Pleasure / November 2016

Art Decorum: The Beaumont Hotel

The Rake’s luxury travel correspondent proffers some thoughts on an establishment that is as refined and luxuriant as it is generously appointed and welcoming.

I don’t get to London as often as I’d like, but when I do, I take residence at the Beaumont Hotel. The property is located off a quiet garden just north of Grosvenor Square in Mayfair. Surprisingly, this rather modest building was once an Avis Rent-A-Car garage. But leave it to the masterminds behind the Wolseley  – Jeremy King and Chris Corbin – to transform this 1920’s building into a hospitality oasis.

The hotel was conceived, designed and decorated with a fictional character in mind that King created to drive the aesthetic and narrative of the space. That character was James Beaumont. Jimmy Beaumont (as he was called) was a rather discouraged American Hotel manager in New York City in the 1920’s. Plagued by a violent city, Prohibition and a clientele that was abandoning his establishment for the city’s speakeasies - he decides to head to London instead to open a new place. That journey finds new life and purpose in the Beaumont Hotel.

I have to say the narrative works for me. The Beaumont opened in 2014, but it seems as if it has always been there. There are rich dark wood and art deco details, beautiful period paintings adorn the lobby and rooms, along with sculpture and formal portraits (we assume one of those is Jimmy), the rooms are masculine, handsome, elegant, extremely warm and comfortable. I am partial to the marble and chrome baths and often indulge in the hotel’s Hammam downstairs. If you need a quick haircut or shave you are in luck, thanks to the in-house barbershop located near the modest, yet quite complete gym.

"The rooms are masculine, handsome, elegant, extremely warm and comfortable."

The standout is the staff, which has been pulled from the best hotels in the world; they are courteous, discreet and friendly. The house courtesy car is a vintage Daimler and I have to admit you feel like a Royal when cruising in the back of this elegant beast.

The American Bar is a welcome sight as you head in from the lobby. It really does feel as if you are in Jimmy’s vision of a London bar created in 1926. The last time I was there, Mr. King and I challenged the barman to a gin martini sampling that was truly inspiring. Through the bar you enter the Colony Grill that serves sensible and comfortable bistro fare. My jet lag induced hunger always leads me to the Duck hash or the full English breakfast for my first morning meal. While in residence it is a pleasure to take advantage of the Cub Room, which is a private bar/lounge for hotel guests only. It is a dark wood and clubby feeling room with deep leather chairs and an intimate bar. Honestly, I was spoiled by the attention and top-notch bar service while there.

The Beaumont is of course a new and modern hotel in every way, but there is an air of a bygone era about it, a sense of grace and elegance that is now often hard to come by. I always feel very special and well taken care of when I stay there, but more importantly, it is a pleasure to be in a hotel in this age that truly has a heart and soul.

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Matt Hranek

Matt Hranek is a photographer, director and Men's Style Editor at Conde Nast Traveler. The Rake's Luxury Travel Correspondent, he's also a fan of the sartorial arts, vintage sports cars, red meat, cheap beer and old school European hotels. Currently in a deep love affair with the Negroni.