What We Love
- Located in London's refined St. James, surrounded by royal parks and palaces
- Two fantastic bars on-site: the robustly masculine Dukes Bar and the more feminine PJ Lounge, a champagne bar
- Michelin-starred chef Nigel Mendham’s twist on classic dishes, like brill and beef rib as surf ’n’ turf
- READ MORE: How to See London for Free
What To Know
- A three-night minimum applies to all Classic Room bookings Monday through Thursday
- Parents with very young children may struggle to keep them entertained here
- Dukes has contemporary amenities, but the vibe is traditional
- Guests get priority in the martini bar, but you still need to book a table in advance
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Dating from 1908, Dukes Hotel retains a quintessentially British air. As peaceful as nearby Piccadilly Circus is frenetic, this is a hotel with relaxation on the brain, from its dark, candlelit reception area to its stress- or jet lag–busting massages. Dukes makes subtle nods to its discerning neighborhood, St. James, which is packed full of aristocratic gentlemen’s clubs. Room keys are brass fobs, and there’s a shoeshine service and a Cognac and Cigar Garden on-site.
Bed and Bath
Bedrooms come with handsome writing desks and large dark wood wardrobes that are straight out of the Chronicles of Narnia. Pretty white cornices and floral wall prints add a homey touch to a design that feels otherwise quite formal. There are contemporary touches, too, such as the starkly modern reading lights and bedside lamps, and the organic Ren toiletries in the bathrooms, which provide ample distraction from the health spa downstairs.
Thirty Six, the on-site restaurant headed by Michelin-starred chef Nigel Mendham, is surprisingly affordable, with two courses for less than $80 and a reasonably priced wine list. The sommelier even doubles as a cheese expert. That said, Dukes may be best known for its Bond connection: It was after a few evenings in the hotel’s legendary martini bar that Ian Fleming chose the drink as James Bond’s signature tipple and coined the phrase “shaken, not stirred”. It’s not to be missed. There’s a drawing room and conservatory for afternoon tea, the PJ lounge for champagne, and for after dinner drinks (or a cigar) there’s the Cognac and Cigar Garden, which opens at 8 p.m. For further relaxation check out the on-site health club, with its personal training sessions and lengthy treatment list.
How to Get There
Ideal location if you want to be within walking distance from St James, Piccadilly, Buckingham Palace and Bond Street. It is quiet and secluded which gives it a certain charm.
For an hotel marketed as the epitome of English style, it was ironic that we did not find one staff member from England although I hasten to add that they were all very helpful and polite.
Yes it does need a refurbishment but when that happens of course the prices will rise further. In the meantime, I would recommend staying here if you find an acceptable rate.
The rooms are rather plain, there was no ventilation in the bathroom and the corridors do sorely need some artwork for a more ‘english’ feel.
We visit London regularly, this time we decided to book what we thought would be a special hotel. We didn’t spend much time in our room on check in, as we had dinner and theatre tickets. When we returned at about 10ish, we couldn’t get a table in the bar as we hadn’t booked. So waited for a table to become available. We weren’t even offered a drink while we waited. We had one drink in the bar before it closed, and when we got into our room. We noticed the state of our bed linen, we phoned reception, they then sent a porter up chhange the cover. When we checked out, the receptionist asked if we had enjoyed our stay. She said oh dear and nothing else. We have been offered a free upgrade if we should want to stay here again. My husband and I have staid in many beautiful hotels all over the world. But we would not stay here again. !!!
We recently had a most enjoyable meal with a glass of Prosecco in the elegant and relaxing restaurant of this hotel. The staff were excellent and very attentive. Looking forward to a return visit the next time we are in London.
If you do arrive at this hotel I hope you are lucky enough to be greeted by a Michael at reception. If he offers you a guided tour TAKE IT as he has a deep reservoir of facts about the hotel and brings it to life, a real joy.
After visiting Dukes I wonder how they have managed to be ranked as a 5-star hotel! In my opinion the quality and attention to details is corresponding to what you would expect to find in a 3-4 star hotel.
When visiting a 5-star hotel, I expect everything to be in immaculate order - this is not the case with Dukes!
First I was given a different room from what I had specified in my booking.
Then the fixtures in the bathroom can best be described as antique and they work as such as well.
The bathroom floor is unheated and the floor is icy! With no (working) ventilation in the bathroom - everything is foggy and damp - plus the water from the shower is soaking the floor. The entire bathroom seemed to be in need of renovation (visible cracks, missing screws and badly joined plumbing)
Dukes claims to be ecofriendly - this is obviously for marketing purposes only. The shower emits a true torrent of water with a force strong enough to knock a child down and a huge waste of water as a result!
Beds and shower are not suitable for persons above 6ft either.
If you feel like having a drink in your room you will be disappointed! The minibar is empty! WiFi in the room isn’t strong or fast either.
I visited in the first weekend of December. Dukes has an enticing Christmas brochure describing their offerings. I had a confirmed reservation for afternoon tea - and was surprised to discover that they weren’t ready to receive us!
It took 37 minutes to bring the food accompanied by 1! cup of coffee, so I had plenty of time to study the scuffmarks, scratches and broken mirrorframe in their drawingroom.
My second surprise came as I discovered that the restaurant was closed! Dukes claim to offer all day dining - and having a special Christmas menu valid from December 1st., but on December 2nd... the restaurant was closed!
I can’t recommend Dukes to quality conscious travelers. It’s definitely not a 5-star hotel!