When a hotel proclaims a multi-million pound refurbishment, expectations naturally run high.
Flemings in Mayfair is one of London’s oldest and most established boutique hotels with a history dating back to 1851. It is also one of the few remaining privately owned hotels in London, having been in the same family for over 40 years. This fact immediately puts you in the presumption that Flemings will be a home away from home. And this would most definitely be correct.
With a stately yet surprisingly modest entrance on a quiet street located just a few moments from Green Park itself, Flemings instantly warms the heart with the tip of a Porter’s hat. The lobby, albeit bijou in its size is bathed in gold with elaborate artwork framing the wall behind the slightly nondescript reception desk. Everything about this particular hotel lobby gleams but does so not in a Middle Eastern, ostentatious way but rather in a subtle luxurious style that immediately reminds you as to which London borough you are in. Mayfair, London’s most quintessential area does not need to shout about its status.
The pocket-sized Flemings is in fact a labyrinth of winding corridors, petite elevators and dainty steps, a place where you can find a total of 129 luxury guest rooms and suites as well as ten sumptuous apartments consisting of one, two or three bedrooms. In fact, it’s such a maze that much to my surprise I got lost on the way back to my room, only to wander into one of the beautiful dining establishments at the property. The hotel itself comprises of thirteen Georgian Townhouses that date back to 1731. If there is one thing we love about London, it is the history. It’s pleasantly surprising to note that despite its extensive recent refurbishment that the majority of the period 18th century detail has been both reinstated and skillfully blended to work in perfect harmony with the hotel’s contemporary new interiors. Flemings might just be the ultimate blend of old and new.
As a writer by trade, I am a stickler for any place that boasts a literary history and Fleming’s does not disappoint. Nestled into the comfort of my king size bed, of which I will tell you more about, I was captivated by the story of the hotel’s location. Flemings sits on Half Moon Street which takes its name from the Half Moon ale house that once stood on the East side of the street at the corner with Piccadilly back in 1730. The street perhaps has had a greater prominence in fiction than reality but it has been home to some of the most enduring talents in English literature who resided on Half Moon Street in their ‘bachelor apartments’. Writers of yesteryear found the essence of elegant Mayfair encapsulated in the street’s charming location, such as I was, centuries on as I write my hotel review. Some of literature’s most proficient writers took up residence on here and you can still feel the achingly, eloquent ghosts of beautiful prose as you stroll down this quiet Mayfair street.
Having the pleasure of staying in a One Bedroom Apartment at Flemings, I also felt it necessary to have a sneak peek into a different category of room for fair comparison. The Deluxe Double Room, although rather compact at 21 m² was coziness personified. With a modern, rich decor and the plush furnishings giving a gentle nod to the glamour of the 1930s, the warm welcoming feel of the room envelopes you from the moment you step inside. All the furniture is bespoke and the cabinetry itself is designed in a stylish silver stained fiddle-back sycamore, something to note for those with a keen interest in interior design.The En-suite bathroom is a masculine vision of grey slate with a heated marble floor and walk-in rainfall shower – the most welcome sight after a long day experiencing everything that London has to offer.
Having the pleasure of staying in one of Flemings One Bedroom Apartments stirs up the imagination, for I too could be one of those writers that time has honoured in this area, sitting out my mahogany bureau and penning what is in my heart. Managing to wake myself up from my vivid daydream, I took to exploring my new home for the weekend. Boasting a private entrance on Clarges Steet, my Mayfair apartment is the epitome of discretion. Come and go as you please without the need to walk through the main hotel lobby, no one need bother you unless you request it. The apartment itself is spacious with a good-sized bedroom, bathroom, fully appointed kitchen, living and dining area and is a great space for entertaining. These apartments are completely self-contained but still enjoy the benefits of the hotels 24-hour room service, isn’t that the dream?
The king sized bed takes centre stage in the sleeping quarters, adorned with jazzy striped cushions and decorated in a creamy bronze satin, adding to the overall luxurious feel of this London apartment. Perfect for family’s or groups, the sitting room possesses a comfortable sofa bed for that extra sleeping space. In fact, the apartment is so lovely it would be a shame not to share the experience. The apartment is big enough to be called exactly that – an apartment. The dining area has a full size wooden table and the kitchen is complete with fridge/freezer, oven and dishwasher should the desire to cook take you. Your dressing area is equipped with luxury hotel amenities such as fluffy bathrobes and slippers and that all important Nespresso coffee machine. The bathroom although perhaps a little small in comparison to the rest of the apartment is spotlessly clean and laden with the luxury toiletries that you would expect from a hotel such as this.
Flemings is not however just a pretty face for it also offers some of the city’s best dining. Ormer Mayfair is the stunning new restaurant from Michelin-starred chef Shaun Rankin. His venture with Flemings further cements the hotel’s punch in London. Known best for his Jersey based restaurant, his love for the island and its local food is clearly reflected in the Ormer Mayfair menu. Seasonal Jersey produce such as fresh lobster, crab, oysters, hand dived scalloped and Jersey royals reign supreme resulting in simple yet beautiful dishes that showcase the wonderful flavour and unmistakable quality of the ingredients used. Dishes are as aesthetically pleasing as they are delicious with the tasting menu proving particularly popular among Mayfair’s Hedge Fund set.
Perhaps one of my very favourite spaces in Flemings is The Drawing Room. When entering this space through the glass double doors it’s hard not to clap your hands together in glee, such is its elegance. The grace of its new decor pays homage to the hotel’s 18th century origins and this Georgian history is reflected in the room’s harmonious proportions with reinstated period detail including high ceilings and sash windows as well as an original marble fireplace providing the focal point of the room.
The room’s heritage is further complemented by exquisite hand-painted wall panels by famous de Gournay depicting early views of India. Everything about The Drawing Room is just exquisite. It’s a quiet yet fashionable oasis where those-in-the-know enjoy a spot of afternoon tea, one of Flemings legendary culinary offerings. From the vibrant teal and mustard colour scheme to the rows of art books from Assouline on display either side of the fireplace, this tiny yet inviting room is a sanctuary for the stylish. This Indian inspired tea room is most definitely refined, inviting guests and visitors to the enjoy a sip of champagne at the central bar or a genteel mid afternoon indulgence. Enjoy the very best of Britain’s traditional tea from authentic Earl Greys and muscatel Darjeelings to Spicy Chai and Floral Jasmines, the choice is yours. The Drawing Room Afternoon Tea combines the very finest of teas by The East India Company with a selection of finger sandwiches and delicious Petit Fours. Think free range egg mayonnaise & mustard cress alongside mild aged cheddar and pickles. The homemade scones alone are enough to make you want to stay all afternoon.
Flemings is a hotel that epitomizes the small luxury hotel; it plays to its strengths and manages to encapsulate its history in a modern and interesting way. Undoubtably luxurious, the quiet nature of the hotel and the freedom it allows thanks to its location, attentive service and wealth of accommodation options really does make it a pleasure to stay in. Flemings is not only the perfect base to explore London but makes an ideal home when you’re far away from home. Offering seasonal packages that appeal to nearly everyone from the serial shopaholic to the busy working professional, Flemings has more than earned its stars.
To make a reservation or to find out more about the packages on offer please visit www.flemings-mayfair.co.uk
Visit our social media pages to see more photos of our stay at Flemings @theinsideruae