Sometimes, it’s good to turn to tried-and-tested. As if a much-loved record, it’s play it again Sam, and again and again – at The Beaumont, in London’s Balderton Street, Mayfair. To be honest, at that much-loved privately-owned hotel, part of Preferred, it should be play it again SEM. SEM? Only those clever enough to have reserved #401 understand the SEM connection. Some suites are a riot of colour.
By contrast, suite 401’s entrance corridor, a high-polish of wood floors and well-lit walls, is meticulously hung with no less than whimsical caricatures of Belle Epoque boogie dancers and saxophonists. They are signed SEM, for some reason the nom de plume of French aristocrat Georges Goursat, 1863-1934 (he was born into money he died without any, a trifle off-putting for Beaumont guests come to London to find a fortune, but still).
The Beaumont is supposedly named for fictional Prohibition hotelier Jimmy Beaumont and it abounds in gay Paree and much more. All 70 bedrooms shine with lacquer woodwork and rounded corners, hints of Art Deco with new, softer colours introduced by Thierry Despont (who has now moved on to ‘do’ London’s forthcoming Raffles OWO, a conversion of the UK’s Old War Office). The Beaumont’s DR Harris bathroom toiletries include sweet-smelling shampoo bars, thus saving 32,000 plastic containers.
This hotel thinks sustainability. But do not forget the pleasure of life. Schiaparelli comes with no less than 95 all-enticing hardbacks, seven pristine glossy magazines, one chess set, and the caricatures. It’s a living museum of uniqueness. Where else do room supplies include new playing cards with a booklet of card games compiled, specially, by former world poker champion Victoria Coren Mitchell? A take-home leaflet, The Beaumont 8 Little Book of Gin Cocktails, shows how to make Martinis or Negronis while pondering a Coren Mitchell muddle.
Head down any time to the hotel’s Magritte Bar, which sensibly opens at 7 am for early arrivals – great news for us-all flying in from APAC. There will be even more people checking in by year end, when The Beaumont’s new-build 30-room extension becomes operational. Amazingly, the new block is being constructed, and joined to the ‘old’ hotel, with no closure.
Hotel MD Duncan Palmer is a Porsche-driving bon vivant who embodies uniqueness. When he opened The Murray in Hong Kong he installed a Ciclotte monocycle in the eponymous top suite. Here in London he commissioned, with ownership blessing, a bespoke marquetry humidor cabinet from an Italian super-star craftsman. He’s installed a 500-label wine display that has seen beverage sales soar.
Lasting memories of this crazily-gorgeous hotel include the finale. Take the ordered newspaper out of its black linen bag, go down to The Colony Grill for breakfast – abuzz, weekdays, with high-success business types, bantering ideas, and success.
Be brave, say go for smoked salmon duck egg hash with home-baked viennoise, and cappuccino with coconut, or almond, potato, soya or even cow’s milk. The complimentary electric BMW house car awaits. Listen to knowledgeable thoughts on London’s transport and Hungary’s politics as you purr to, and past, Buckingham Palace enroute to The National Gallery, or Harrods. Vow to come back, again and again.
Mary Gostelow publishes the daily girlahead.com, a weekly newswire Mary Gostelow’s Inner Circle, and a unique weekly 15-minute industry Mary Gostelow Girlahead Podcast, all part of Almont Global.
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