more customer-dedicated hotel in Europe. But, the prim and proper vibe is so pervasive, the guest can feel like he or she is walking on egg shells while crossing the lobby or sitting down for a drink.
I would compare this aspect of the Stafford’s experience to visiting an elite restaurant in New York or Paris – the type where multiple wait staff stand by every table (sometimes every diner). Every used fork immediately disappears. Every perfectly sweetened coffee cup is refilled with black. For some, the luxury dining experience almost becomes nerve-wracking.
Perhaps a day and night at the Stafford isn’t as severe as that. The traditional and genuine British sensibility that pervades the Stafford prevents anything so rude or intrusive. The point is you make a choice when you stay in a hotel like the Stafford as opposed to a more intimate, perhaps family owned hotel.
So, the Stafford’s highly polished environment and atmosphere is exactly what it promises to be – exactly what guests pay for when they’re staying in Mayfair. If that’s the experience you’re looking for to make your London trip a very special, very sophisticated experience, book the Stafford.