A stay in London always promises a busy one, filled with meetings – friends, family or professional – great food, gorgeous architecture, sightseeing and shopping, and my most recent visit ticked all of these boxes.
I like to visit different hotels as the capital is filled with so many options and, on this occasion, my first stop was The Washington Mayfair, a four-star establishment in the heart of the upscale district, built in 1913 with spacious rooms and service with a smile. There are 178 bedrooms and suites across seven floors with a small gym, 24-hour business centre, 4 meeting spaces to fit up to 300 people, reception style and Madison’s restaurant and bar.
The Washington Mayfair has a history dating back to 1913
The location of the hotel is, no doubt, a large selling point for visitors. Mayfair is synonymous with opulence, good food, exclusive clubs and shops and is a short walk to Hyde Park and an even shorter one to Green Park, as well as being close to Buckingham Palace, with the area showing off a gorgeous selection of Georgian buildings too.
Once inside the lobby and towards the reception desk you are greeted with a selection of red leather sofas atop a mustard patterned carpet, a look, which runs through the resident bar and restaurant. It’s not the style of décor I desire and I felt it looked a little tired and in need of modernisation. Staff at reception were friendly and I was pleased to receive a nice big ‘hello’ from the concierge and receptionist. While we were checking in a fellow guest interrupted by telling the receptionist he needed another room, any one – we got an apology but I felt for them, it’s not the best start for another guest!
The hotel’s Art Deco origins are on show throughout
However, once in our room on the 7th floor, I know I was pleased with our spacious home for the night, which was graced with a long section of balcony that wrapped around the hotel and offered glimpses of Green Park and the neighbouring rooftops of Mayfair with a couple of chairs to relax on. The simple décor consisted of pale grey walls, black furniture and a cream leather headboard above a very comfortable bed, which meant I made it down to breakfast only 10 minutes before close. The modern bathroom held a bidet and shower over the bath with sand-coloured tiling. In the room I spotted an umbrella in the wardrobe for wetter days, tea and coffee, a mini fridge, an electronic safe in the wardrobe as well as a large television with Sky TV and air con/heating, which came in handy on the warm day that I visited.
All 178 bedrooms and suites at our Mayfair hotel have been recently refurbished. Image credit: Jarek Klocinski Photography
When I returned to my room later in the evening I was pleased to see that my bed had been turned down with a robe laid out. I was also gifted a bottle of red wine and a basket of fruit, which was a nice touch.
Breakfast is served in Madison’s Restaurant and consists of a buffet of hot and cold items as well as a few items that can be ordered from the kitchen. Service is swift and with a smile, though I arrived not long before the cut off time so there weren’t many people dining at the same time.
Breakfast is served in the homely and informal Madison’s Restaurant
For a four star hotel in Mayfair I hoped for a little more than what I got in terms of the feel and style inside the building, I think there’s a great opportunity to fully embrace the art deco heritage and offer guests a little more sumptuous décor but I had a nice stay, I loved my balcony and the ever-smiling staff were a credit to the place.
Though I’ve recently passed my driving test (I had to get that in somewhere!) the prospect of a 4-hour drive to London was not a pleasant one and when I have the choice I’ll opt for train travel anyway. On the train I get handed a coffee and piece of cake, I can ‘rest my eyes’ and, of course, I’ll get there quicker, though not quite the door to door service that a car offers, the benefits of travelling by train far outweigh any potential drawbacks.
Bordering leafy Hyde Park, Mayfair is an upscale district of elegant Georgian townhouses, exclusive hotels, and gourmet restaurants. Image credit: chrisimages/Bigstock.com
To travel via train from my nearest train station in South Devon to London Paddington, I am limited to Great Western Railway for my travels, though this is certainly not a bad thing. Smart, forest green and slate grey interiors welcome travellers to newly converted carriages, which offer more space and a pleasant environment. First class offers even more space with wide, reclining seats that are spacious enough to fit three across the width of the carriage, rather than four in standard class.
During the journey I was offered complimentary refreshments plenty of times, which I happily accepted, starting with a coffee, orange juice, water and slice of fruit cake. There are also croissants, biscuits and other snacks as well as a travelling food trolley with items to purchase such as chocolate, crisps, other hot drinks and beer. First class certainly offers a calm and peaceful environment with friendly, attentive service and a copy of The Times at each table too. My three-hour journey saw me arriving into Paddington bang on time and I was ready to tackle London.
Great Western Railway operate the train line between Plymouth and London Paddington
My return journey felt just as swift, the snacks were plentiful, the carriage was quiet (I don’t ask for much!) I was loving the extra space and, on weekends, you’re offered a little snack box containing a mini bag of pretzels, cake, chocolate, cracker, Dairylea and crisps. I arrived on time and the views I encountered while travelling back to lovely Devon were gorgeous – what more can a person need from a train journey?!
Address: 5 Curzon St, Mayfair, London W1J 5HE
Phone: 020 7499 7000
Image credit at the very top of the article: Jarek Klocinski Photography
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