The Barge Lady, Ellen, Enjoys Private Home Living in the Heart of Central London
My husband, Monsieur Le Barge Lady Nick Sack, and I visited London for five nights in September. As always, the question: Where to stay? We needed a hotel that was comfortable (but not too overbearing and super expensive!) and well-located (but not on a busy street!) And with one additional requirement: Although common language and customs make it easy to feel at home in London, I envisioned a hotel that FELT like a home, too. There are many tempting traditional hotels in London, but in my research I kept circling back to the Stafford.
There was the additional circumstance that it was the pickup hotel for our barge Magna Carta cruise, and as Barge Lady guests know, I always say: “Stay at the pickup hotel and make things easy!” I decided to take my own advice and check into the Stafford.
The Stafford London is more than a hotel. It is a refined, unstuffy, and above all welcoming oasis in the heart of London. We were treated like guests in a friend’s home – albeit one replete with delightful staff for whom nothing was too much trouble. The building, at 16-18 St. James Place, reflects an illustrious history. It was used as private residences in the 17th century, famously owned by Lord and Lady Lyttelton (after whom the dining room is named). Subsequently, the building housed a private club and then became a hotel. It’s profile rose, when in 1987, it was sold to Trafalgar House to supplement their ownership of the Ritz Hotel and Cunard Cruise Lines. The current owner undertook extensive renovations while maintaining historic integrity of the building.
At 105 rooms, the Stafford is not small, but it feels intimate because accommodations are divided among three spaces:
The Main House, with its classic Victorian detailing; the Carriage House, a former stable with rooms decked out in classic English country décor; and the Stafford Mews, suites which showcase contemporary furnishings. Upon arrival, staff wearing traditional morning suits showed us to a Deluxe King in the Main House. We were so happy to enter this spacious and traditionally decorated room with modern bath clad in white marble with full size shower and separate tub. Storage space was so abundant that we could put everything away and settle in, so it felt as if we lived there instead of being in a temporary hotel room.
Located a three minute walk off the main thoroughfare of Piccadilly Street, the Stafford is entered from its own unmarked courtyard off Saint James Place. Around the corner on Piccadilly is the Green Park tube station, and also
within walking distance is the National Gallery, Buckingham Palace, the theater district and shopping on Regent and Bond Streets. We loved using the using the Stafford as our base to explore London, and we equally loved returning each day to the personal welcome and privacy of our home away from home.
Hotel Stafford London
16-18 St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London
Ph: +44 20 7493 0111