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Bright Lights, Winter Nights: London

London

Join the beautiful crowd in London and indulge in the high life at one of the city’s most glamorous hotspots, says ROSALEEN McMEEL.

A trip to London, whether for business or pleasure, is rarely a relaxing affair. Exciting maybe, exhilarating definitely, but relaxing? Not exactly. There’s so much to experience that even a weekend spent in the metropolis can sometimes feel like a month. Not so when you walk into the lobby of The Beaumont Hotel; with its distinctive curved back wall clad in cherry with horizontal bronze banding and chequer-board flooring of black granite and gold travertine, bordered with a sharp gold travertine frame, instantly imbibes the intoxicating sense of sophisticated relaxation. The reception and concierge area is small and intimate, and deliberately designed on a comfortable, residential scale, with the inclusive feeling of a members’ club, where you feel immediately cared for and metaphorically embraced.

The hotel is situated in the area now termed as North Mayfair, which means perilously close to bustling Oxford Street, but also happily near Selfridges and newly renovated Duke Street, as well as the upmarket streets of Mayfair proper, where some of the best designer fashion labels in the world stand to attention. The hotel, which opened only two years ago, featuring a Listed Grade II Art Deco exterior, 73 rooms and suites, was inspired by Prohibition- era Manhattan and has an aura that evokes the elegance of pre-war Mayfair hotels. The all chrome, marble and white tiled basement spa is stunning, and inspired by the Turkish baths at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall and the original New York YMCA. Essential top-to-toe grooming treatments for men and women are offered, with the hamam the relaxing pivot at the heart of the experience. There’s no sweeter or more stylish way to wash off the remnants of a trip to Oxford Street.

The Beaumont is the first hotel from restaurateurs Corbin & King, known for their “dining room” empire, which includes The Wolseley, The Delaunay, Brasserie Zédel, Fischer’s and Bellanger. Despite being a new build (the site used to be an Avis garage), it feels like it has been there forever, and the Art Deco inspired rooms and suites are warm and welcoming. The Colony Grill Room is outstanding, and deservedly one of the hottest reservations in town.
It’s impossible to miss The Beaumont’s standout feature: the part-suite, part-sculpture called ROOM, a massive modular piece by celebrated artist Antony Gormley. The giant crouching figure on the façade of the hotel is both imposing and welcoming, and your first hint that this is no ordinary accommodation. The interior, which is a dark fumed oak-clad bedroom suite, accessed up seven steps through a black curtain from a strongly contrasting, pure white marble bathroom, is just as important as its exterior: a giant crouching cuboid figure based on the artist’s body.

While ROOM is an accommodation experience like no other, every suite in The Beaumont is memorable, with unique touches and original photographs and artwork throughout. The bathrooms all have large walk-in showers with chrome detailing, black and white marble mosaic floors, eau de Nil glass tiling, and stepped, coffered ceilings, with chrome and glass Art Deco lighting.

The fictitious Jimmy Beaumont’s presence is felt throughout the hotel, especially in the bespoke candle from Jo Loves, which was commissioned to evoke the essence of the fictitious proprietor and “the welcoming scent of home”, and is lit each evening in the hotel lobby. While the service is exceptional, the level of storytelling that has gone into this hotel is truly captivating. Despite being a new build, it has all the charm and elegance of a bygone era and immediately transports the weary traveller.

Rooms from approx €460, www.thebeaumont.com

London

This article originally appeared in the December issue of IMAGE magazine.

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