Approaching the imposing Sofitel St James hotel just off Pall Mall in St James, I felt compelled to stop and stare for a long lingering moment to enjoy its stunning Grade II-listed neoclassical façade.
Part of AccorHotels the building is just beautiful. It was designed by E. Keynes Purchase in association with Durward Brown and was completed in 1923. It had a long life as a bank for many years before the French hotel group took it over and turned it into this fabulous hotel.
Walking through the large doorway takes you onto white and black marbled floors donned with an ornate Persian carpet, dark red armchairs, dark wood furniture and appealing pottery and flowers.
The dark marble reception desk with its green cushioned backdrop and seemingly sky-high ceilings suggest that pleasure is a serious business delivered with precision.
Staff are amazingly attentive and as this is a French hotel you are greeted in both French and English. Checking in is easy and my bags were taken to my room without any prompting. Later a text popped up on my WhatsApp asking if I was happy with my room. A nice touch.
You can take a tour of the hotel here.
Everyone would enjoy a stay at the Sofitel St James. There are family rooms, meeting rooms and appealing dining and cocktails experiences that may make you want to stay a while.
Rooms are reassuringly stylish and come in a variety of colours from pink to marine blue. Mine, room 294, had a green colour scheme with a green headboard, tartan carpet and a lovely lime green designer chair that I would have liked to liberate at the same time as the Hermès toiletries.
There’s the odd piece of pop art on the walls and on shelves and art deco styling including a smeg kettle that stands out amid the Nespresso machine and a fully stocked minibar.
A large comfy bed comes with three types of pillows and crisp linens and the ensuite bathroom has a walk-in shower, fluffy towels, slippers and a dressing gown.
Mod cons include an iPod docking station, a hairdryer a TV and I appreciated the fantastically quiet air-con, the reading lights above the bed and a nifty radio. Conveniently there’s plenty of thoughtfully positioned plugs and USB ports.
Two complimentary glass bottles of water are provided and the turndown service includes a teacup with a chamomile flower teabag to help you drift off to sleep.
I had my laptop with me and so really appreciated the work table and chair to work on.
Food and Drink
The restaurant, Wild Honey St James, is a lovely space designed by Jim Hamilton with a mix of seating ranging from soft-to-touch blue banquettes and tanned leather chairs. Overhead there’s chandelier style lighting and some pleasant artwork.
A stylish breakfast is served there. The bar becomes a buffet with a selection of freshly squeezed juices, fruits, French pastries, cereals, cheeses and yoghurts.
There’s also a cooked breakfast menu including poached eggs and omelettes and even exotic spicy Akari eggs, pancakes, porridge and waffles and a Full English.
After breakfast, Wild Honey St James offers all-day dining. Dishes are mostly French classics created by head chef Simon Woodrow in collaboration with Chef Anthony Demetre.
The piece de resistance is the sensational St James bar that is so good it has a separate review you can read here.
A quaint afternoon tea is served in a very pretty pink-hued Rose lounge. This is not a standard tea, this comprises French onion soup, Croque monsieur and celeriac, truffle and bacon quiche. You can though choose a traditional tea of freshly baked scones, finger sandwiches, and delicate pastries.
There is a gym on the first floor that’s open 24/7 – handy if you can’t sleep.
The Sofitel spa on the ground floor is a beautiful space offering the amazing trending ultimate skin detoxifying facial – the HydraFacial. Other hydra experiences include Haman and jacuzzi and a host of treatments using Codage Paris and Cinq Mondes products. For the ultimate in romance, they offer couples’ treatments.
For business, there are high tech meeting rooms and valet parking too and Wi-fi throughout.
Doubles from £439 for two people per night.
National Gallery, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Soho, Regent Street and all the West End theatres. Piccadilly Circus and Charing Cross station are also to hand should you wish to journey further afield.
The Sofitel St James is undeniably stylish with appealing facilities and dining options. It’s a place to hang out and also a place with easy access to the elegance of London at its doorstep. A big thumbs up.