Review: The Beaumont, London

The Beaumont, London
Room type: Roosevelt Suite
Duration: 20th > 21st July, 2016
Booked with: Directly with hotel

The Beaumont

Pre-sales

The Lord of the Rings is smaller than the backstory to my relationship with The Beaumont.  Let me just summarise by saying that several key members of staff from The Connaught ended up working here, with one being the current GM, Jannes Soerensen.  Even if I didn’t believe he would read this (he definitely will), I would be full of praise for him – everyone is full of praise for him.  His attention to detail and guest interaction is amongst the best I’ve ever experienced.  This is demonstrated by all my bookings going directly to him, proving his dedicated to customer service by even being prepared to deal with the petite bourgeoisie.

Getting there

In the heart of Mayfair; walking distance from Bond Street station and with easy access from major train stations, the only downside to The Beaumont’s location is the one-way road system, which can cause some taxi drivers considerable memory issues.  The type where they conveniently seem to forget the turning and end up driving around in circles, thus removing those sweet gold coins from your pocket.  What I’m saying is: use Uber.

Setting

Designed to the art deco style of 1920s, you could well imagine this property being sat on South Beach in Miami.  Just instead of palm trees, beautiful beaches, and homeless people everywhere, think shops, cold weather and, oh, homeless people everywhere.  Less than a 2 minute walk from Selfridges, yet tucked away in a side road that gives it the feeling of being hundreds of miles away from the busiest shopping street in the country, The Beaumont is one of the best positioned luxury hotels in London.

Evening view from the Roosevelt Room balcony.
Sunrise view from the 5th floor.

Rooms

The Roosevelt Suite is The Beaumont’s top suite; their presidential suite; the creme de la creme.  It feels good putting that down in writing, so now everyone can admire this historic moment and mark it in your calendars.  As my first stay in a London penthouse, I will declare this as a national holiday.  The novelty was not to last too long though, as just 2 days later I stayed in The Connaught’s wonderfully named penthouse –  The Apartment.  If ever there was the week from hell, this was not it.

Roosevelt Suite entrance.

With The Beaumont, I cannot pretend to love the rooms, even though I love everything the rooms have to offer.  There is something about the dark colours, the use of wood, the somewhat square structure of it all that bothers me.  The corridors leading you to your room have the exact feeling, the feeling of something missing or something so well designed that it does not feel natural. It feels like hotel has no soul, even when it has gone a long way to create a backstory to create as much character as possible.  If I had to pinpoint one major issue it would be the darkness of the rooms, which is strangely not down to a lack of natural light – especially in The Roosevelt Suite – as there are windows aplenty.  It is down to the colours of the room.  They make me feel like I’m in a hotel, whereas other hotels make me feel like I’m at home.  The nature of every room doesn’t do much to give a sense of individuality to the place.

Aesthetics are something that normally just don’t bother me to this degree, but here it is a big factor that has emotionally overpowered my ability to love the room, no matter how great everything else is.

Each room comes with:

  • USB and power adapters around the desks, TVs and bedside tables.
  • Free minibar with soft drinks.
  • Free snacks.
  • Apple TV + Google Chromecast into the 46″+ TVs
  • Free movie selection on the TV, with an impressive list of films, including some of the latest movies.  The selection of freely available films is something I’ve only seen beaten by Iniala, although their list was so-overkill that I think they were planning on starting their own film studio.

The little, well thought-out details, make the experience of staying here what it should be at all luxury resorts – simple, yet brilliant.

The space within The Roosevelt Suite is astonishing, and with 169sqm in the heart of Mayfair, owning that much space, albeit temporarily, probably makes you richer than the Queen.  You have:

  • Main entrance
  • Guest bathroom
  • Living room
  • Dining room
  • Master bathroom
  • Bedroom
  • Huge outdoor balcony

You also have the ability to take the entire 5th floor and connect all of the bedrooms, which would give you a 5 bedroom suite, although if you’re feeling slightly frugal then you could just probably sleep a family of 10 on the balcony instead.

If I had one disappointment it would be in the size of the master bedroom.  Having stayed in other rooms of the hotel, there is nothing different to this room, except the access to the outside balcony.  It definitely feels like a missed opportunity.

Living room
Living room
Master bathroom
Roosevelt Suite bedroom.
Bedroom.
Balcony.
Roosevelt Suite desk
Kitchen
Living room.

Even when staying in the penthouse, I’m still able to identify quirks, some of which, for a new hotel, I do not think should exist.

  • The infamous light problem.  Some of the rooms have master switches, some do not.  In The Roosevelt Suite, me being one with nature and Mr. Ecological of the year, I like to turn all the lights off at night.  It took me close to 5 minutes to work out how to do it.  You then have multiple switches which can do the same thing, so sometimes the switch being up means you’re turning it off, as another switch is already controlling it.  And finally, they are often not labelled, so you’re just flicking away and hoping something is doing something.
  • It’s great that hotels have implemented different flush options for the toilets to stop wasting water, but here you cannot tell which button to push if the toilet seat is up.
  • What is it with the telephone systems in hotels?  Here is no different, so I cannot pinpoint it on The Beaumont directly.  The main system is always easy to use, but the moment you pick-up the cordless then you’re into manual reading territory.
  • I could not work out how to remove the plug from the sink, which unusually, wasn’t just me.  You need to push on the plug, which requires putting your hands potentially into your own mess.  Ok, you made it, so you gotta clean it up, but that’s the rules in normal life, not the luxury hotel scene.

Amenities

50 rooms and 23 suites maketh The Beaumont a boutique hotel, but one with its fare share of facilities.

