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Hotel Highlights

  • Majestic Mayfair's prime London location
  • Aman Spa’s exclusive and exotic treatments
  • Top-notch service from charming butlers

Overview

Few hotels are as revered as the stately Connaught hotel in central London. For more than a century, it has been one the most stylish and elegant places to stay in Mayfair, an area long known for its elegance. Though it has been revamped in recent years, the hotel and its staff have maintained the sense of old-fashioned English grandeur, with superlative service and exquisite antique furnishings. The Connaught also offers the UK’s only Aman Spa, a gorgeous indoor pool, two glamorous bars and two acclaimed restaurants.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The Connaught with us:

A bottle of champagne in room on arrival

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at The Connaught

Weekend indulgence: champagne and breakfast

Facilities

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The Connaught hotel - London - UK

Need To Know

Rooms

121, including 34 suites.

Check–out

Noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $686.77 (£425), excluding tax at 20 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional service charge of 5% per room per night on check-out.

More details

Breakfast, from £28 a person (organic, vegetarian and Japanese options).

Also

The Connaught boasts Europe’s first Aman Spa, in collaboration with Aman Resorts. Treatments are inspired by China, Thailand, India and the Americas: try a green-tea foot bath, Oriental oil massage or red clay body wrap with Navajo herbs.

At the hotel

Ballroom, gym, spa, DVD/CD library, concierge and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, iPod dock, integrated CD/DVD, minibar and free bottled water. Bathrooms are stocked with Bamford bath products.

Our favourite rooms

The Prince’s Lodge, inspired by Kabul’s Peacock Palace, has an oak-beamed high ceiling, intricately carved furniture from Kabul (including a dramatic four-poster), 19th-century maps and photographs and a decadent bathroom with a huge double bath, a white marble shower and a steam room with a marble bench.

Poolside

The elegant indoor pool is adorned with an impressive water feature and there's a steam room close by.

Packing tips

Swimwear for the pool; a cocktail dress or sharp suit for fine dining; monocle or spyglasses for the opera.

Also

The hotel’s environmental committee introduces new initiatives each month; staff are encouraged to cycle to work; rooms are lit with low-emission bulbs; anything that can be recycled will be.

Children

Little Smiths are welcome. Cribs are free; extra beds are £75 a night; babysitting can be arranged (£8 an hour, give 24 hours’ notice).

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Food & Drink

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The Connaught hotel - London - UK

Hotel Restaurant

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught serves sophisticated cuisine – expect a menu scattered with expensive-sounding components (black ball of duck foie gras and black Perigord truffle or creamy carnalori acquerello rice are typical examples), served in an expensive-looking setting (lashings of mahogany and cream, gold and lilac hues). Darroze’s second restaurant, Espelette, is a more casual affair, offering brasserie-style meals and an offbeat afternoon tea.

Hotel Bar

Pick a bar depending on your mood and outfit. The glitzy Connaught Bar, designed by David Collins, has smoky mirrors, Cubist-patterned walls, intimate tables, a secret passageway entrance from Mount Street and the award-winning bar manager, Santino (try his lip-lickingly good Bloody Mary). Alternatively, sip at the Coburg Bar, styled by Parisian architect and designer India Mahdavi. This modern drinking den has art deco chandeliers, black- and purple-velvet wrapped armchairs, paneled walls and bold black and white cameos.

Last orders

Breakfast from 7am–10.45am; lunch from 12pm–3pm; take afternoon tea from 3pm–5.30pm; dine between 6.30pm–10.30pm (Tuesday–Friday). The two bars’ muddling and mixing takes place from 11am–11pm.

Room service

The 24-hour room service includes snacks, salads, soups, pasta and sandwiches.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Champagne chic for the formal restaurant; off-duty Parisian elegance for Espelette.

Top table

Stake out a window seat for magnificent Mayfair views.

