Dukes London celebrates 110 years in business
So, what connects a 5 star luxury hotel tucked away in the heart of historic London and a spy with the codename 007?
There is the fact that James Bond writer Ian Fleming wrote part of Casino Royale at The Dukes Bar there, and got the inspiration for a martini ” shaken not stirred “.
Also, The Dukes London and 007 are both quintessentially British institutions that like to keep their best traditions but are willing to re-invent themselves for the 21st century.
This year the hotel celebrates its 110th anniversary in style, and after undergoing a major refurb now boasts the renovation of all 90 rooms and suites, including 22 new Deluxe Rooms, a new look lobby and the opening of GBR, the hotel’s all-day dining experience.
Despite the changes, guests will find that the values of the hotel remain the same, a commitment to excellent service and an eye for detail that provides those little touches that mark out a top quality hotel.
Tucked away in a discreet corner of St James Place, the hotel was originally opened in 1908 as a retreat for dukes and other members of nobility, and since then has been a home from home for famous writers, musicians ( Elgar was a regular ) and politicians.
This elegant red brick Victorian building may be secluded but it is in a prime position to explore the sights and sounds of the capital. Buckingham Palace is a 5 minute walk away as are the Royal Parks, and museums, galleries, theatres and other iconic landmarks are all nearby.
A warm welcome
The updated lobby with its muted blue and grey palette, grandfather clock and fresh flowers on the tables sets the tone for your stay – welcoming, friendly, relaxed and stylish.
The Concierge team is always available to provide you with advice and information on things to see and do in London during your stay. They can assist you with any arrangements including restaurant reservations, car rental or airport transfers, or organising tickets to the theatre, opera or ballet.
Eat, drink and relax
GBR ( Great British Restaurant) is a great addition to the hotel, an all-day dining experience offering classic British cuisine with a twist. Available as small or large sharing plates, you can experience a hearty breakfast, a light lunch or dinner.
The relaxed and inviting space is headed up by Executive Head Chef Nigel Mendham who has honed his talents at kitchens in country houses, restaurants and hotels throughout the UK. Nigel’s philosophy is to take food back to its roots, working with core ingredients, meticulously prepared to bring out the flavour of each one.
This is most noticeable with the Chefs Bar experience, a 5 course tasting menu, with each dish paired with a glass of English sparkling wine that has been carefully chosen to bring out the individual flavours of each plate. This exclusive experience can be booked for up to 7 people and a vegetarian option is available.
For guests and locals alike, a popular choice is the Sunday brunch, serving such tasty treats as Haggis Scotch Egg with Whiskey Sauce and Bramley Apple. For an added touch, go ” Bottomless ” and enjoy free sparkling wine over 2 hours!
The classically styled Drawing Room is the setting for that most iconic of British traditions, the Afternoon Tea. Delicate finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and a selection of patisserie are served every day from noon with your choice of tea.
Why not add a glass of champagne to accompany your sweet and savoury treats or try out the Dukes MarTEAni, where you can enjoy three beautifully crafted mini martinis, created with The East India Company Gin, each served alongside the afternoon tea courses.
Or follow in Ian Fleming’s footsteps and drop into the Dukes Bar, an imtimate space where you can indulge in a signature cocktail, maybe a St James Manhattan or a Champagne Cosmo, choose a classic cognac or go full Bond and order one of their famous martinis. Afterwards, guests may retire to the Cognac and Cigar Garden which is open nightly.
A home from home
All of the 90 rooms and suites are classically styled to provide a relaxing backdrop to your stay whilst featuring all the amenities that you require. With award winning Hypnos mattresses to ensure a comfortable nights sleep and marble en suite bathrooms, the luxury factor is high.
Also included are interactive flat screen televisions, free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, large writing desks, in-room safes, complimentary water and coffee machines.
The new Deluxe Rooms are decorated in fresh greys and whites with touches of colour in the fabrics such as duck egg blue and mustard yellow which add a modern sophisticated twist to the decor.
For a special occassion or even if you are just looking for a room with one of the best views in London, the Duke of Clarence Penthouse Suite has its own private terrace overlooking the magnificent Clarence House and Green Park.
A rather novel idea is the Duchess Rooms which are tailored to female guests. It may sound old fashioned in the 21st century, but especially for someone who is travelling alone it provides an extra feeling of security and a homely feminine touch.
Female members of staff will escort ladies to their rooms and handle all room service and housekeeping requirements, while fresh flowers and a complimentary fruit bowl are placed in the room along with a selection of glossy lifestyle magazines.
A makeup mirror, hair dryer and accessories are positioned at easy reach from the dressing table and smaller size slippers are available.
Doggies at Dukes
Another great idea is the welcome given to guests travelling with their dog. Being so close to the Royal Parks , the hotel is a great base for some excellent ” walkies” and staff can provide local maps and suggested routes.
Dukes offers a variety of services from grooming, walking and dog sitting and your pampered pooch will have a luxurious bed, two gourmet treats a day, a supply of mineral water in the room, a turndown treat and even a Dukesy Dog soft toy!
The Health Club offers a modern gym with the latest Techno gym equipment including a cycling machine, running machine, weights and exercise mat. For less strenuous relaxation there is also an Italian marble steam room and a beauty treatment room.
Dukes London has four stylish and elegant meeting rooms, all ideal for business or social events and each with a distinct style, from the large St James Suite which is licensed for civil weddings and partnership ceremonies, to the Sheridan Suite, a private dining room with a mahogany table seating up to 12 guests.
Whether you are looking to book a working lunch, all day conference or an intimate dinner, the experienced Events Team will be on hand to provide expert advice and help make your day run smoothly.
In a nutshell
Dukes has everything you would want for a visit to the capital, a secluded location yet easy access to all the sights, luxurious decor and ambience and a top quality restaurant. But what sets it apart is the service, a friendly and professional team who are dedicated to making your trip a memorable one.
Nightly rates in a DUKES room at DUKES LONDON start from £320 inclusive of VAT and full English breakfast.
Address: 35 St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NY
Phone: 020 7491 4840