Hotel of the week: Five star luxury at The May Fair in central London
Leading travel writer Nick Gibbens takes a detailed look at why The May Fair has become one of the hottest hotels in central London.
With it’s grand opening in 1927 by George V, the May Fair hotel soon became a byword for sophistication and glamour, and this coupled with a commitment to excellent service has seen it at the forefront of the London hotel scene for over 90 years.
Situated just off Berkeley Street, in the heart of the West End, it is just a short stroll to the shops, theatres, galleries and museums of the capital.
The May Fair has seen it all, from the flappers and tea dances of the twenties and thirties, to lavish high society parties, a period of being owned by Hollywood impresarios, film star and celebrity guests and a £75 million renovation completed in 2006.
Always attuned to the needs of it’s guests, every room in the hotel was transformed and new wings and floors were added. Whilst staying true to the heritage of the building, it is now a modern and elegant oasis, a true 21st century hotel.
With decades of providing for high profile guests, the hotel has always had a reputation for discretion and privacy, and all guests, famous or not, are given the 5 star service, aimed to make your stay a memorable one.
Indulgement is the name of the game, and whether that means a turn at the roulette wheel, a cigar and cognac on the terrace or a personalised spa treatemnt, there is something for everyone.
With its luxury suites and stylish events and business facilities, the hotel can cater for any guest, whether you are looking for a few days at leisure in London, or need a special backdrop for a party or corporate event.
The May Fair has 404 luxury rooms and suites to choose from, ranging from large doubles and family rooms to junior and duplex suites.
There are 12 stunning signature suites, each individually designed, elegant and spacious. All have separate lounge and dining areas and feature king size beds, marble baths, smart TV’s and entertainment systems, and 24 hour butler service.
My personal favourite is the rooftop Penthouse Suite, decorated in restful shades and luxurious fabrics, it has two en suite bedrooms (one with a circular revolving bed!) and a large living room with floor to ceiling windows that lead onto the 100ft terrace with stunning views over London.
I would also be tempted by the dark sophistication and chic futuristic vibe of the Ebony, the suite is enhanced with advanced TOTO bathroom technology including the Luminist bathtub which creates soothing lighting effects as you soak.
Or maybe the rich opulence of the Opium Suite, with it’s rich tones of shimmering golds and reds, polished wood floors and Chinese antiques and artefacts.
Many of the suites have the option to add extra bedrooms, ideal for families or larger parties. For extra privacy, you could always book the Curzon Wing which is available on all 7 floors of the hotel. This incorporates a suite and 3 deluxe bedrooms behind a single secure entrance.
A tasty selection of Spanish and Italian small plate cuisine is served in the May Fair Kitchen, along with Peruvian and Mexican dishes from Monmouth Kitchen and Leicester Square Kitchen.
Complemented by the finest wines and cocktails, the menu includes treats such as Wild mushroom risotto, truffle oil and parmesan shavings, or Smoked paprika chicken skewers.
Serving breakfast, lunch and evening meals, the Kitchen is also home to the Signature Charbonnel et Walker afternoon tea, a chocolate themed indulgence served with a choice of teas, coffee, fine wines or champagne.
With it’s blue lit bar, mirrored walls and funky booths, the May Fair Bar is the perfect spot to try out some of the exclusive cocktails on offer.
All the classics are there, but why not try something different like the Koshaku with it’s smooth mix of Japanese whiskey and plum wine.
Not just an evening venue, the bar serves breakfast, brunch ( coriander lamb cutlets or white crab salad are popular) and light evening meals.
The alfresco May Fair Terrace is a tented and fully heated area, an intimate space to settle back and enjoy one of the hotels collection of fine hand rolled cigars, matched with your favourite tipple.
With 38 varieties of whiskey on hand, and an extensive wines and spirits list, guests are well catered for, and bar bites from the May Fair Kitchen are also available.
At the May Fair Spa, a discreet and personal touch is utmost here, as each treatment is modified towards your individual health and beauty needs.
In depth consultations will help the team to offer you the very best from an excellent range of luxurious massage and facial therapies.
Facilities include an aromatic steam room, herbal sauna, experience showers, ice fountain and candlelit relaxation room with heated beds.
Also available are in room services which include selected spa treatments, hair cutting and styling and makeup.
With a 24 hour fully equipped gym and personal training suite, keeping up your exercise regime could not be easier.
A session with renowned personal trainer Stuart Green is highly recommended, after completing a kinetic chain profile he can create a unique exercise programme tailored to your needs, combined with a nutritional plan for your long term health.
Feeling lucky? Then head along tothe Palm Beach Casino which is located in the former Grand Art Deco Ballroom, and has one of the largest gaming rooms in London.
Featuring a wide range of games such as American Roulette, Blackjack and Three Card Poker, the casino is open 24/7 and has a smart dress code.
If you prefer a little more privacy with your play, then you may hire the exclusive Gold Room VIP gaming area which has a private entrance separate from the casino and hotel.
Throughout it’s history the May Fair has had a reputation for hosting some of the best parties in London and can expertly handle any celebration, from private dining to large weddings, gala dinners and award ceremonies.
From the dazzling beauty of the Crystal room with it’s 6 metre statement chandelier reflecting light off the bronze feature wall, to the art deco Danziger Suite the settings are truly memorable, and a perfect backdrop for your special event.
The Business Suite features 11 private meeting rooms with flexible layouts depending on your requirements. Conferences, presentations and product launches can all be accommodated, and all rooms have stylish interiors and state of the art technology.
For larger events, the May Fair Theatre can seat up to 200 people, and as one of London’s largest private screening rooms it can be used for film premieres, theatre productions and awards ceremonies.
In a nutshell
As one of London’s most sought after and sophisticated luxury hotels and with a dream location in the heart of Mayfair, this elegant hotel represents the ultimate in style and comfort with a high level of personal service to make your trip a memorable one.
Address: Stratton St, Mayfair, London W1J 8LT
Phone: 020 7769 4041