Local Guide

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The Connaught hotel - London - UK
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Having explored all the hotel’s lures (the Aman Spa, the brand new pool, the two bars and restaurants), set off on a jaunt. Dedicated followers of fashion will love the city-central location: Christian Louboutin, Balenciaga and Marc Jacobs are the hotel’s Mount Street neighbours. Bond Street is a 10-minute walk away and Saville Row is just around the corner. Hyde Park is also close by – go horse-riding on Rotton Row (+44 (0)20 7723 2813; www.hydeparkstables.com). The Royal Academy of Art at Burlington Place (+44 (0)20 7300 8000; www.royalacademy.org.uk) holds temporary shows throughout the year. Its famous Summer Exhibition showcases around 1,200 works by established and unknown artists, sculptors and architects. There are free lunchtime tours of the Fine Rooms.

Local restaurants

Sample some of the city’s most seductive seafood at Scott’s on Mount Street (+44 (0)207 495 7309; www.scotts-restaurant.com). The Square, at 6–10 Bruton Street (+44 (0)20 7495 7100; www.squarerestaurant.org) is Philip Howard’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant. Expect modern French cuisine, a sleek contemporary setting and sophisticated service. Nearby Umu, at 14–16 Bruton Place (+44 (0)20 7499 8881; www.umurestaurant.com) sources the ingredients for its Kyoto cuisine from Japan, and has a tasting menu and a selection of sushi and sashimi. Equally accomplished food is served at Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, at Wilton Place, Knightsbridge (+44 (0)20 7235 6000; www.the-berkeley.co.uk).

Local bars

Stake out one of the lipstick-red seats at Claridge’s Bar on Brook Street (+44 (0)20 7629 8860; www.claridges.co.uk). This glamorous spot is pure luxury from top-to-toe, with cocktails served in crystal glasses and a dinner-defying array of late-night nibbles, including sushi, sashimi, truffle risotto and even fish and chips.

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Mayfair’s Mount Street

The Connaught

Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL, United Kingdom

Planes

London City and London Heathrow are the nearest airports – respectively 40 minutes and an hour away from the Connaught.

Trains

On the Underground, Green Park (on the Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria lines) is roughly a five-minute walk from the hotel. Bond Street (on the Jubilee and Central) and Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly and Bakerloo) are also fairly close. National rail hubs such as King’s Cross, Victoria and Paddington are a short cab ride away; for continental arrivals, it’s 20 minutes by car to St Pancras International.

Automobiles

A car might prove to be more of a bother than a benefit, but if your wheels are your pride and joy, the hotel will take good care of them. Valet parking can be arranged at a nearby car park from £50 for 24 hours.

Reviews

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The Connaught hotel - London - UK

Anonymous review

by Simon Richardson , TV-producing traveller

‘Your butler will be along shortly,’ says the bell boy. Mrs Smith raises an eyebrow. ‘Our butler? We have our very own butler?’ Well, we are in Mayfair. The butler duly arrives – our very own Jeeves – and he is wonderful. His name, I confess, slips my mind – but his performance? Unforgettable. The first thing he asks is whether we’d like him to unpac…
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The Connaught

Anonymous review by Simon Richardson, TV-producing traveller

‘Your butler will be along shortly,’ says the bell boy. Mrs Smith raises an eyebrow. ‘Our butler? We have our very own butler?’ Well, we are in Mayfair. The butler duly arrives – our very own Jeeves – and he is wonderful. His name, I confess, slips my mind – but his performance? Unforgettable. The first thing he asks is whether we’d like him to unpack for us. The second is whether we’d like our shoes polished – Mrs Smith’s black boots are immediately dispatched and, minutes later, return in a basket, wrapped in tissue paper.

The butler is at the heart of what is so wonderful about the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair – exemplifying the very personal service. It’s not limited to having your own manservant; from the uniformed man on the door at the Connaught Bar to the lady who turns down your bed in the evening, everybody is effortlessly friendly and entirely focused on what will make your trip (and any follow-up visits) magnificent. ‘I’ll add that to your profile’ they say after each request, however minor. This isn’t the Stasi or the CIA – this a group of people out to make you happy, ensuring you want to come back for more.

