Conrad London St James hotel - review
So here we are again, back at a Conrad hotel.
Eager for a break from the monotony of our flat's four walls, but put off by the currently outrageous post-lockdown prices at most countryside UK hotels, we decided on a simple London staycation. Staying local would give us the opportunity for some long-overdue catchups with friends, and the chance to check out some restaurants languishing on our 'must-try' lists, as well as a much-needed change of scenery. Combine all that with the fact that London hotel prices were rock-bottom right now, as everyone else has seemingly flocked to greener pastures, and we had plenty of good reasons for a local city break.
As for choosing the Conrad as our London hotel base - last summer we had spent a wonderful week at the impressive Conrad Algarve on Portugal's southern coast, and so it seemed a no-brainer to try out the sister-hotel property at London's Conrad St James.
of the Conrad London St James hotel simply can't be beat! Situated as it is right outside St James's Park station, the Circle and District underground lines are ready to whisk you over to some of London's main tourist attractions in a matter of minutes. The towers, churches and monuments of the City of London await to the east, while the palaces, museums and parks of London's Kensington district are a quick few metro stops westwards. Buckingham Palace and Westminster are both within an easy stroll of the hotel, with the chic dining establishments and upmarket shopping of swishy Mayfair not much further away. London hotel's don't come much better located than this!
at the Conrad St James are emminently stylish, as you would expect from a 5-star property that is part of the Hilton portfolio's luxury hotel chain. Many of the frills - the likes of throw cushions and magazines - have presently been removed from the bedrooms, which is par for the course during these covid-adjusted times, but overall the rooms feel modern and comfortable. They are also a decent size, which is far from a given in London - a city where floorspace comes at a premium. The bathrooms are well-appointed, bath- and separate shower-included, marble-filled spaces that are also not short on space.
Compared to the Conrad Algarve - with its holiday-feel warmth and upmarket charm - rooms at the Conrad London St James have more of a business-like feel to them, which is perhaps a slight remnant of the property's previous incarnation as an Intercontinental. Or more likely it appeals to the various business travellers and city tourists that frequent the hotel, all of whom will spend more time elsewhere making the most of London's delights than hanging around their hotel rooms.
at the St James is top-notch, Conrad-level professional and cheerfully hospitable throughout, as genuinely friendly concierges enquire after your needs and doormen wish you a good day. And in the hotel bar staff are invariably hovering a discreet distance away, ready to top up tipples or respond to requests.
The Blue Boar Restaurant
is serving breakfast in the bar area at present. And here again, without exception our daily meals were excellent! The fried tomatoes and sauteed mushrooms that came with fluffy scrambled eggs were some of the best we'd ever had - taking us back to the similarly exceptional breakfasts at the Algarve property - and leaving us wondering whether there is some secret book of delicious fry-up recipes that the Conrad hotels share amongst themselves, to serve up such consistently moreish fare.
Final thoughts - a Conrad London St James hotel review
It would be hard to find a London hotel better located than the Conrad St James, surrounded as it is by a multitude of big hitting tourist attractions. Service and staff are second to none, and the food offerings (at least, the breakfasts that we had) were all excellent. Bedrooms are of the slick and sophisticated variety, rather than overtly plush, and are comfortable as well as pleasantly large.
All in all, this is a hotel that lives up to the Hilton Conrad hotels' well-deserved reputation for smart luxury and contemporary design stays.