10
/10
A must-do experience on any hotel lovers bucket-list
Location
Accommodation
Service & Facilities
Style
Restaurants & Bars

Review of The Connaught

Situated in the heart of affluent Mayfair, The Connaught is one of London's most quintessentially British hotels, traditional yet continually evolving its offerings to offer the best of old and new to its clients. With 121 rooms and suites spread out over six floors, furnishings are modern and bright contrasting well with the marble floors, wooden panelling, and mahogany staircase of the original 1897 building. The Connaught Butler will be on hand to help with any request or arrangement whilst there is also a John Lobb-trained shoeshine service on request. 

Named for one of Queen Victoria’s sons, The Connaught has become a gastronomic destination in its own right with three-star Michelin-starred Hélène Darroze at The Connaught and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s interpretation of classic dishes in The Connaught Grill and his eclectic menu in Jean-Georges at The Connaught. For cocktails or a glass of wine, head to either the Red Room, the Coburg Bar for rare vintages and premium spirits or the award-winning Connaught Bar for its innovative cocktails. There is also the Champagne Room for special occasions, the Sommelier’s Table for something a little different, The Chef’s Table for an interactive bespoke menu and The Connaught Patisserie for miniature pastry masterpieces throughout the day or to take home. Just unveiled, The Connaught Cigar Merchants offers one of the finest collections of cigars in the capital under the watchful eye of Adam Lajca, Head of Cigars. 

For a spot of pampering, the beautifully serene Asian-inspired Aman Spa is hidden away at the heart of The Connaught, the first of its kind to be built outside of Aman Resorts. Holistic treatments tailored to individuals with specialists offering a range of consultations for wellbeing are at the heart of the spa which also features a 15-metre black granite swimming pool and a 24/7 bijoux gym, personal trainers on demand. 

Children are more than welcome at The Connaught and a whole host of goodies including Connaught activity books with pencils, organic baby amenities, umbrellas, bathrobes and slippers, children’s menus, a Children’s Concierge and much, much more.

10 / 10
Location

Situated on the corner of Mount Street and Carlos Place in the heart of London’s Mayfair village, The Connaught is ideally placed for everything London has to offer, be it shopping in Bond and Regent Streets, picnicking at nearby Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens or visiting tourist attractions like Marble Arch, Number One London and Kensington Palace. 

In its near proximity, Mount Street is home to famous labels including Christian Louboutin and Oscar de la Renta whilst there are well-tended, pretty gardens on the square itself. Knightsbridge with Harvey Nichols and Harrods is but a short taxi ride away. 

There are also a couple of landmarks worth checking out in the neighbourhood. While it may seem like an ordinary building from the outside, 17 Bruton Street enjoys a rather a special history as Queen Elizabeth II was born at this address in 1926. The Handel House Museum is a must-see for music fans. This stunning restored Georgian property at 25 Brook Street was home to composer George Frederic Handel while guitar-legend Jimi Hendrix lived at 23 Brook Street.  

Bond Street Underground Station is a ten-minute walk from the hotel for the Central and Jubilee Lines or Green Park Station offers the Jubilee and Victoria Lines. Eurostar and St Pancras International Station are around 20 minutes journey time by either car or tube whilst Paddington Station for the Heathrow Express and Victoria Station for the Gatwick Express are both around a 15-minute car ride.  By car, London Gatwick Airport is around a one-and-a-half-hour journey time whilst London Heathrow Airport is a little closer at just around an hour’s drive, depending on traffic.

9 / 10
Accommodation

The Connaught’s 121 restful rooms and suites have been designed by Guy Oliver and the late David Collins and all enjoy butler service. 

Divided into five room categories and 13 suite categories arranged over six floors, room types vary from the main hotel with its classic architecture to the more recent modern wing. The colour palette of every room however is neutral with layer upon layer of subtle luxury – sumptuous fabrics, bespoke and contemporary furniture, fine Italian linens, original contemporary artworks, and bright white marble bathrooms complete with television and Dyson supersonic hairdryers. Amenities include Cowshed toiletries for The Connaught, entertainment systems with Bose docking stations, a personal bar with British goodies and Nespresso coffee machines with Illy machines in the premium suites. 

Rooms start with the Superior Single Room at 21 square metres of space with a Queen bed, the Contemporary Superior Room at 29 square metres of space with a king bed, walnut floors and panelling up to the very roomy Contemporary Deluxe Room and Deluxe Room at 35 square metres. 

