The Mayfair Townhouse is full of foxes. Not literally, of course. But the cunning creature still stalks the halls of London’s latest luxury hotel — cropping up everywhere from the decor to the doorframes.
It’s a fitting choice. Because the latest hotel from the team behind Cliveden House and Chewton Glen balances chic city living and country house tradition as thoroughly and ubiquitously as the animal. Sitting on Half Moon Street, it has brought together the capital’s cool and bucolic charm in one fell, foxy swoop.
The hotel itself is formed out of a regal run of fifteen townhouses (almost half of which enjoy Grade II listed status). But it’s not like the Iconic Luxury Hotels group to skimp on the sophistication. Like sister-outpost 11 Cadogan Gardens — a Chelsea hotel formed of four grand properties — The Mayfair Townhouse has managed to create a modern hotel haven without touching the capitals iconic skyline. We checked in to check it out.
Step inside The Mayfair Townhouse, and it’s immediately clear that this isn’t your garden variety city centre hotel. Case in point: some of the rooms actually have gardens. But we’ll get back to that. First up, checking in — in a reception area that immediately, subtly begins to skew your preconceived notions of what a Mayfair hotel should be.
Some of the figures posed with poise in the regency-era style paintings are wearing headphones. A Swarovski-plumed peacock stands tall, minding its own business amongst the marble. And the hand sanitiser? A rhubarb-infused treat. It’s this last touch that speaks the loudest; and sets the stage for the thoughtfulness and attention to detail to come.
While standing at reception, through the gold and the glass, you can also glimpse The Dandy Bar. The jewel in the crystal crown of the hotel (which, due to the pandemic, had a delayed opening), the ground floor restaurant and cocktail bar thrums with the energy of a high-society Victorian novel.
On an evening, it’s dark — but not oppressively so. You’ll still manage to make out your cocktails. And what cocktails they are! Equal parts sophistication and showmanship, the smart-jacketed team can whip up classics from Palomas to El Presidentes. But the real draw is the Dandy’s ‘Signature Cocktail’ selection.
‘The Dandy’ is a heady swirl of Johnnie Walker, dark cocoa liquor and apricot eau de vie. ‘The Earl in Mayfair’ brings together bitters, Amaranto, gin-infused fennel and wormwood cordial. Or, for pure decadence, a combination of hazelnut-washed Maker’s Mark bourbon, fig liquor and Martini Rubino comes together to create the sultry, sweet ‘Madame Fox’.
And foxes, as we mentioned, are important. In fact, this vulpine motif skulks and stalks almost every hall — with a gold silhouette of the animal greeting you at the door to each of the 172 rooms. And, below the three floors of accommodation, a basement ‘den’ is decorated with numerous diverse, distinctive depictions of the creature in art.
There, you can enjoy yet more cocktails — before heading back up into the low-light of The Dandy Bar for the hotel’s delectable signature dessert; an extraordinary tiramisu. Served in an ornate glass, it’s perhaps the highlight of the stay — the recipe lifted directly from the sun-and-marsala-soaked pages of the Bar Manager’s mother’s cookbook.
And so to the rooms. The ‘Cabin’ and ‘Classic’ rooms are dependably smart, if not as eye-catching or gasp-inducing as the more expensive options. The ‘Deluxe’ option is where things start to get good; perfect, as the hotel says, for “the business traveller who isn’t all business”.
But the ‘Executive Garden’ room is perhaps the best. A king-size bed and generous 22 square metres open up onto an incredible patio — an outdoor space slap-bang in the centre of the city, just a stone’s throw from Green Park (but with a better on-call cocktail service). It’s an al fresco feature also available with one of The Mayfair Townhouse’s many suites, which themselves range from ‘Garden’ to ‘Loft’ to ‘Skylight’.
There are other options, including a two-bedroom suite (the ‘Bracknell’) a three-bedroom suite (the ‘Moncrieff’) and a four-bedroom suite (the ‘Fairfax’), but we’d steer clear of them. As opulent as they may be, too many rooms will deprive you the opportunity to have a good explore. And, from the dark, comfortable corners of The Dandy Bar to the historic, fox-lined hallways, there’s plenty to keep you occupied in Mayfair’s newest, most hedonistic hotel.
The Mayfair Townhouse
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