  • Daimler car that will take guests nearby for free.
  • Private room/bar for hotel guests.
  • Hotel bar.
  • Restaurant.
The Beaumont’s Daimler.

Spa

Apparently there is also a gym, but you’re more likely to find Lee Harvey Oswald’s confession than you are to find me in there.  Right near to the gym, is a place you are most likely to find me: the spa.  This is another area I feel is a missed opportunity, as they were afforded the space to do something spectacular.  Whilst they have managed to pack in quite a large selection, it’s not an area I would care to frequently visit and spend time in, unless I was waiting for a treatment.

  • Salon.
  • Spa area.
  • Treatment rooms.

Fortunately the spa relaxation area avoids the dark colours used throughout the rest of the hotel, but the brightness and lack of background noise actually removes the privacy that you would want in that area.  It needs more of an atmosphere, as otherwise you feel like you to need to whisper to have a conversation.

  • Hamam
  • Steam room
  • Sauana
  • Plunge pool
  • Relaxation area

Activities

Whilst normally I am of the view that a city hotel is not designed to entertain you, I do believe The Beaumont could differ in this.  So willing are their staff, that you could devise obscure requests for them and rank them accordingly based on how precise and quick their response is.  Bonus points are rewarded for any illegal activity they do, all in the name of exceeding customer satisfaction.

You can even work on your suntan for all 3 hours of it we have in London each Summer.

Food

No charges for bottle water; free mini-bar within your room; snacks within your room; free breakfast included.  Value, value, value.  Even if breakfast was not included, you can buy the best sausage sandwich in London for £7.  In Mayfair, if you gave a homeless man £7 he’d throw it back at you in disgust, as it won’t even buy a postage stamp.  Breakfast for three cost £41, whereas any other hotel in Mayfair you would be lucky to escape less with a charge of less than £40 per person.  It’s one thing to offer incredible value, but to do so whilst offering a phenomenal product is a true rarity.

More freebies.

The first time I visited, I could not get my head around such simplistic food that was all too mediocre.  I was there pre-opening, so gave them the benefit of the doubt.  When another opportunity arose to visit for lunch earlier this year, I jumped at the opportunity to go – not because I wanted to go back, but because I’m cheap and am easily convinced by free food.  Luckily the gods decided to offer free food, as my second meal here completely changed my mind.  Something done so well, yet maintaining such simplicity, is a wonderful thing.

Even more freebies.
The Colony Grill Room breakfast menu.

Service

Outside of The Siam, this is the only city hotel I’ve ever stayed in where I believe it can compete with the Aman style view of service.

Just to remind yourself that your balcony is in fact just yours.

There have, of course, been some hiccups along the way: doors incorrectly knocked on in the early hours; luggage going missing, only to be found after a phone call; the odd minor glitch here.  These are the rare exception, as otherwise it is almost faultless.  We are always greeted by name, even by people we’ve never met before; out preferences are well remembered for food, room settings and previous interactions with staff.

Some real gems that I have experienced here:

  • I asked the car to take me to Baker Street station in order to get the tube somewhere.  When I came back later to collect my luggage, someone else asked if I needed the car to drop me off at Baker Street again.  Check for remembering guests activities.
  • On return, I was unable to find my iPhone charger cable, so I ask if they found it in my room.  Instead of looking for it, they suggest they can offer me a brand new cable instead, and even ask if I want the box with it.
  • There is a no tipping policy (although unfortunately there is still a requirement to sign for the bill), meaning you never have anywhere on the bill that subtly hints for extra money.
  • Upon using the concierge to book a dinner, they also enquired if they could order us a taxi for the same time.  It may seem small, but it is that extra foresight that is unusually void in most hotels.

The Beaumont main entrance.

Worth Knowing

This is the first venture of Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, who have over 30 years experience in running restaurants.  In one sense it should therefore come as no shock that the restaurant is so well received, but in another it is surprising just how fairly priced everything is.

The Good

  • One of the best locations within London.
  • Excellent food at non-luxury prices.

The Bad

  • The design is somewhat too masculine for my liking, with the lack of light colours giving it a less homely feeling.

The Luxurious

  • The best service of any hotel within London.  Yes, even The Connaught.
  • Generosity galore.  Free mini-bar, free movies, free Internet, free snacks, free games in your room that you can even take home with you

Conclusion

The Beaumont acts like it’s taking the piss at every opportunity – but that is aimed squarely at its competitors.  There are value adds everywhere you look, which means that even though it may now be amongst the most expensive London hotels, you could spend 3 nights here and would end up with a smaller bill than 2 nights at a similar standard alternative, such as The Berkeley, The Connaught, The Lanesborough or Bulgari.  I imagine the owners having a good laugh at how much annoyance it has caused in the London luxury hotel scene.

I am rapidly changing my view of The Beaumont.   Just a few months ago I was writing that The Connaught is a better hotel with better service and amenities, but now it can only say it has better amenities and a better reputation.  This was my 4th stay at this hotel, which actually now makes it my joint 3rd most visited hotel in London.  The attraction to The Beaumont is the service, more so than the facilities.  The Connaught has been the facilities, with the best service, but the times they are a-changin’.

If I were to put a list together of every criteria within this review and mark it out of 10, I would prefer The Beaumont to any other hotel in London; better service, fantastic hard product, excellent value for money, incredible perks such as the Daimler, great food and at highly affordable prices.  But there’s something primitive, something I cannot explain, something beyond numbers, something my tiny neanderthal brain cannot comprehend, that makes it my #2 choice for London.  But I will return.

Yours to take with you. They probably let you take the table too.

One Comment

  1. james mclaren

    WOW – think you’ve convinced me to try out The Beaumont. I’m a huge Claridges fan and I love Art Deco.

    Great review!

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