REVIEW: Tempus stays at The Mayfair Townhouse
As the hotels finally get to open their doors again, Suzanne Baum visits one of the newest additions to the London scene
The Mayfair Townhouse is tucked half way down a side street opposite Green Park and, as the postcode suggests, is a rather luxurious establishment; this hotly anticipated hotel from the owners of The Cliveden House and Chewton Glen had already racked up multiple luxury travel awards before it had even properly opened its doors.
And once inside them, you can instantly understand why. This dog-friendly hotel, which has been years in the making, is breath-taking. The reception area oozes glamour, from its shiny marble floor and decadent furnishings to its gold-coloured fringed table lights and the 25,000-Swarovski-crystal-encrusted peacock that glimmers in the lobby; everything points towards pure decadence.
And then there is the hotel’s motif, the fox, which takes pride of place almost everywhere you look. Much of the artwork features a fox, as do the door knobs and the staff’s uniform, and even the cuddly toy handed to my dog at check-in. Her dirty paws may have left a muddy mark on the lobby’s gleaming tiles but nothing would dampen the mood of the hotel staff who were beaming to be back at work. And this was very much the impression I got throughout my visit; every effort was being made to ensure guests (even four-legged ones), were well taken care of.
Pure luxury without any pretentiousness is often difficult to come upon, but The Mayfair Townhouse hits the spot. In fact, the importance of being yourself couldn’t ring truer here for much of its history is steeped from its location on Half Moon Street, which was the setting for Oscar Wilde’s most famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest.
Situated literally a two minutes’ walk from Green Park, dog lovers can be rest assured that there is plenty of space to walk the dog. However, I found myself wandering in awe down the endless wonky corridors of the building, which gave the dog a work out in itself. The interiors - bold and supremely colourful – are also decorated with such a delightful array of fun and mischievous art that it is like a museum. As well as lots and lots of amusing takes on the fox, the walls pay homage to the fantastical storytelling of the artists and writers of the late 19th century, including Oscar Wilde.
As bold as the artwork is, so are the bedrooms which are all designed slightly differently from one another. For the solo traveller, there is the “cabin room”, a chic and cosy room that houses a Queen-sized bed, desk and beautiful bathroom. I can only imagine once foreign travellers start to come, this will provide a perfect night stop.
And then there are the higher-end rooms; garden rooms with walled gardens and suites with living areas and a roll-top bath. You almost feel as though you have walked into your own Parisian apartment, such is the quality of the mid-century modern furnishings. And with each boasting a free hotel mini bar, you can sit back and enjoy your wine with some of the most stunning views across London.
Food-wise, the hotel does not have a restaurant as such but more an art deco-style bar, candidly named The Dandy. Theatrical in style and dimly lit, this beautifully mirrored room, intimate in appearance, is the perfect space for pre- or post-dinner drinks. However, even though the hotel manager encourages guests to explore the neighbourhood and dine at one of its world renowned restaurants, the bar still offers a superb selection of food.
From small plates of tuna tartare and truffle and parmesan arancini to fluffy artichoke croquettes and salty edamame, the menu is as mouth-watering as the food itself. And with a lengthy list of cocktails and wine to choose from, the setting makes for a wonderful experience in itself.
And even though the hotel may only have 34 guests staying, there is still a real buzz in the air. You can feel the excitement from both the staff and fellow diners that hotel life is finally getting back to life again. And this is opening day so once foreign travel is given the green light, I won’t be surprised to see this hotel bursting at the seams. The Mayfair Townhouse is a brilliant addition to the London scene; check in and check it out to discover the newest gem on the block.