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Review of The Stafford London

The Stafford boasts 107 beautifully appointed and individually designed guestrooms and suites, The Game Bird restaurant, the world-famous American Bar, and the Wine Cellar which is nearly four centuries old. London has a plethora of world-class boutique hotels and The Stafford – with its central location, colourful history, outstanding accommodation, and flawless service - is one of the finest. 

The Stafford is located in St. James’s – a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly, Jermyn Street and Bond Street. Opened as a hotel in 1912, the Main House was made up of affluent, private homes. The hotel expanded with the conversion of the 18th century Carriage House into more guestrooms, and the introduction of the all-suite Mews building. 

During the Second World War, the Wine Cellar acted as an air-raid shelter while the hotel hosted officers from America and Canada who were stationed in London. The Stafford also has a small but perfectly-formed fitness studio – filled with the latest equipment. 

9 / 10

Tucked away in a quiet part of London’s Mayfair, The Stafford provides a great base to get around the capital. The great drag of Piccadilly leading to Piccadilly Circus and the West End is a very short walk away.

From many of the hotel’s rooms and suites there are rooftop and park views. Green Park is on the doorstep and Hyde Park – with its Serpentine boating lake – is just a short stroll away towards Knightsbridge. Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, and the Houses of Parliament are also within walking distance.

In the immediate vicinity there are the smart tailors of Jermyn Street, Mayfair’s designer boutiques and fancy restaurants as well as specialist stores purveying fine cigars, Berry Brothers and Justerini & Brooks for wines & spirits and the elegant department store Fortnum & Masons for the perfect picnic to enjoy in Green Park. 

The hotel is located 50 minutes from Heathrow Airport by car, just a short distance from the Heathrow Express service at Paddington Station, the Eurostar terminal at St. Pancras Station and a stone’s throw from Victoria Station (direct rail link to & from Gatwick Airport).

10 / 10

The Stafford comprises of 107 rooms and suites, including the all-suite Stafford Mews building, the Carriage House - converted former stables and the elegant Main House. The Stafford offers a comfortable - with an average entry room size of 26 square metres, writing desk, Nespresso coffee machine, widescreen television, comfortable beds with large headboards, soft carpets and generously sized en-suite marble bathrooms with shower and bathtub and specialist London perfumier’s divine Floris toiletries. All guests have complimentary access to the gym.

Deluxe rooms in the Main House feature muted colour palettes - pretty floral paintings, golden lamps, comfy armchairs - and are decorated in a tasteful English country style.

The all-suite Mews offers spacious and contemporary living with generously sized rooms and delightful bathrooms – averaging at 45 square metres including lounge areas, complete with comfortable sofas and antiques.

In the Carriage House - where nobility once tied up their horses - elegant rooms feature modern décor with sumptuous fabrics - around 34 square metres in area. The wrought iron lamp posts and old beams of the old stables are still visible. These rooms and suites all have easy access to the private courtyard. 

Spanning two floors, the newly refurbished Stafford Park Suite offers separate living and bedroom areas accessed by an interconnecting staircase, giving the ambience of a private luxury apartment. Featuring a vast outdoor terrace, this suite offers guests spacious options for relaxing and entertaining. The downstairs master bedroom has an adjoining bathroom in marble and onyx with a walk-in rain shower and separate bathtub. A large open plan sitting room is found upstairs as is the dining room with its stunning Calcutta marble fireplace, flanked by double glass doors that lead onto a fabulous private terrace with magical rooftop views.

9 / 10
Service & Facilities

Service overall at The Stafford London is charming and seamless. It is of the superlative standard you would expect of a plush Mayfair hotel with an emphasis on attention to detail, starting with the bowler-hatted doormen welcoming guests by name at the hotel entrance. 

This traditional British around-the-clock service is genuine and highly personalised. If it is raining, the award-winning Concierge team will give you an umbrella and as they know all there is to know about London, can organise a fabulous city itinerary, tailored just to you. The Concierge team is led by Frank Laino who has been voted Best Concierge in the World numerous times.

Valet car parking is available.

The hotel offers a small but beautifully formed Technogym fitness suite with exercise machines, dumbbells, kettle bells and rowing machine - located in the Mews building. Spa treatments - including massages and facials - can be organised in your room or suite. 

The 380-year-old wine cellar - the space which doubled up as a bomb shelter during World War II - is worth visiting and Concierge will organise a tour which takes in a small museum and a look at the hotel’s collection of wine which runs to 8,000 bottles. The cellar is rumoured to have a secret passageway that links to nearby St James’s Palace.

There are interconnecting rooms though the hotel, though with its adult-like atmosphere, it is probably better suited to business travellers or couples/singles exploring London. Pets are welcome and The Stafford is fully accessible for disabled guests.

9 / 10

From the roaring fire in the fireplace of the wood panelled lobby, the welcoming interiors feel more akin to a country house hotel. London’s Rosendale interior design is behind the décor of the hotel, which includes the all-suite Stafford Mews building, the Carriage House, converted former stables and the Main House.

Interiors are quintessentially English, befitting of aristocrats, smart and classic with floral curtains and old school details like wood panelling, cornicing and pretty fresh flowers in arrangements placed on mahogany sideboards. The sash windows overlooking the courtyard and patterned wallpapers create an attractive sanctuary. The cobbled courtyard is a riot of colour in spring and summer with window boxes filled with glowing flowers.

