Weekending at Dukes Hotel, St James’s Place, London

Since moving to Paris in the Spring last year, I have always looked forward to my weekends back in London. As I had a French Christmas and New Year I was looking forward to spending the weekend with my mum somewhere special in London. 

Dukes London fits the bill perfectly. In the heart of Mayfair, a moment’s walk from Green Park tube, Bond Street, Buckingham Palace, and our favourite restaurant The Wolseley, we knew we could tailor the perfect London weekend from this beautiful hotel. 

Set back off St James’s in a quiet courtyard, Dukes Hotel has been welcoming distinguished guests for over a century. Step into the lobby, designed by my old boss Mary Fox Linton, and you’ll notice the hotel is steeped in history blending contemporary art (the Tower of London poppy installation) and old oil paintings, sculpture and objet d’art. 

The hotel offers 90 bedrooms and 15 suites, The Dukes of Clarence Penthouse and Duchess Suite are amongst the most special. Your grandfather would have no complaints here with the traditional old school service you would expect from any members club in the area, with guests checking in on a Monday for the week before returning to their country homes for the weekend. 

Rooms feature complimentary wifi, concierge service, dry cleaning and laundry services, interactive flat screen tv with on-demand movies, air conditioned rooms, Floris bathroom amenities, mini bar, complimentary papers and magazines, valet parking and 24 hour room service. 

There is a health club in the basement (with trainer if booked in advance) with treatment rooms, and an Italian marble steam room. 

We arrived mid-morning to find our room was already ready, and we’d been offered a complimentary upgrade to The Duke of Portland’s Suite. Since I was travelling the week before I had asked if the hotel would be happy to take a large delivery for me which they were more than happy to do, and store until my arrival. 

We settled into our suite before hitting the end of the January sales for the afternoon. The great thing about Dukes is that you can just stroll out and be in the heart of London within minutes. 

Dukes Hotel is famous for their Bar. Legendary in it’s own right for its famous martinis and personalised cocktails. Frequented by James Bond author Ian Fleming, Dukes Bar is said to be the inspiration for the classic line, ‘shaken, not stirred’.

For first timers to Dukes Bar, you’re given a polite disclaimer to perhaps just have the one cocktail tonight. I chose the chilli martini which certainly blew the cobwebs away. Luckily we only had to stroll around the corner to our table at The Wolseley. 

We had a leisurely wake-up, and enjoyed breakfast in the basement restaurant, Thirty Six. The restaurant for evening service was closed at the time we visited because the hotel is undergoing a multi-million pound renovation in partnership with Liberty Fabrics which will be unveiled Spring 2017. 

Of this exciting makeover, Managing Director of Dukes Collection, Debrah Dhugga said, “At Dukes London we understand that to remain at the forefront of the luxury hotel industry, maintaining standards is absolutely essential. This multi-million pound renovation will be the biggest investment the hotel has seen in decades. Our aim of the refurbishment is to enhance and enrich what our guests know and love about the DUKES experience, whilst maintaining our award-winning five-star service and attention to detail that the hotel is so well-known for. We are extremely excited at the prospect of revealing the new look hotel to our guests next spring.”

From January 2017, DUKES will experience a full upgrade to a number of its bedrooms and suites, and public areas such as the much-loved Drawing Room. The popular Duchess Rooms, a personalised service aimed at the female solo traveller, will also undergo a dramatic facelift, working particularly closely with Liberty to add those stylish, feminine touches, all personally chosen by Debrah Dhugga herself.

Nightly rates start from £311 inclusive of VAT and breakfast, with complimentary upgrade to next room category.

Dukes Hotel, St James’s Place, London, SW1A 1NY ~ 020 7491 4840 or visit www.dukeshotel.com

LWSY – February 2017

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