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Hotel Review: The Guardsman in Westminster, London

LLM’s Nick Gibbens enjoys a stay at The Guardsman, a luxurious, five-star property just minutes away from Buckingham Palace, St. James’ Park, and the English capital’s many other main attractions.

By Nick Gibbens  |  April 16, 2022
The Guardsman Facade

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The Guardsman - Preferred Hotels and Resorts
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Heading for a luxury break in the capital this year? Then book yourself a room at new Westminster five-star, The Guardsman. This opulent boutique hotel prides itself on offering guests a stay that is fit for royalty, and promises a bespoke, tailored-to-you experience that will keep you coming back for more. Not only that, but it also happens to enjoy one of London’s most covetable addresses on the exclusive Vandon Street, just a stone’s throw from St. James’ Park. 

Naturally, I had to head along and check it out shortly after its grand opening to see what it had to offer – and suffice it to say that I was treated like royalty throughout.

The hotel

The Guardsman lobby area
A member of the respected Preferred Hotels and Resorts portfolio, the hotel is set within a striking building that feels more like a private residence or a private members’ club

The latest offering from esteemed hotel group Shiva Hotels, this luxury hideaway was brought to life by Richard Tomlin at Tonik Associates, who is credited with its sleek and sophisticated design. A member of the respected Preferred Hotels and Resorts portfolio, the hotel is set within a striking building that feels more like a private residence or a private members’ club – which was exactly the intention – with a well-executed take on an Art Deco theme exuding an undeniably modern, British feel throughout.

Of course, a luxury hotel, no matter how decadent the décor or how fine the facilities, is only as good as the service it provides, and here, you can expect a seamless guest experience from the word go. With staff always on hand to take care of your needs, they pride themselves on being ‘ever present, yet discrete’ – the perfect balance.

Rooms and suites

Bathroom at The Guardsman
Rich colours, soft natural textures, and a continuation of contemporary Guardsman style all come together in these spacious executive rooms to create a warm, welcoming and luxurious ambience

Comprising 53 elegantly styled bedrooms, each with its own unique identity and exemplifying a clever use of space, The Guardsman was designed to feel like a home from home, and it certainly achieves just that. Sleek and modern, all rooms benefit from an abundance of natural light thanks to huge floor-to-ceiling windows, and are kitted out with unique, custom-made pieces of furniture that are in-keeping with the sophisticated British-inspired style that is evident throughout the hotel. 

Beds are large and supremely comfortable, meaning a good night’s sleep is almost guaranteed – music to every busy guest’s ears after a long and tiring day in the city – and a range of high-tech features ensure that everything is user-friendly and requires minimal effort to enjoy. Want to turn your air conditioning or lighting on or off? It’s all controlled by a handy Smartbox beside the bed, while large, high-spec TVs with Chromecast capabilities ensure that entertainment is always at your fingertips.

Head into the bathroom, and you’ll find minimalistic monochrome styling, with a luxurious rainforest shower, free-standing bath tub, and a selection of cruelty-free, vegan friendly, paraben-free and environmentally sound Noble Isle toiletries.

 The Bondfield Residence
The Bondfield Residence is one of six residences that are located on the top three floors of the eight-level hotel

If you’re looking for a truly special experience at The Guardsman, then make a reservation at one of the six residences that are located on the top three floors of the eight-level hotel and are the very epitome of luxury living.

The show-stopping Astor Residence, on the top floor, is an impressive 117m2 (1,260sq.ft) space featuring a wrap-around terrace and all manner of additional high-end facilities, while two other residences – The Bondfield and The Summerskill – feature a more expansive outdoor space. Residences are designed to offer the comfort and privacy you’d enjoy at home but with the added convenience and service of a hotel.

Comprising either one, two or three bedrooms, all six residences boast sumptuous living spaces, dining areas and either a kitchen or kitchenette, together with options such as a private chef, a valet and 24-hour room service – while small touches like the generously stocked mini bar and carefully sourced, high-quality coffee are the icing on the cake.

Food and drink

The Guardsman restaurant
The dining and socialising spaces at the hotel are set over two levels, with opulent eatery The Dining Room, on the lower ground floor, the star of the show

The Guardsman might feel like home in many ways, but you can still expect a memorable dining experience during which you won’t be expected to lift a finger. After all, this is a five star hotel, and here, you’ll eat and drink like kings and queens.

The dining and socialising spaces at the hotel are set over two levels, with opulent eatery The Dining Room, on the lower ground floor, the star of the show. Make your way down the show-stopping gold-spindled statement spiral staircase into this intimate space, which features accents in jewel tones and sumptuous fabrics to make you feel instantly at home once more.

Serving up a regularly changing menu based around mouth-wateringly fresh, seasonal produce – sourced locally from London’s markets and farms – and drawing inspiration from British classics, highlights include the melt-in-your-mouth pan fried east coast cod fillet with garden peas and smoked pancetta, and the succulent Angus rib eye steak, served with juicy king oyster mushroom, beef dripping, hand-cut chips and béarnaise sauce. Open throughout the day, you’ll also find a tempting array of fine wines and cocktails to work your way through, as well as a must-try afternoon tea, and in the mornings, you can pop in for a hearty breakfast.

Meanwhile, the cosy and contemporary Drawing Room is located at ground level and offers a welcoming, club-like environment. Walls are adorned with a carefully curated collection of art, and sumptuous sofas and furnishings make for a stylish yet laid-back space in which to simply kick back and relax with a glass of wine. Just adjacent, you’ll find The Library – a quiet space that is just begging to be curled up in with a good book.

To do

people with family at St. James's park for relaxation
The Guardsman enjoys a particularly privileged location that places it just a four-minute walk from St. James’ Park. Image credit: Jummie/Bigstock.com

There’s never any shortage of things to do when staying in the heart of London’s busy Westminster, but The Guardsman enjoys a particularly privileged location that places it just a two-minute walk from St. James’ Park underground station, with Buckingham Palace also within easy strolling distance. Even closer, the Houses of the Parliament and the London Eye, are right on The Guardsman’s doorstep, and a must for any first-timers.

St. James’ Park, as one of the most iconic in the city, is also worth paying a visit, and exudes an air of exclusivity that is all part of its appeal. And art buffs can meander through residential streets to the Tate Modern for an afternoon of perusing the latest exhibitions.

In a nutshell

A stylish and modern boutique hotel with a distinctly British feel, if you’re looking for home comforts in the capital with a luxury twist, then you’ll find it at The Guardsman. Expect to be well-looked-after and treated like the royalty you deserve to be.

Factbox

Rates at The Guardsman, a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts, start from £250 per night, based on two sharing.

Address: 1 Vandon St, London SW1H 0AH
Phone: 020 7309 9200
Website: guardsmanhotel.com

All imagery unless stated otherwise credit: The Guardsman

Check Availability

And Book Online

Hotel
The Guardsman - Preferred Hotels and Resorts
LLM may receive some revenue if you click BOOK NOW & book a stay via Booking.com. See terms of use.

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