WHAT'S IT LIKE? A serious renovation is bringing this 51-year-old into the radar of the ever finicky business traveller. Having started life as the first US hotel to be built in London “combining American standards of comfort and service with the best of English tradition”, it maintains a loyal following. The lobby may be small but is never without activity, and is tastefully furnished with art pieces such as the sculpted mirror on the wall near the bar.
WHERE IS IT? Along Bond Street, although the main entrance faces Conduit Street. Retail temptation abounds. It’s a short walk to the Oxford Circus, Bond and Green Park tube stations.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 249 guestrooms, including 22 suites and a hip penthouse with long bay windows looking out to Hannover Square and St George’s Church. There’s also an outdoor area.
ROOM FACILITIES: Due to the busy summer season, I was assigned a yet-unrefurbished Deluxe King Room, but which featured all the requirements: minibar, cable TV, broadband internet access, in-room safe and Molton Brown toiletries. It was due for its share of enhancement, which was good news.
RESTAURANTS: Chef Daniel Hillier, who’s at the helm of newly opened Artisan, has created a modern European repertoire that’s responsible for the brisk business. The buffet breakfast is extensive. (You’ll be back for more servings of the sautéed mushrooms.) The lobby lounge is known for high tea and a theatre menu.
BAR: The Swarovski glass curtains of Polo Bar, eye catching to anyone passing by, are responsible for the shimmering mood in the evenings. Perhaps due to its name, in previous years, sportsmen like Prince Philip gravitated to this intimate watering hole. Furnishings are by Gucci no less. Due to the strict no smoking policy, only a corner is tobacco friendly.
BUSINESS FACILITIES: A business centre; wireless on the sixth and seventh floors and 24-hour concierge service.
LEISURE FACILITIES: Gym opens at 0600.
VERDICT: Without a doubt, a fantastic location. I hope to return to a transformed room product.
PRICE: Internet rates start from £309 (US$578) for three nights in a Superior King Room in early December.
CONTACT: Bond Street, London W1S 2YF, tel 44 207 629 7755, www.westburymayfair.com
Margie T Logarta