Claridge’s in London, England is the quintessential British hotel.  The art deco atomosphere, impeccable service, sophisticated rooms, and Michelin rated dining, all represent the quiet elegance and superior quality the hotel is known for.  Opened in 1856, Claridge’s has upgraded the hotel to meet the demands of the 21st century while retaining it’s heritage and beauty.  With it’s readily accessible location in Mayfair to major attractions and shopping, Claridge’s has it all.

Hotel Review: Claridge’s London, England

Claridge's lobby

The lobby at Claridge’s London. Photo credit Sherry Wernicke, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

My husband and I were recently in London, England for both business AND pleasure.  We lived here for several years, so rarely got to stay at a hotel.

We had the great fortune to stay at Claridge’s, one of London’s quintessential British hotels.  And, it did not disappoint!  The atmosphere, service, amenities, and food were exactly what we expected.

What Works

Some of the highlights include:

  • The hotel’s location is perfect for shopping with easy access to major attractions and transportation.
  • The rooms come equipped with dual voltage outlets for US and UK and free wifi.
  • Family packages are available with a whole list of activities for the kids you can choose from.
  • It is just so darn British!
  • It has one of the best afternoon tea services in London.

What Doesn’t Work

There is very little that doesn’t work at Claridge’s, but I did find just a few issues:

  • There is no pool and my triathlete husband wanted to swim as we were going to be gone over a week.  However, they did point us to alternative hotels and health clubs that did have a pool.
  • For families, I would have to say the atmosphere is very adult oriented as it is quiet and elegant, so you have to know your children.  It is not the hotel for them to run around.  In fact, I did not see one child during our 3 day stay.
  • They don’t have any shops on the premises to get some basics should you need, but that said, a Boots pharmacy is very close by.  The only on-premise shop is McQueens, a flower shop, which while gorgeous, added no value to my stay.
  • It is expensive and there is no meal plan.

The Details

One of the dining rooms at Claridge's London.

One of the dining rooms at Claridge’s London. Photo credit Sherry Wernicke, Triathlon Traveling Mom

Claridge’s is centrally located in Mayfair, one of my favorite areas of London.  This meant it was within walking distance to almost everything, including Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Knightsbridge, public transportation, and shopping on Bond, Oxford, and Regent Streets.

It is about a 45 minute car ride from Heathrow, but you can also take the train, the Heathrow Express, into Paddington Station, which is about a 10 minute ride and very easy to do.  Of note, transportation in London is readily available and easy to use, including renting bikes should you so choose.  While I love the taxis for their cleanliness and knowledgable drivers, they are expensive, but should be experienced at least once.

The hotel does offer family packages and a wide range of amenities, services, and activities for children.  A few of the  “decadent” touches they will provide that you just don’t see many places, but may come with a cost, include:

  • tote goody bag upon arrival
  • personalized bathrobes and slippers
  • children’s magazine with the morning newspaper
  • children’s activity books, board games, video games, and DVDs
  • babysitting services
  • organic baby amenities
  • Claridge’s bell boy teddy bear
  • arranging a game of “I insist”, the hotel’s own card game in the Foyer

The Hotel

Claridge's London

The doormen at Claridge’s London. Photo credit Sherry Wernicke, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

The hotel opened it’s doors in 1856 and has been host to many British royals and celebrities.  It’s art deco inspiration is evident throughout, including the rooms.  The atmosphere, as I noted, is sophisticated and quiet; very British.  The hallways definitely reflect the age of the hotel, with high ceilings and tall doorways.

Claridge’s offers a first rate Concierge service that will help with pretty much everything, including children’s activities and events.  They will make recommendations and arrange tickets and transportation should you need.  They booked dinner reservations for me on the spot and were very pleasant and professional.

You also have to love the doormen who greet you as you come and go and get your taxi for you.  But, especially how they dress,

The Rooms

We stayed in a Superior King room that was quite spacious for the two of us, with tons of hangers and closet space that made both of us quite happy.  There was a sitting area and a desk, which was nice to have as England does not allow hair dryers or any electronics (except for shavers) for that matter in bathrooms.  But, the great thing, which I have not encountered before, is both 120v and 240v outlets.  Usually you just have the British 240v and have to use an adaptor to fit your US electronics.  So, we were both able to charge our phones and computers without fighting over the adaptor!

Claridge's London

A superior king room at Claridge’s London. Photo credit Sherry Wernicke, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

The room is super comfortable, as are the very soft sheets; flat screen TV with tons of channels; discreet maid service; turn down service; and a very spacious bathroom.  It does have a european type shower and tub with a half glass door.

Of course, a hotel of this caliber comes with a steep price.  The rooms start at 450 British pounds or about $710 and they certainly don’t all come with a view.  Ours was of some of the mechanical workings of the hotel.  Luckily, I was out and about during the day, so I didn’t care.

Amenities

Claridge’s certainly doesn’t lack in amenities.  Besides the usual, some of the highlights include:

  • A full spa and fully equipped fitness center
  • Theatre Desk to book plays in advance or onsite
  • VIP transfer service from the local airports in a Mercedes or the hotel’s Bentley
  • Free wifi
  • Doctor’s on call
  • Bamford toiletries, which I absolutely love.  The products are from a luxury organic beauty company and farmshop in the Cotswolds, also one of my favorite places to visit.
  • The Run Around jogging guide
  • An elevator man, which you just don’t see much anymore
Claridge's London

Theatre desk concierge at Claridge’s London. Photo credit Sherry Wernicke, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

Dining

The hotel offers several dining options, including their elegant art deco Foyer; the Bar; Fera, the Michelin-rated main restaurant; and of course, 24 hour room service.  They will even prepare a picnic hamper for you, if you’re headed to one of the parks or the English countryside and they do offer a children’s menu.

I sampled all options, except sadly, not Fera.  But, I literally ran out of time.  Plus, you have all of London, which has some of the best restaurants I have been to, open to you when you walk out the door.  In fact, several of my favorite restaurants are within walking distance; The Greenhouse and Scott’s.

What they do splendidly and have for over 100 years is afternoon tea; an event not to be missed.  I have been to many tea services in London and have to say Claridge’s is brilliant and offers live classical music along with all of the accoutrements of tea service, including a lovely glass of champagne.  For the children, they even offer a petit afternoon tea service crafted for tiny fingers.

Claridge's London

Tea service at Claridge’s London. Photo credit Sherry Wernicke, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

We had breakfast in the Foyer each morning, not included in the room charge, and I was thrilled to have the option of a vegetarian English breakfast and for my triathlete hubby, a Healthy Breakfast.  It is such a lovely setting and is essentially the heart of the hotel.  The showpiece is the light sculpture designed by Dale Chihuly.

I have to say I loved the bar.  It is a cozy, dark, but so inviting spot, reminiscent of old Hollywood with a silver-leafed ceiling, glass chandelier, and banquettes.  I actually felt like I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to when I sat down.

Conclusion

While the hotel may seem more adult oriented, I would have to say it would be a lovely way to introduce your children to the British culture.  It is expensive, but then so are most hotels of this caliber in London.  If you want to stay at a posh hotel that offers impeccable service, dining, and amenities, then Claridge’s won’t disappoint.  It is after all, so British!