For oil tycoons and other wealthy businessmen who travel with entourages, the Grosvenor House Apartments in London offer the ultimate in self-contained privacy.
These top-end serviced flats are nothing to do with the hotel of the same name except for their geography – the operator of the capital’s newest five-star hospitality enterprise is Jumeirah, which owns the Carlton Tower in nearby Belgravia
But even the poshest hotel is too public a place to stay for many, and the point of Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeirah Living is that they are totally private. The only street-level access is a small glass door on the corner of Mayfair’s Park Lane and Mount Street, leading to a small lobby manned by bellmen who direct guests to the second-floor reception. And you can’t get even that far unless you are expected.
Up at reception level, there’s a huge atrium in which a statement sculpture is suspended. In the well is a large dining area for the use of visitors and their guests only. It is unlikely ever to be over-subscribed, given that every apartment in this complex has a fully-equipped kitchen, a fridge stocked with basics and the offer of room service. Acres of marble reminded me of the sleek, cool, slightly sterile luxury I last encountered in the first-class lounge of Qatar Airways, and this feeling extends to the apartments themselves – with the exception of a large penthouse which is gloriously art deco.
The masculine feel seems surprising considering that Anouska Hempel, who created Blakes Hotel, a riot of exotic, rich and flamboyant clutter, consulted on the design. The apartments, which range from studios to multi-bedroom flats with views of Hyde Park, do offer all home comforts; the beds, in particular, are extraordinary.
Living rooms feature a large dining table, and the kitchen area contains a dishwasher as well as a large fridge with items bespoke for each client. Mine contained organic butter, cheese, hummus, bread and milk, and there was a Nespresso machine with pods. But I was keen to try the Arabian Breakfast, not offered widely in London, and was reminded of an Israeli feast – cheeses, vegetables, labaneh, flatbread – with the Middle Eastern additions of ful (soupy spiced beans) and saksouka – scrambled eggs in a spicy tomato sauce. English and other options are available too.
Prices start at £450 per night for a studio rising to £11,000 for the penthouse, and a minimum of one week’s stay is required. There is a business centre, gym and licensed in-room dining and a partnership with certain Mayfair restaurants aims to bring their chefs and signature dishes into the building as a bespoke option to room service.
Tel: +44 207 518 4444