Sofitel London St James
What We Love
- Top location between the theater-packed West End and Buckingham Palace
- More than 50 champagnes served in the Coco Chanel–inspired bar
- Sofitel MyBeds, Hermès toiletries and free bottled water come standard in all rooms
- READ MORE: How to see London for free
What To Know
- Advance reservations are recommended for afternoon tea in the Rose Lounge, especially on weekends
- Free WiFi
- Popular with business travelers
- Decor combines French style and a great British aesthetic
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
With a killer location between the West End’s theater-packed streets and leafy St. James’s Park (the queen’s backyard), this stately sleep occupies a former bank that dates back to 1923. Clad in traditional Portland stone, the six-story edifice is protected by English Heritage, and tons of original features remain, including mighty marble columns and ornate ceiling moldings. The lobby is dotted with banking paraphernalia (counting apparatus and typewriters), and oil paintings of the former execs peer down from the wood-paneled walls. The interiors are courtesy of lauded interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, who has managed to combine Sofitel’s signature French style with a great British aesthetic; this five-star property offers a taste of Paris just steps from Piccadilly Circus.
Bed and Bath
All 183 guestrooms come with Sofitel MyBeds (a cozy featherbed/mattress/wood base combo wrapped in Yves Delorme linens and topped with jumbo pillows), free WiFi and free bottled water. The masculine color scheme combines black, white and gray furnishings and dark lacquered furniture, and photos of London scenes decorate the walls. In keeping with the French-English theme, all bathrooms are stocked with Hermès toiletries, and radios from Brit brand Roberts sit next to the bed.
The Balcon is a bistro-style dining room that serves classic British dishes served with French finesse (Herefordshire snails in a garlic jus, Scottish beef rib with gratin dauphinois). Follow up with a drink in the St. James Bar, an intimate wood-paneled drinking den inspired by Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment where you can kick back on a velvet armchair and quaff your way through the champagne-heavy drink list. The Rose Lounge is a popular afternoon tea spot for its bold floral decor, specially commissioned Wedgwood china and live harpist. Hit the spa for a treatment using products from French brands Carita and Cinq Mondes. The space expanded in 2009, when Sofitel knocked through to the neighboring Bank of Nigeria to create a three-story Zen-like enclave, home to five treatment rooms, a designer relaxation room and a Jacuzzi.
In the Area
You’re a short walk from St. James’s Park, London’s oldest green space (which backs onto Buckingham Palace Gardens), and Hyde Park, where you can boat on the lake, ride along ancient horse trails or swim in the Serpentine Lido. Shopping thoroughfares Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regents Street are all within strolling distance. Hit Carnaby Street and Kingly Court for smaller independent boutiques and to browse Liberty, arguably the city’s prettiest department store, where creaky staircases lead to artfully designed rooms stocked with luxe labels. Soho is full of gourmet hot spots, from Alan Yau’s excellent dim sum restaurant Yuatcha to New York–style dive bar Spuntino to the bohemian Maison Bertaux, London’s oldest patisserie. For a culture fix, walk along Piccadilly to the Royal Academy for blockbuster art shows.
How to Get There
I would definitely stay here again. The rooms are very well appointed. The location is great and can easily get to the parks and the Palaces. The lounge is comfortable. The staff were very friendly and professional. Also near major shopping areas.
Excellent and personalized service. I felt I was welcomed home. Every one did their outmost to make sure I was comforable and didn´t miss anything. This also applied for the restaurant, who has very knowledgeable and pleasant waiters.
I am looking forward to my next stay
It just takes an hour or so after leaving this hotel before you start to miss being there: I have said it before and it's still as true, this is the place to stay in London. The staff really know why they are here, it takes a top managemnet to get this kind of message thru to everyone, and they do it. At every level. How many times have I visited a hotel where the breakfast was good and the rest was crap or the other way around. Not here. Style, smile, and talk for a while makes you feel comfortable, special and at home yet being away and at a very special and exciting place. I will not go into detail this time, just say that I had a wonderful time and will get back. No Brexit can stop me from that!