My romance with The Stafford began, as love affairs sometimes do, with a blind date. I’d phoned to make a reservation at one of London’s most touted hotels and when told they were fully booked, I boldly asked the reservationist “Where would you suggest your own friends and family stay in London?” His voice became muffled as if he had put his hand over the receiver and he whispered, “The Stafford.”
Since then, I’ve never gone anywhere else – well, there was that one mistake. A friend in Paris who frequents London knew I was scheduling a “I Know A Little Place” reconnaissance trip and said “You owe it to your readers to check where I stay; it’s listed among the chic boutique hotels, is centrally located, and offers a great value.” After one miserable night I phoned The Stafford and they graciously welcomed me back. I did it for you, dear readers, but never again.
The Stafford describes itself as “Your residence whilst in London” but unless your home is a blend of traditional elegance and comfy charm, with people who anticipate your needs and desires before you are even aware of them and make you feel like their favorite celebrity, then The Stafford is better.
I always follow the same schedule. After checking in, I head out in one of two directions. Exiting the front of the hotel, I take the little passage that opens to Green Park and the shopping pleasures of Piccadilly, including the Burlington Arcade and Old Bond Street. Equally tempting is the exit leading through the courtyard and the short walk to Jermyn Street. Either way, must stops are Fortnum & Mason to pick up treats to savor back in my room and a book or two from Hatchard’s.
Examples of the staff’s commitment to their guests is demonstrated by the time I left my iPhone on the train the day before I was leaving the country. I should not have panicked; I was at the Stafford after all. They managed to retrieve it for me and send it on after I’d arrived home-– yes, they can perform miracles.
London, as we all know, is an expensive city, compounded by the currency exchange rate, but what you expend in pounds at The Stafford will come back many times over in pleasure.
St. James’s Place
London, SW1A INJ