The suite categories start with the light and airy Contemporary Studio with an open plan layout and 40 square metres of space and the slightly larger 45 square metre Deluxe Junior Suite up in the rafters. The designers have clearly had fun with the suite category with very individual spaces such as The Eagle’s Lodge (46 square metres) designed like a 1930s yacht with 270 degree views of the London skyline from the wrap-around terrace and The Prince’s Lodge at 54 square metres, inspired by Kabul’s Peacock Palace and named for Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, with timber beams in a vaulted ceiling, a four poster bed, antique maps and photographs, sculptures by Adam Williamson and original paintings. 

The Adams Suite (56 square metres) overlooking Adams Row has the feel of a metro-smart residential apartment with bespoke furniture and a pared-back design. By contrast, the similarly sized Carlos Suite overlooks Carlos Place and has a more classic, vintage feel. The Grosvenor Suite (63 square metres) reflects the heritage side of the hotel with antique mirrors, Adam style painted plasterwork ceilings, beautiful chandeliers and a separate panelled sitting room and study area. 

The one-bedroom Connaught Suite (72 square metres) shouts elegant Mayfair style with a chandeliered sitting room, large windows flooding the space with light, original ornate fireplaces, antique Chinoiserie Cocktail Cabinets, and gilded plasterwork ceilings. The two Sutherland Suites meanwhile enjoy the feel of a traditional stately home with each offering a nine-metre-long high-ceilinged drawing room which in one, features a 1909 Steinway grand piano and is soundproofed whilst the other has an oval dining table seating up to eight people. There are flamboyant curtains, crystal chandeliers, period fireplaces and gilded plasterwork. 

For those who love contemporary design, the split-level Library Suite (124 square metres) will tick all the right boxes with its polished plaster walls, skylight, gas-effect fireplace, marble floors, bookcases full of art and design books, art, photography and fashion monographs and a secret door into the master bedroom. 

The spacious Terrace Suite (140 square metres) enjoys a private lift from the foyer to the entrance hall and landscaping for the largest terrace in Mayfair by Chelsea Flower Show gold medallist Tom Stuart-Smith. The two-bedroom Mews (223 square metre) designed by Michael Blair is a discreet three level townhouse tucked away in Adams Row with a secret corridor to The Connaught. The open plan living space features two fuel effect fireplaces, a grand piano, dining and entertainment spaces and a balcony with a retractable awning. Complimentary return airport transfers are included within the rate. The master bathroom has a central freestanding bath and twin blue onyx basins, fresh flowers by McQueens, Illy coffee machines and a welcome bottle of chilled Krug Champagne. 

The premier accommodation is however The Apartment, one of London’s finest penthouse suites, imagined as the private home of a connoisseur, with every feature designed by master craftsmen. Grand hand-carved doors open to reveal the splendid hallway and lofty living space, furnished with fine works of art - each piece commissioned for the suite. With two bedrooms including one with a four-poster bed, an extensive dressing room, a butler’s pantry, and a separate dining room seating eight people, this spacious suite also enjoys a wraparound balcony with views out over Mayfair rooftops. 

The Connaught is fully accessible for guests with disabilities and there are adapted rooms available.

10 / 10
Service & Facilities

The first Aman Spa to be operated outside of Aman Resorts and the first in Europe, this serene Asian-inspired pampering oasis offers a tranquil hideaway from the busy streets of Mayfair. Offering a full range of holistic individually tailored treatments within five low-light treatment rooms (including one couples suite), each features a dressing room, treatment area and a steam room with individual music on tap. 

For those who like a refreshing swim, the 60 square-metre black granite swimming pool is ideal. Child and family friendly swimming lessons are available. There is also a crystal steam room infused with essential oils perfect for pre or post spa treatments. 

For those who would like to work out, the well-equipped gym offers a range of cardiovascular and strength TechnoGym machines, free weights, and a kinesis machine. Personal trainers are available on demand for workouts and for one-on-one yoga classes. 

Children are most welcome at the hotel with a whole host of goodies including Connaught activity books with pencils, organic baby amenities, umbrellas, bathrobes and slippers, children’s menus and even a Children’s Concierge!

