‘This is all for me?’, I gasp. I’m at Claridge’s, London‘s grand dame luxury hotel, and I’ve just walked into my suite for the first time.
Up on the eighth floor The Mews Pavilion – gobsmackingly huge and seemingly mine for the night – is one of the hotel’s new additions. It’s only been open for two months.
Conceived by interior designer Bryan O’Sullivan, the decor is a patchwork of fine furniture and Art Deco flourishes. Geometric mirrors, scalloped sofas and pendant lamps all hark back to the 1920s.
Samantha Lewis checks into Claridge’s, London’s grand dame luxury hotel. She stays in the vast new Mews Pavilion suite (pictured)
Conceived by interior designer Bryan O’Sullivan, the suite’s decor is a ‘patchwork of fine furniture and Art Deco flourishes’
The bedroom feels calm and elegant with its soft oyster white and gold colour scheme. It has a pillowy king-sized bed and the most luxurious walk-in wardrobe.
Things get more vibrant in the living room, where artwork and theatrical rugs offer an injection of colour. It’s a little mishmash for my taste, but who am I to complain when it comes kitted out with a dining table, grand piano and cocktail bar.
Incredibly, views of the Mayfair rooftops stretch the whole length of the suite, which covers some 190 square metres (2,045 square feet).
Above is the suite’s living room, which is kitted out with a dining table, grand piano and cocktail bar
Samantha discovers that views of the Mayfair rooftops stretch the whole length of the suite
LEFT: A snap of the details in the bedroom, which ‘hark back to the 1920s’. RIGHT: The suite’s scalloped sofa
LEFT: Samantha’s bedroom, which she says ‘feels calm and elegant’. RIGHT: The ‘luxurious’ walk-in wardrobe
What does one do with all this space? Pour a glass of complimentary Laurent-Perrier Champagne and wander around feeling slightly overwhelmed.
Apart from the size of the suite, the other thing that floors me is the private steam room in the bathroom. I didn’t even notice it at first because it’s hidden through a secret archway that opens into a magnificent marble spectacle.
But that will have to wait because I have Claridge’s first-ever pool and spa area on the basement level to check out – a groundbreaking project, quite literally, that saw teams dig five floors into London clay.
Samantha discovers a ‘secret’ arched doorway in the bathroom (pictured left), which leads into a stunning private steam room (pictured right)
LEFT: The Art Deco-style geometric mirrors in the main bathroom. RIGHT: A snap of the guest bathroom
The space is noticeably inspired by the wellness rituals of Japan: guests receive kimonos to wear and each treatment begins with a welcoming foot ceremony. Peaceful nooks, meanwhile, are dressed with items that point to the East, such as books on Shinrin-Yoku (forest bathing).
There are two signature treatments to choose from – the Bamboo and Silk Ritual and the Body Detox & Sculpt- as well as offerings from resident brands including Josh Wood, Augustinus Bader and FaceGym.
I try FaceGym’s Signature Sculpt treatment, which is designed to exercise the 40-plus muscles in your face. My therapist uses a pinching technique and some seriously high-tech tools to tone and tighten. The results show immediately: reduced puffiness and razor-sharp cheekbones.
Realm of relaxation: Above is Claridge’s first-ever swimming pool, which is located in the new basement spa
LEFT: The spa’s changing room, where guests are given kimonos to wear. RIGHT: The spa’s serene entrance area
Later, as I admire the effects in the mirror, I reflect on the number of fabulous people that have whirled through Claridge’s revolving doors in its 200-plus-year history. Names such as Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.
I follow in their footsteps down to the iconic checkerboard lobby, the beating heart of the hotel. My evening begins with a snack (posh KFC-style fried chicken) in the sultry Fumoir Bar, and then it’s onto The Foyer. This all-day dining restaurant is famous for one dish in particular – the lobster wellington.
My guest and I cannot resist plumping for this showstopper, which arrives at our table on a silver platter. It’s a whole succulent lobster wrapped in pastry, served with sautéed courgette and decadent truffle fries.
Samantha visits the ‘sultry’ Fumoir Bar (pictured) for a pre-dinner snack
The Foyer (above) is an all-day dining restaurant famous for its showpiece lobster wellington, Samantha reveals
LEFT: Samantha’s ‘posh KFC-style fried chicken’. RIGHT: The showstopping lobster wellington
The lobster wellington is served with sautéed courgette and ‘decadent’ truffle fries (left). Pictured right is Samantha’s ‘fried-to-perfection’ French toast, which she enjoys for breakfast
For dessert, Samantha and her guest order a vanilla mille-feuille (left) and a ‘deeply chocolatey’ mousse (right)
Pudding is a deeply chocolatey mousse with buckwheat praline, and a vanilla mille-feuille with caramel sauce. It’s at this point in the meal that I realise the only thing missing here is someone to roll you to bed.
Amazingly, I still manage to polish off two thick slices of fried-to-perfection French toast the next morning. Breakfast is served in The Foyer, or you can have it delivered to your room (my ultimate travel indulgence).
All things considered, it’s really no wonder Hollywood icon Spencer Tracy famously declared: ‘When I die I don’t want to go to heaven. I want to go to Claridge’s.’
Famous types who’ve checked in to Claridge’s include Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. Double rooms start from £750 a night
Samantha is hosted by Claridge’s, Brook Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 4HR. Double rooms start from £750 a night. The Mews Pavilion suite is price on application. For more information visit claridges.co.uk.
PROS: Pure luxury. Beautiful Art Deco interiors. Cutting-edge spa treatments. A special occasion sort of place.
CONS: The price tag.
Rating out of five: *****