Once we’ve run out of ways to keep the butler busy, it is time to enjoy the room. With the boots not ready to leave their tissue wrapping Mrs Smith wanders barefoot into the bathroom where she receives a delicious surprise; underfloor heating is the height of decadence in an ensuite. A few minutes later she is stretched out in a piping-hot bath, enjoying the delicious products and the brilliantly positioned plasma TV – her idea of a thoroughly luxurious early-evening experience. I am stretched out on the bed devouring my book and making full use of an iPod docking station I’ve found tucked in a drawer. ‘Come and join me,’ I suggest. But time is tight, we have a Michelin-starred rendezvous three floors down and we haven’t even started on the well-stocked minibar.

This historic luxury hotel has undergone an exciting overhaul in recent years and the result is spectacular. The rooms are beautifully decorated in restrained, but elegant, tones of silver, grey and warm, dark wood. There aren’t many establishments that lay claim to housing Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison and, perhaps most famously Charles de Gaulle (who is said to have lunched in the hotel every day while exiled in London during the war). The French statesman almost certainly frequented the five-star hotel’s outstanding bars from time to time, too.

Tucked away in the back of the hotel is the Connaught Bar, a stunning Deco-inspired creation that is packed to the rafters every evening with politicos and rock stars – we spotted one of the Kings of Leon – enjoying cocktails supplied at a dizzying rate by world-class mixologists. Crowding onto the leather seats, ordering martinis and mojitos we salute their expertise. Heavy snow has caused transport chaos while we are here; friends have joined us for drinks: either thrilled to have made it to central London or they have been trapped in the city by the weather. Drinks are accompanied by small but delicious plates of food created by Hélène Darroze, the double Michelin-starred chef whose eponymous restaurant graces the hotel with foie gras, caviar and lobster staples of her fine French cuisine. But to call her heavenly morsels devoured in the lounge ‘bar snacks’ does them a considerable injustice.

Mrs Smith has booked a massage for 10.30 the next morning; with a three-year-old at home she is sure that she’ll have been up for hours by then – but she is mistaken. Heavy curtains and an absurdly comfortable bed keeps us both sleeping well into the morning and it is only the fact that the lift goes straight into the spa, five floors below our room, that gets her there on time. The Aman spa in the belly of the Connaught is an absolute treat. It has that perfect combination of relaxed atmosphere, exotic fragrance and soothing temperature that forces you into an instant state of calm. The massage is exceptional – the foot treatment apparently one of the best ever.

A little later, after several cups of delicious ginger tea, I am swimming in the black-slate swimming pool, the ripple of a waterfall at the far end easing any remnants of stress away. ‘It’s truly like being on holiday,’ I say to Mrs Smith. ‘Without travel or jetlag,’ she replies. And that is the truth of our time at the Connaught – there is something deliciously decadent about staycationing in a great hotel only a couple of miles from home.

But a truly leading hotel such as the Connaught presents a big problem, in good weather as well when it’s less clement. A beautiful hideaway so close to London’s West End offers an outstanding opportunity to experience the very best of one of the world’s most exciting cities: shopping, museums, galleries, parks, restaurants, nightlife are all within easy reach, even on foot. But as Mrs Smith puts it, when the hotel is this comfortable and offers so much right here, why leave? Ice, snow, hoards of Christmas shoppers, traffic, the general hustle and bustle of the Capital… Do we stay in or do we brave the outside world?

I could tell you that we are joined by our three-year-old for our second night and have a brilliant late evening tour of Hamleys which makes him squeal with delight; I could claim that we discover a sensational, authentic family-run Italian restaurant and sit drinking red wine and whiling away the hours as the restaurant clatters around us; and I could swear that we found a wonderful gallery around the corner and make an impulse purchase that we’ll always be grateful for. Or I could tell you that we simply curl up in the warmth of the Connaught until, all too soon, our stay comes to an end. These things are, of course, all true – and that is the problem. The answer is very simple: next time, we need to stay for longer.

The Guestbook

Reviews of The Connaught from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

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