10 / 10
Style

The Connaught is where the new exists happily alongside the old, traditions remembered and treasured, modern design and styling complementing existing rooms. It is a credit to Guy Oliver, the late David Collins, and the clutch of other hand-picked designers that this mix of culture sits so happily together - classic yet contemporary offering guests the best of the hotel’s heritage alongside its more modern innovations. 

Enhancing their designs, The Connaught’s carefully curated collection of artworks stands today at around 3,000 strong and includes works by Graham Sutherland, Barbara Hepworth, Julian Opie, Louise Bourgeois and even enfant terrible Damien Hirst. You never know what you might see when you wander around the hotel – there is even an inner courtyard “Garden of Illusion and its Moon Tree” by Tom Stuart-Smith and outside the front entrance, Tadao Ando’s “Silence” – a water feature that the hotel played a large part in commissioning. 

Service is swift and confident, gliding smoothly around the chequer board black and white marble floors of the hotel past the mahogany grand staircase, unobtrusive, intuitive, and unfailingly polite. With impeccable facilities and staff who have made service into an art form, it is no wonder that The Connaught is regularly confirmed at the top of the London luxury hotel tables. Long may she reign.

10 / 10
Restaurants & Bars

The Connaught has an award-winning selection of six bars and restaurants to choose from including the phenomenal three Michelin-starred restaurant Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, the pinnacle of haute French cuisine in England. 

Focusing primarily on flavour using ingredients in season enhanced by her inimitable technique, Hélène’s regularly changing menus include the five or seven-course Taste of the Season with a shorter Weekday Lunch three course menu for those pushed for time. There is also the 10 seat Chef’s Table under the main restaurant overlooking the restaurant’s show kitchen with a more tailored experience with informal interaction with the brigade. 

For a wine focussed meal, the exclusive Sommelier’s Table is also available for private parties set in the historic limestone wine cellar where a bespoke menu will accompany hand-picked wines. The sommeliers will also be on hand to advise on any custom menu enjoyed at the restaurant’s private Armagnac Room. Hélène hails from Armagnac with the Darroze family cellars now holding over 250 different Armagnacs from 30 estates covering 50 vintages. 

The Connaught Grill, the original 1950s home to London’s original power players is today respective of its heritage but evokes a more contemporary feel in both the design and the menus by Jean-Georges Vongerichten for a new generation. With no signage, the restaurant is entered via a rosewood-clad corridor with custom cabinetry lining the walls with one-of-a-kind vintages of wines and spirits. Designed by John Head, the dining booths, tables, Conoid chairs and solid back panels made from American black walnut are the work of George Nakashima Woodworkers, known for their impeccable artistry. The open kitchen allows guests to experience the drama of the kitchen with its wood-burning grill and rotisserie. Here, Jean-Georges pays homage to classic grill dining whilst paring it with his own techniques and time-honoured style. Expect to see a Pie of the Day menu alongside a Sunday Roast served on the restored silver trolley from the original Grill. 

With views out over Mayfair and an enticing al fresco terrace, Jean-Georges at The Connaught is ideal for relaxed, everyday dining – from delicious breakfasts to sunny lunches or late-night suppers. Led by its namesake chef, Jean-Georges marries English classics, French cooking, and South-eastern Asia flavours perfectly with fresh from the market ingredients and farm to table produce. Come here for a delicious Afternoon Tea with a seasonal twist and watch the world walk by. There is even a Jean-Georges at Home available for home delivery to lucky Mayfair residents. 

There are four bars at The Connaught with the newest offering, The Red Room, designed by Bryan O’Sullivan. Featuring a collection of red artworks by four female artists – Louise Bourgeois, Jenny Holzer, Ti-a Thuy Nguyen and Trina McKillen, this venue focusses on wine with appropriately an extensive collection of the world’s best red vintages although there is also a seasonal capsule menu of six cocktails and to complement, a menu of charcuterie. 

Newly unveiled at The Connaught is yet another innovation – The Connaught Cigar Merchants accessed speakeasy style via a discreet entrance from The Red Room. A humidor spans the length of one wall with box after box of premier cigars whilst opposite a collection of spirits are kept in individual lockers. Adam Lajca, one of only 33 Masters of Havana Cigars in the world, has curated a collection of over 170 cigars showcasing Cuban tobacco crafts at its best to be enjoyed with a collection of rare, handpicked spirits. 