Graciously historic while offering contemporary comfort, The Stafford London is the epitome of traditional British luxury. Delightfully old school, the stately five-star hotel is full of character and is an all-luxury property with stylish rooms and suites - designed to help guests relax. There is a feeling of country house peacefulness about the hotel even though Piccadilly is just a few minutes’ walk away.

The Stafford has a rich history beginning in the 17th Century, when numbers 16 -18 St. James’s Place were originally built as private residences. Number 17 owned by Lord and Lady Lyttelton, daughter of the then Earl Spencer, who served as nanny to Queen Victoria’s children. 

Changing hands many times over the years, the hotel became a club for American and Canadian officers stationed overseas during World War II and ‘The Better ‘Ole Club’ still comprises guests recognised for services to The Stafford London, including the Prince of Wales. 

Well-heeled guests return to this historic hotel for its fantastic location, plush and comfortable rooms, and the legendary personalised service. American guests love the Britishness of the hotel - feeling particularly at home in the American Bar where cocktails or lunch is served al-fresco in the cobbled courtyard, under a parasol. The comforting cooking at The Stafford’s award-winning restaurant The Game Bird also attracts locals in droves. 

9 / 10
Restaurants & Bars

Chef Ben Tish heads up the hotel’s dining experiences as Culinary Director and Jozef Rogulski is Executive Chef of The Game Bird - The Stafford’s accoladed formal restaurant offering fantastic comfort cuisine with classic contemporary British dishes. These include The Stafford’s famous Chicken Kiev, which oozes garlic butter. Staying on a weekend means the opportunity of tucking into a traditional British roast Sunday lunch – complete with all the trimmings.

A typical night’s supper might include canapés like beef tartare crostini and onion & goat’s cheese tarts, starters of smoked salmon, cucumber and dill pickle and a daub of horseradish crème fraiche, and decadent Beef Wellington with sprouting broccoli, pomme purée, followed by Lyle’s Golden Syrup sponge pudding, custard or Brioche bread and butter pudding with rum and raisin custard.

If dessert is a course too far at your table, The Stafford offers ‘Sweet in Your Suite’ where guests can enjoy dessert and a bottle of Champagne later in the comfort of their rooms or suite. Tempting options include lemon tart, Eton Mess or perfect for two – tiramisu.

Afternoon Tea at The Game Bird is excellent and towering stands are filled with creative cupcakes and bakes, savouries including sausage rolls, smoked salmon sandwiches, Scotch eggs and homemade scones, slathered in clotted cream and jam.

The American Bar at The Stafford is a London institution. Its ceiling is covered in baseball caps, signed photographs of famous visitors and a collection of artefacts donated by guests over the years. Here breakfast, lunch and dinner are served, and the bar leads out onto the hotel’s private cobbled courtyard. In warm weather guests can dine al fresco with chargrilled specials from the barbecue. 

Delicious small plates and sharing dishes include spiced lamb arancini, peas, broad beans and mint or Smokey aubergine, green tahini, chickpeas, and cumin salt; and charcoal grilled British ribeye, with chermoula and buttermilk fried onions. 

This is one of the few remaining traditional American cocktail bars in London  - harking back to the golden decades of 1920s and 30s. With its intimate corners, secluded courtyard, and old-school glamour, it is a favourite meeting place for hotel guests and locals. Bar Manager Benoit Provost, who has worked at The Stafford London for over 25 years, has overseen the evolution of the bar. 

The American Dream cocktails is a collection of sips offering guests a journey through America’s history, touching on politics, exploration, music, sport, and literature. To accompany the drinks, Culinary Director Ben Tish has developed a new all-day bar menu with vibrant sharing plates. The Raven, a homage to the 19th Century author, Edgar Allan Poe, famous for tales of mystery and the macabre, combines The One whisky infused with peanut butter and mixed with maple syrup and chocolate bitters. To celebrate the decadence and debauchery of the roaring ‘20s America and national prohibition, The Bootlegger is made from moonshine infused with hazelnut, combined with Glenfiddich 21, amaretto, pistachio, vanilla, basil and lime.


The Stafford London has introduced several green initiatives. The kitchen now buys from many local sustainable suppliers and seasonal produce is used as much as possible – cutting down the carbon footprint. The rooms and suites no longer feature guest directories or other paper items – instead, everything has gone digital and restaurant menus – for instance – can be accessed via the television. Guests have the opportunity to do their bit for the environment by asking for their bed linens and towels to be changed when necessary - not every day as is customary. The Bar has stopped using plastic straws – now using a biodegradable brand.

What We Love

  • The hotel is a hidden gem. Tucked away in St. James’s, it is close enough to all the attractions of Mayfair but still maintains a wonderful air of privacy & exclusivity.
  • The American Bar – a London institution - you never know who will meet here and you can spend hours supping cocktails, looking at all the memorabilia hanging from the ceiling, enjoying laidback meals and being spellbound by fascinating hotel stories that the knowledgeable Bar staff can recount. 
  • The service – flawless. No request is too small or indeed big! The Concierge service is arguably the best in London.

   Varun Sharma

What They Love

  • Our Team – We have one of the most long-standing teams in London at The Stafford, with hundreds of years’ of service between just a handful of team members – some have been with us for almost 50 years!  We pride ourselves on informal formality - the team and I are here to help each and every guest enjoy their stay.
  • Our Location – You really couldn’t be more centrally located to enjoy a visit to London. It’s just a short stroll through Green Park to Buckingham Palace and many other nearby attractions. 
  • Our History – There are so many hidden stories in The Stafford. Just ask any of our team who will be delighted to share a story or two.

   Stuart Procter
   Chief Operating Officer
   The Stafford Collection


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