Luxury Hotels

LONDON OVER-NIGHTER 1

Sofitel St James London is a secret some wait to discover. Go down Haymarket in a number nine bus and you might miss the hotel – the one-time Cox & Kings bank.  But those who do know it LOVE it.

It’s easy to see, entering #309, why over 50% of guests here are – both commercial and leisure – repeats. So much is right, and barely anything could be bettered (well, the ‘do not disturb’ control is perhaps just a little too ultra discreet). Designer Pierre-Yves Rochon’s bottle green dominant colour works and having overall carpeting, save for the bathroom, is delightful on bare feet. It’s easy to control lights, temperature and window drapes. The bathroom is black and white, and well lit, and Diptych toiletries feel like home. The shower is easy to control and instantly hot, and towel, on the heated rack, dry quickly. What more? The kettle’s Smeg – there’s a store 200 metres away, up Regent Street. There’s one of those iconic Tema e Variazioni face plates, from Fornaseti Milano. Oh yes, preferred daily newspapers are spread on one of the two tables – the other supports an art display of flowers, bottle green and white.

There is definitely a French flair to all this. Well… it’s a French-managed hotel, by Sofitel, and the GM is a stylish and loveable Alsatian, Marie-Paule (Knowlis) – see below, she’s known simply as Marie-Paule to all the sundry  All stakeholders, including the Omani owners, seem to work in unison, blending to create and maintain favourite status.

Blending in with the bedroom’s colour scheme only punctuated by an orange was a black-on-white calligraph-look card bearing the words ‘Congratulations on being the Authority of Luxury on Robb Report Hong Kong’s Best of the Best 2024 as well as the upcoming 4th anniversary of your incredible GIRLAHEAD podcast in July. We wish you an even brighter next chapter! All of our team are here for you, to make sure you have everything you want, when you want it’.  What a lovely thought.

You are so close to everything of importance here. The National Gallery, or Piccadilly Circus, both six minutes’ walk. St James’s Park, the same. Buckingham Palace, add four minutes.The trash that is Soho? Forget it. Some London theatres are a mere hop, skip and a jump. Whatever, join the knowledgeable and be back for sundowner-at-home time, in the hotel’s bar that has its own art to share – on its ceiling.