The Connaught is located in the heart of Mayfair near Grosvenor Square and in one of London’s toniest neighborhoods. If you’re interested in staying at a London luxury hotel that is the epitome of all that is English than look no further than the Connaught. By the time you leave you’ll be convinced or at least want to imagine you were English in another life. There was a time when you practically needed a pedigree to get into this club like establishment. However that has all changed and today the Connaught even has a very approachable General Manager who just happens to be an attractive woman. Her name is Nathalie Seiler-Hayez, but more about her later.
The Connaught was recently closed for a few years to complete a painstakingly detailed renovation that has brought it to the 21st century without losing any of the ambiance it has always been noted for. A good percentage of those who stay at the Connaught are repeat guests or of a later generation of repeat guests. The staff extends the same warmth to first-timers as it does to its loyal regulars, many of whom return to their favorite rooms.
The Connaught’s lobby sets the stage for the hotel's grand manor like interiors. The traditional reception area consists of a team of talented staffers and one of the U.K.'s finest (and most well-connected) concierges. Acting as the traffic circle for its sophisticate clientele, its famed grand mahogany staircase, paintings and ornate floral arrangements create a homey air that never loses its seductiveness.
Carved marble columns and a flickering fireplace further its allure. The Red Room bares oxblood walls and ionic pilasters that support a grandly coffered ceiling. A rose-marble mantel frames one of two flickering fireplaces that warm guests seated in the thoughtfully designed conversation areas. These have just enough room for privacy but are perfect for people-watching, too.
The imposing mahogany staircase supplements two small elevators that lead to the regularly refurbished accommodations. All of the guest rooms have flat-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi. The rooms' chic new looks represent a crossroads of international designers that include Guy Olivier. Most rooms display a blend of modern style combined with traditional hallmarks, carved walnut beds, outstanding cabinetry and ornate valanced drapery. They are rich in Regency stripes, chintz, painted paneling, antiques and high-quality reproduction furniture.
The quality is stellar, and the great beds are dressed in linen, and in some rooms, ceilings are sculpted and the walls are cloaked in watered silk. Each room has comprehensive bedside controls, including buttons for calling the maid, valet and waiter. Complimentary cell phones are also on hand.
The large marble and granite baths offer lavish fixtures, deep tubs (some also have stall showers), magnifying mirrors, hair dryers, heated towel racks and deluxe toiletries. Views throughout are inconsequential, but rooms facing Carlos Place tend to be brightest, as are king rooms (including 233 and 235e). Largest are corner suites, including the very grand 73-74. Some suites, such as 165, also feature gorgeous chinoiserie cocktail cabinets. De Gaulle occupied 103 during WWII.
Service kitchens are located on every floor, and the staff-to-guest ratio is usually around 2-to-1. Nonstop room service, twice-daily housekeeping and complimentary shoeshine add value to these rates, and the on-call butlers instill a sense of this hotel's very British roots.
The Connaught's General Manager, Nathalie Seiler-Hayez, can be described as enthusiastic, to the point but warm and personable. She is a true professional in every sense and ranks in the “best of the best” of hotel management. She is of Swiss origin and her posts in New York, Paris and Bordeaux has, most probably, helped her become the quintessential hotel manager that she is. Virtuoso has nominated her as hotelier of the year in the past and there is no doubt, now as General Manager of the Connaught, one of the world’s great hotels, that she will surely be nominated again.
The Connaught is a member of exclusive Virtuoso travel network. Book online or contact our Virtuoso Travel Advisor [email protected] for more details.
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