Opened in September 2014, the 73 room (23 suite) Beaumont Hotel, located in Brown Hart Gardens, just around the corner from Selfridge’s, is now the jewel in the crown of the flourishing Corbin and King empire, which includes some of London’s best known grand cafés and restaurants such as The Wolseley, opened in 2003 and situated in the former showroom of Wolseley Motors. Having been business partners for over 30 years, as their first hotel The Beaumont was designed to impress and assert their impeccable style and attention to detail. Originally intended as a garage and once inhabited by Avis Rent-a-Car, this Grade II listed building was completed in 1926 by architects Wimperis & Simpson and now epitomises Corbin and King’s passion for Art Deco styling and understated elegance.
Understated save for the commissioned Anthony Gormley sculpture adjoining the south-west corner of the property. It certainly arrests your attention and is the frontispiece of ‘ROOM by Anthony Gormley’, a suite which comes with an equally arresting price tag of somewhere in the region of £2500 a night and is in marked contrast with the hotel’s predominantly traditional ethos; from the 1920s styled hamam spa, gymnasium and traditional barber, to the residents only 24-hour ‘American Bar’ and 100 seat Colony Grill, transporting guests to the carefree decadence of London or New York prior to the financial crash of 1929. It’s so slick that it’s hard to believe that The Beaumont hasn’t been serving the rich and famous all the while.
A courtesy car, in the form of a shiny blue vintage Daimler, is parked outside the hotel entrance and adds to the nostalgia and feeling of uniqueness. The Daimler comes with a fully uniformed chauffeur (who once drove fire engines) and is entirely complimentary and at the disposal of residents on a first-come-first-served basis for any destination within a mile of the hotel. It would be incredibly lazy to select Selfridge’s, but I do recommend availing yourself of this experience to get into the true mindset of this hotel. I felt rather like Lady Penelope.
My room featured its own generous entrance hall, dark lacquered rosewood Art Deco style furniture, including a dressing table with vanity mirror (and it’s easy to be vain in such a place), more wardrobe space than a Hollywood superstar could require, a large terrace perfect for the balmy summer months in the city, and the most glamorous bathroom I’ve ever seen outside Homes & Gardens; chrome, glass, shiny Eau de nil tiles, flattering lighting (hallelujah), Dr Harris toiletries, a walk-in shower and a super-size tub all beckoning the weary traveller.
Whilst running a bath, select anything from Nina Simone to Fats Waller from the in-room jukebox linked up to the bathroom speakers, before sitting back and soaking away your stresses – what stresses? When you’ve attended to your ablutions, you might be feeling a little peckish and you’ll notice the only chargeable items in the mini bar are those containing alcohol – all snacks are complimentary, as are the films. With the saving on the jelly beans and peanuts, why not splash out and order a bottle of bubbly to watch with the movie? Too much of a good thing is simply wonderful.
As typical of a newly opened Corbin and King restaurant, The Colony Grill is currently swamped with reservation requests, including more A-listers than you can shake a stick at. I found myself dining in the same room as Gary Barlow, Trevor Eve and Liz Hurley, who slickly applied her lip gloss in between courses. Leather booths and a menu heavily influenced by classic American fare adds to an atmosphere reminiscent of New York eateries in the 1920s; from New York shrimp cocktail, oysters Rockefeller, pastrami Reubens, and New York strip to red velvet cake and baked cheesecake. You half expect a couple of flappers to shimmy in, draped on the pinstripe suited arms of a gangster.
Enjoy breakfast in The Colony Grill or in the comfort of your palatial boudoir, waltzing around in the chicest of robes – no scratchy towelling nonsense here. Room service won’t just wheel the trolley in, they’ll straighten out the cutlery, pour your first cup of coffee and place your hot dishes before you – averting their eyes discreetly all the while should you not wish to be gawped at in your négligée, and cheerily wishing you a good day on their way out. The only trouble is, they also convince you that you need servants and adapting to normal life after this is extremely difficult. I would have moved in given half a chance.
The Beaumont, 8 Balderton Street, Brown Hart Gardens, London, W1K 6TF. For more information visit the website.