News, Culture & Society

An Inspector calls… A review of The Mayfair Townhouse hotel, London

Despite the timing, new hotel The Mayfair Townhouse in London has flung open its doors and the Inspector declares it a triumph, with upbeat staff… and a crystal peacock

  • The Mayfair Townhouse is part of the Iconic Luxury Hotels group and is just off Piccadilly – near Green Park  
  • There are 172 rooms, with the glamorous Dandy cocktail bar offering ‘a terrific all-day menu’ 
  • The Inspector was blown away by the ‘spectacular’ food but thought his room needed a ‘splash of colour’ 
  • Remember… The Inspector pays his way – and tells it like it is…

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Brave? Bold? Insane? Whichever it is, there can’t be many worse times to launch a new hotel than when hardly anyone is around to stay in it.

But that hasn’t stopped a number of top-end openings in London, including The Mayfair Townhouse, a super-swanky former Hilton just off Piccadilly and near Green Park.

A member of the expanding Iconic Luxury Hotels group — which includes Cliveden and Chewton Glen — this is a massive undertaking, comprising no fewer than 15 Georgian townhouses that have been completely transformed.

The Mayfair Townhouse is a super-swanky former Hilton just off Piccadilly – near Green Park

There are 172 rooms at The Mayfair Townhouse. The Inspector says his room (not pictured) could have done with a 'splash of colour'

There are 172 rooms at The Mayfair Townhouse. The Inspector says his room (not pictured) could have done with a ‘splash of colour’ 

The Inspector liked his white marble bathroom, with its his-and-hers sinks, walk-in shower and free-standing tub

The Inspector liked his white marble bathroom, with its his-and-hers sinks, walk-in shower and free-standing tub

There are 172 rooms and, although there is no restaurant as such, the glamorous Dandy cocktail bar offers a terrific all-day menu.

The design and feel pays tribute to Half Moon Street’s louche past, where dilettantes and bachelors such as Oscar Wilde misbehaved.

I notice a peacock near reception. Turns out that it’s made out of 25,000 Swarovski crystals, and in the basement where breakfast is served, there’s a semi-private den with tangerine walls and dozens of pictures featuring foxes. 

Some of the art has QR barcodes in case you want to find more about them.

I ask a member of staff — all of whom are unfailingly upbeat — what’s the difference between a townhouse and a hotel. 

‘A townhouse is less formal and more friendly,’ he says.

The flamboyance of downstairs doesn’t quite extend upstairs. 

My plush room is dark, with black leather headboard and brown chairs. It’s a touch masculine and could do with a splash of colour.

It could also benefit from simpler lighting. What’s wrong with a dimmer switch? 

And it’s frustrating not to be able to open the windows, especially in such an old and impressive building.

The Townhouse Mayfair is a member of the expanding Iconic Luxury Hotels group — which includes Cliveden and Chewton Glen. Pictured is the hotel's reception

The Townhouse Mayfair is a member of the expanding Iconic Luxury Hotels group — which includes Cliveden and Chewton Glen. Pictured is the hotel’s reception 

The hotel's Dandy Bar, which the Inspector says offers a 'terrific all-day menu'. It's watched over by a peacock made out of 25,000 Swarovski crystals

The hotel’s Dandy Bar, which the Inspector says offers a ‘terrific all-day menu’. It’s watched over by a peacock made out of 25,000 Swarovski crystals

The Inspector declares that The Mayfair Townhouse is a 'fine new addition to the capital’s hotel scene'. He adds: 'It deserves to thrive, not least for the audacious timing of its opening.' Pictured is the hotel's Club Room

The Inspector declares that The Mayfair Townhouse is a ‘fine new addition to the capital’s hotel scene’. He adds: ‘It deserves to thrive, not least for the audacious timing of its opening.’ Pictured is the hotel’s Club Room 

In the basement, there’s a semi-private den with tangerine walls and dozens of pictures featuring foxes, pictured

In the basement, there’s a semi-private den with tangerine walls and dozens of pictures featuring foxes, pictured 

But we love the white marble bathroom, with his-and-hers sinks, walk-in shower and free-standing tub.

Down in the bar, it’s masks off and tastebuds full on. I order three small plates: artichoke croquettes, padron peppers, truffle and parmesan arancini. 

They are all spectacular, as is the roast cod main course. With food this good, it will be tempting to open a proper restaurant downstairs.

The Mayfair Townhouse is a fine new addition to the capital’s hotel scene. It deserves to thrive, not least for the audacious timing of its opening. 

TRAVEL FACTS 

The Mayfair Townhouse, 27-41 Half Moon Street, London, W1J 7BG. Doubles from £252 B&B. For more information call 020 8138 3400 or visit themayfairtownhouse.com.   

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