Hotel Review: Sofitel St James, Waterloo Pl in London
On the cusp of Lower Regent Street, Sofitel St James has flourished itself upon the English captial. A former bank, the grand symmetry of the building mirrors that of it counterpart opposite; with St James’s Park just beyond. With polished marbled floors and large bouquets, the fragrant lobby combines traditional English decor with classic French touches. This French charm is continued with the friendly and helpful staff who the majority are French themselves.
French interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon has preserved the neo-classic design of the interiors and with 183 rooms including eight classic rooms, 73 superior rooms, 84 luxury rooms, ten junior suites, seven prestige suites and a royal suite; our allocated suite looked over Lower Regent Street. The art deco bathroom was a highlight complete with a large mirror, generous bathtub and delightful rainshower. ‘MyBed’ is a concept exclusive to the Sofitel brand worldwide, this clever concept popular with Sofitel regulars, offers the opportunity to purchase the same bed for themseleves; something I would consider if I had such space.
Leading on from the lobby, The Balcon is the hotel’s stand alone fine dining French restaurant. Designed in hues of gold, green and with touches of purple, its interior sets itself apart from the remainder of the property. Featuring double height ceilings with ornate columns set with guilt and marble with oak and ebony striped wooden flooring, The Balcon is an attractive additon to the French hotel. Alongside a Pinot Noir we enjoyed baked cheese souffle and scallops with steak and a speciality seafood broth. With a combination of English and French cheeses to finish The Balcon’s menu is a gracious salute to the property. The Balcon is an all day dining destination; and caters to both hotel and restaurant guests for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Expanding their offerings outside meal times, the restaurant also welcomes visitors for morning coffee, charcuteries or an afternoon tea with their signature French touch. The menu, created by Head Chef, Vincent Ménager, is designed to blend French and British traditions with the style and use of the ingredients, all whilst combining innovation and a modern twist to effectively link the two cultures.
For cocktails and more, between the hotel and The Balcon is the St James’ Bar. Attracting an audience from beyond the guest rooms, the bar draws inspiration from Coco Chanel’s 1920’s apartment and features walnut framed panels with lilac silk. A centre point, an amethyst topped bar is clad in oyster cut walnut with Edwardian-style salmon skin bar stools. The Bar Manager has created an original cocktail list with a difference; his menu is available all day long with main courses, plates to share or just light pre theare dishes. Additionally and in contrast to The Balcon and its bar, The Rose lounge is an abundance of pink with a live harpist tucked in the right hand side. With a library made up of both French and English cultures, The Rose lounge is designed for relaxation. Again with a French twist, afternoon tea is made up of traditional finger sandwiches that sit alongside three different varieties of scone and are all served with Devonshire clotted cream and rose scented raspberry jam. Offered with a selection of teas from around the world, it also comes with an impressive selection of French pastries.
Sofitel St James carefully pays homage to our proud English culture and thoughfully incorporates their Sofitel French touch with nudges of English traditions, from the subtleties of the design to their restaurant, Coco de Chanel’s cocktail menus and The Rose Lounge’s afternoon tea. The hotel also offers a city spa which opened in 2009, designed by Sparcstudio. Whether its for a fleeting overnight stay, quick cocktail, feminine afternoon tea, spa treatment or dinner in The Balcon, Sofitel St James’ is more than a hotel and is a focal point to Lower Regent Street.
Address: 6 Waterloo Pl, London SW1Y 4AN, 020 7747 2200, sofitelstjames.com