The Connaught Bar meanwhile, designed by David Collins Studio, is regularly named as the World Best Bar with textured silver-leafed walls, a cool grey bar, candle-lit tables and mixologists devising an innovative cocktail menu influenced by global travels and tastes. There is even a “serve at table” Martini Trolley and for those with the means, this venue can be bought out for exclusive use. There is even a home-distilled Connaught Bar Gin available for purchase alongside other bar goodies from the Connaught Bar Collection. 

With row after row of premium spirits and rare vintages, the cosy armchairs and wood panelling of The Coburg Bar is known for its warm, quiet, and intimate atmosphere serving anything from morning coffee to a night-time toddy. It has become one of Mayfair’s best spots to linger – a space marinated in the traditions of The Connaught. 

Behind a heavy velvet curtain at the heart of the hotel lies The Champagne Room, designed by Guy Oliver as the perfect hideaway for intimate gatherings – an ideal venue for a coupe de Champagne served in a Baccarat crystal glass, served along a tempting light bites menu. Look up through the ceiling’s windows for a life size diving sculpture by Sophie Dickens. 

The Connaught Patisserie sits at the side of the hotel with its own entrance on Mount Street, highlighted by a pink flag and is effectively a rosy hued homage to patisserie designed by Ab Rogers Design. The Connaught Patisserie offers exquisite homemade patisserie to eat inside, to be delivered locally or to take home in signature boxes. Expect anything from a morning croissant to celebratory cakes to The Chocolate Nemesis from The River Café, friends to the hotel and the only place this confection has been available outside its Hammersmith riverside home.

Sustainability

Committed to social and eco-friendly practises, The Connaught pledges, “Social responsibility and care for the environment are an integral part of the Maybourne Group philosophy and of paramount importance not only to our staff but to our guests who can rest assured that they are being looked after by a company that shares their own values and beliefs.”

What We Love

  • Service: impeccable. Whether you are popping in for a coffee, dining in Hélène Darroze or staying in the Terrace Suite, you are treated exactly the same – with genuine warmth and attention. The Connaught is not happy until you are happy! 
  • Art & Design: The Connaught boasts an enormous art collection – 3,000 pieces – featuring works by artists from Julian Opie to Damien Hirst. Highlights include the water feature outside the front of the hotel – Tadao Ando’s “Silence” to “Garden of Illusion and its Moon Tree” by Tom Stuart-Smith in the inner courtyard. My favourite part of the hotel is the mahogany grand staircase – simply magnificent! 
  • A Connaught Day: Although set in the centre of Mayfair – in the greatest city in the world - you can easily spend an entire day in the hotel. From late breakfast in your room, to a trip to the Aman Spa, to lunch at Jean-Georges to an afternoon filled with cocktails, cake, maybe sample a wee cigar and reading in the courtyard to finally a drink in the bar and dinner at Hélène Darroze – a “Perfect Day”!

    Varun Sharma
    Editor-In-Chief
    BusinessClass.com

What They Love

  • Neighbourhood: we are fortunate to be nestled in the heart of Mayfair. Our neighbours on Carlos Place, Mount Street and beyond are a fantastic and eclectic mix of fashion, retail, food, and drink and more and we all support each other in a very neighbourly way! You often see visitors with Connaught Patisserie pink boxes sitting in Mount Street Gardens enjoying out treats and taking in the view of the church.
  • Food & Drink: there is no doubt that we are a destination for the very best in food and drink, of which I’m immensely proud. We have a very rare three Michelin stars at Helene Darroze at The Connaught, as well as two additional (and very different) restaurants Jean Georges at The Connaught and The Connaught Grill from globally acclaimed Jean-Georges Vongerichten.  We hold the title for World’s Best Bar at The Connaught Bar and our other drinking spots – the Red Room and the Coburg Bar – have their own, very loyal fan base.  There is The Connaught Patisserie and our newest venture – the Connaught Cigar Merchants.
  • Energy: The Connaught has a very unique energy – enter through our revolving doors, travel up and down our legendary staircase, meander through the various corridors and you will feel an immediate warmth.  This is felt whether you are a staying guest or simply popping in for a martini.  Our team create this special atmosphere, from the young graduates that are learning the tricks of the trade, to those who have been here for several decades – some are from the third generation of the same family who have worked for The Connaught. 

    Sandeep Bhalla
    General Manager
    The Connaught

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