The Beaumont: The London hotel’s under-the-radar makeover revealed

By John O’Ceallaigh

A possible problem with hotels that are intentionally discreet is that it can sometimes be easy to overlook them, as I had done with London’s The Beaumont for quite some time. Between Selfridge’s and Grosvenor Square, the Mayfair property opened 10 years ago and I was admittedly blown away when I visited around that time to stay at ROOM, the hotel’s completely unique signature suite designed by the sculptor Antony Gormley. It’s an ‘inhabitable artwork’ encased within a gargantuan crouching figure that’s unlike any other hotel suite in the city, or the world – totally audacious and pioneering, and perhaps as a result slightly at odds with the classically handsome, gentlemanly approach taken to the art deco-infused interiors you find elsewhere in the property. 

The Beaumont hotel in London, with Antony Gormley’s ROOM visible at the side of the building

A while after the hotel opened, its spa launched, and over time its Colony Grill Room established a name for itself – but more among in-the-know locals and visitors looking for somewhere solid and sophisticated and reasonably buzzy rather than super busy. It was later joined by Le Magritte cocktail bar, which has performed similarly well, but neither venue ever really courted crowds or wanted to be white hot. Still, at a time when London’s hotel scene is more changeable and competitive than ever, with billion-pound openings from Peninsula and Raffles hotels pushing customers’ expectations even higher, The Beaumont has had to do a bit of soul-searching too. Following lots of hotel-wide updates and some major development work overseen by managing director Duncan Palmer (who’s something of a specialist when it comes to reviving lagging older properties or opening brand new ones), it has now quietly unveiled a completely new wing that incorporates 29 additional rooms and suites. The total inventory now stands at 101 keys, and all of the preexisting rooms have additionally been renovated.

I stayed over recently to see all this handiwork, which has been three years in the making. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results are in some respects imperceptible. The new wing blends seamlessly into the existing property – if you haven’t stayed previously it’s unlikely you’d be able to tell the building has been extended at all. Throughout the hotel, the older and new rooms feature lush high-gloss woodwork, including bespoke headboards with antique bronze trims and sturdy mahogany desks; elsewhere you’ll find plush settees, bronze and glass chandeliers, and demurely decadent artworks (it was only when I turned the lights on that I fully noticed the supposedly traditional illustrated map of London above my bed was lined in shimmering gold). Interiors have been designed by The Office of Thierry Despont. Toiletries are by long-standing local brand D. R. Harris. I also appreciated the well-stocked minibar with its complimentary soft drinks and covetable Beaumont-branded confectionery. (Given how expensive luxury hotels now are, I kind of feel like this should be a standard gesture across all proper high-end hotels but we’re not there yet so kudos to The Beaumont for delivering this simple but appreciated touch.)

For me, ROOM remains the most interesting accommodation in the property – the concept really is remarkable, Gormley has even predefined a whole ritual he wants guests to undergo when they check into the suite so they can fully engage with the artwork as he intended when he designed it. For a London signature suite it’s really keenly priced too, with starting rates around £1,400 a night, but for high-rollers the main draw is the significantly larger one-bed Roosevelt Suite with its huge terrace. It can be extended to a five-bedroom enclave that occupies the entirety of the hotel’s fifth floor. (You can see a tour of the room I stayed here.)

Back at ground level, the Colony Grill Room still delivers. It’s a good-looking room, with all the basics in place for a satisfying meal out. The lighting’s on point; there are cosy booths, good for a gossip; bucolic David Hockney-style murals line the walls (though I’m told their bolder colours may be replaced with more muted artworks in future). I appreciated the simplicity and the lack of pretension in the menu too even if the waiters zipping around in white tuxes give the sense that this is a fancy place – I kicked dinner off with a hefty, excellent cobb salad; starting at £18, mains are very competitively priced for a proper luxury hotel in London (which is great to see); one of their most popular desserts is a build-your-own ice-cream sundae – diners are given a little checklist to cross off the various eclectic toppings and sauces they might want to crown their custom creation. I lack willpower when it comes to dessert, so I went to town here. Options include chocolate brownie, candied hazelnuts, rum-soaked raisins, caramelised popcorn, cookie crumbs…

Overall, there just seems to be a lot of thoughtful touches here designed to discreetly enhance the guest experience. The Beaumont may not want everyone to know about all the subtle changes afoot here or even the hotel itself, but I expect these upgrades will make the refined, off-the-radar types who like to stay here quietly happy. 

Rooms at The Beaumont start from £700, including a simple breakfast. 

If you’re looking to book a stay at The Beaumont or other luxury hotels in London and beyond, LUTE can provide additional privileges and benefits to enhance your holiday (think free upgrades, complimentary dining credits, and more), at the best-available room rate. LUTE receives preferential rates at The Beaumont and additional benefits. Email for more information or to make a booking.

LUTE is a luxury-travel consultant and content agency that works with hotel groups, tour operators, tourist boards, airlines and more. You can learn more about LUTE hereFor frequent luxury-travel updates, follow LUTE and LUTE founder John O’Ceallaigh on Instagram.

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