Open since May, following an initial launch in December 2020, the Mayfair Townhouse is part of Iconic Luxury Hotels, which includes prestigious country properties such as Cliveden House and Chewton Glen. The site formerly housed the Hilton London Green Park and has been gutted and refurbished.
What's it like?
Some 15 Georgian townhouses on Half Moon Street have been combined to create 172 individually designed rooms and suites. In the Victorian era the street was popular with bachelors, bohemians and artists and so the townhouses were split into apartments for singletons – in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Algernon Moncrieff resided in one. Design firm Goddard Littlefair has drawn on this heritage to create flamboyant interiors that pay homage to both real and fictional personalities – from Wilde to Alice in Wonderland.
Guests begin their journey down the rabbit hole as soon as they enter the lobby and are met by Alfie, a peacock adorned with 25,000 Swarovski crystals and named after Wilde’s lover. The art collection curated by specialist Minda Dowling gives classical imagery a contemporary twist – from Miss Aniela’s Surreal Fashion photo series to Ant Fox’s depiction of Lord Byron with an iPad. Guests can scan QR codes throughout the building to learn more about the collection.
The lobby has a dark, moody colour scheme with hints of gold, and is your first introduction to the hotel’s mischievous fox motif – it features on the reception desk, throughout the art collection, and on every guestroom door. A concierge on the left-hand side is headed by Dianna Bera, one of the few women in the world to hold Les Clefs d’Or (The Golden Keys) – an association of the top hotel concierges in the world.
The lobby leads on to the Dandy Bar, while the lower ground floor houses the Club Room, a lounge area that is comfortable to work in, and the ruby-red intimate enclave The Den.
Where is it?
On Half Moon Street, just off Piccadilly, a three-minute walk from Green Park Underground station and close to attractions such as Fortnum and Mason, The Royal Academy of Arts, and Burlington Arcade.
These range from small 14 sqm Cabin rooms with queen beds to 60 sqm Loft suites with terraces, and all accommodations have luxurious marble bathrooms. Deluxe rooms and above have king beds, and suites have a separate sofa area. Signature suites include arrival transfer from any London airport or station.
The labyrinthine layout on the guestroom floors adds to the charm of the hotel, with each black threshold a sign that you’re entering a new townhouse. Hallways feature classical-style portraits by Marja van den Hurk of women whose faces are masked by blooming botanicals, befitting the surreal quality to the hotel. Staff take you to your room, so you aren’t likely to get lost in the luxury maze.
All rooms have free wifi, Nespresso machines, a Smart TV, safes, Noble Isle toiletries (including a lovely rhubarb-scented hand sanitiser) and free non-alcoholic minibars – the latter include interesting items from local artisans, including a pot of colourful macarons. My Junior suite was on the fourth floor, down a couple of steps at the end of the hallway, and felt like its very own wing of the townhouse.
The décor was refined, with a regal navy colour scheme, glimmers of red and gold, and dark wood furnishings. The bed was extremely comfortable, and had lunar-like lights on either side which gave a lovely ambiance, and added to the hotel’s dreamlike nature. There were also lights for reading embedded in the headboard, and USB plugs and sockets beside my bed.
The bathroom had an inviting rolltop tub, a spacious walk-in shower and twin sinks with brass-framed oval mirrors. Some suites also include tailor-made umbrellas – mine revealed a kaleidoscope of butterflies when I opened it up.
When I returned to my room after dinner, suitably merry, The Importance of Being Earnest play on my bedside table, and the quote “always remember to fall asleep with a dream and wake up with purpose” in colourful writing on the mirror.
Food and drink
The Dandy Bar is an alluring destination, with dim lighting, a dazzling art-deco bar, lampshades with silk-pleated shades, and marble, brass and glossy timbers reflected in mirrored ceilings. I felt as if I had been transported back in time – all that was missing was my 1920s flapper dress.
Bespoke cocktails are inspired by the area – from The Dandy whisky number to The Casanova gin aperitif. I had trouble choosing, but the charming velvet-clad bar manager Pierpaolo Monaco and bartender Phil Wilson saw straight into my soul, recommending the Cloud Nine Fizz, a bubbly concoction presented with a floral decoration. There are also classic cocktails on offer, and a decent list of low and non-alcoholic ones.
The all-day dining menu includes small plates and mains such as burgers and risottos. We enjoyed delicious Jerusalem artichoke croquettes with salsa verde, and a fragrant lobster curry – a Chewton Glen signature dish. We channelled our inner dandy and opted for a liquid dessert of White Russian cocktails, the perfect nightcap to a hedonistic evening.
A buffet breakfast and à la carte breakfast is served in the Club Room – my smashed avocado with poached eggs and chilli on toasted sourdough was lovely, but on the small side.
The lower ground floor can be privatised, or the Den and Oscar’s Study can be hired.
The hotel also has a ‘Work from Townhouse’ service, which costs £145 per day from 8am to 6pm and includes an Executive Room, wifi, complimentary use of the hotel gym, and Nespresso coffee machine.
There’s a gym on the lower ground floor with Technogym equipment.
This grand hotel manages to feel boutique, with thoughtful interiors that marry real-life history with fictional folklore, and are playful rather than gimmicky. The staff are excellent and the dining areas double as comfortable workspaces during the day.
A glamorous city alternative to the hotel group’s country boltholes
Imaginative cocktails at the Dandy Bar
Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in September started from £250 for a Cabin room
27-41 Half Moon Street; tel +44 (0)20 8138 3400