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
- Handicap Accessible
- 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
The Dukes at St. James welcomed us another time, with style and elegance. The suite was perfect, the staff extremely kind and efficient. We enjoyed delightful breakfasts, not to mention the afternoon tea break and, last but definitely not least, the wonderful Vesper Martini from the Italian crew at the bar. Next time in London there will be nothing else but Dukes.
Had a fantastic one night stop here. Rooms are really comfortable and reasonably spacious for a London Hotel. But best of all was the position near Buckingham Palace and the centre of London. It was also unbelievably quiet from road traffic. I booked a couple of months in advance and got a good room rate. Breakfast was extremely good and the staff very friendly and professional.
We booked a table the same day and had a lovely afternoon tea with friends (£35pp, which included refills of tea, scones and sandwiches). Friendly service and nice to be so close to St James’s Palace.
Always comfortable, always pleasant, always lovely. My husband, Dominique Trempont, stays here every quarter for Board Meetings. Great location for theater, restaurants, museums. Royal Academy is walking distance. Several theaters are too. Numerous restaurants. This time, we at at Gymkhana and Tamarind, two great Indian restaurants, as well as Park Chinois. Chutney Mary is literally next-door.
I really liked the hotel, it has a charming old school, personal feel, high end but unstuffy, & enjoys a super position, tucked quietly away off St James Place. About 4 minutes walk from Green Park tube. Reception staff were friendly & efficient & my executive room was lovely, flooded with light from a large bay window. Comfy bed, fab shower, great TV offer & nice products. Loved the old style lift complete with upholstered seat! A very nice stay.