Amidst the glistening white pillars and tall handsome windows of London’s delightful Mayfair, a district as characterized by its old-school hospitality as it is its distinctive Regency architecture, new kid on the block 1 Hotel Mayfair stands out with a charming youthfulness, an understated coolness.
London’s first mission-driven sustainable luxury hotel does its own thing before one even steps inside. Guests and onlookers alike are treated to a dark, modern exterior in which the sprawling, spiraling moss – 5381 sq ft of it, to be exact – that characterizes the exterior sets out the tone of the hotel experience from the get go: Slick, stylish, and serious about sustainability.
First launched in 2015, and today boasting hotels across the world – although 1 Hotel Mayfair is the first within Europe – 1 Hotels is something of a hipster vision brought to life for the luxury jet-set community. This is not a dig. Rather, it is a reflection of the company’s ability to merge its idealism with corporate success, its trendy quirks with classic luxury. Take the doormen: A uniform of chinos and the very British flat cap (think Peaky Blinders) is a fab update on a traditional and iconic piece of London dressing.
The sun-soaked lobby of 1 Hotel Mayfair mixes reclaimed Yorkshire dry stone walls and a glittering, leafy chandelier made from air plants with plush sofas and tall ceilings for an ambiance that feels genuinely serene. Young people in trendy jeans sling themselves across armchairs beside chatting businessmen in full suit attire; both look just at home in this space that already feels like a long overdue shake-up of the London luxury hotel scene.
My friend and I stayed in a one-bedroom suite for our stay, mere weeks after the hotel opening. Overlooking the bustling Berkeley Street below, large windows usher in brilliant urban light across the space. You don’t have to be a child to find yourself marveling at the view of London below, street-lining trees in full August bloom, strutting shoppers laden with designer bags.
Delightfully, the tranquility of the lobby filters up; despite the bustle, the room remains blissfully silent. The shower is a serene cascade, and even the bed was one of the plushest and biggest I’ve ever slept on.
The palette is subtle but not boring. Expect shades of sand and oak, as well as the hotel’s signature moss surrounding the drinking water station. Opening soon, the suites of 1 Hotel Mayfair’s seventh and eighth floor promise to be absolute knock outs, with the Green Park Penthouse Suite, the largest across Mayfair, there’s a wrap-around terrace for vistas across the park, Piccadilly and St. James.
The opening buzz of 1 Hotel Mayfair was rivaled only by the excitement of its flagship restaurant, Dovetale. With chef Tom Sellers, of the two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Story, at the helm, the latter was the indisputable talk of the town for growingly gastro-crazy London. A shame for the hotel’s bar next door, the vibrant and sensual Dover Yard, which will be – wrongly – overlooked.
Akin to the hotel, the ambiance inside is elegant and airy, light and inviting. There’s a sophistication that permeates throughout the space, from the tall ceilings to the burnt orange and olive-green furniture dotted throughout the bronze and sand interior. The service is brilliant, too: The sommelier is knowledgeable and chatty; the waiters accommodating and charming.
As for the food, expect Dovetale to become a quick favorite and a long-time staple of your London itinerary. My friend thoroughly enjoyed the black truffle and potato agnolotti, and I thought the Dover sole with cauliflower was brilliant. Don’t miss out on the ratatouille, an utterly divine, tongue-in-cheek homage to Sellers’ mentor, Thomas Keller, who acted as consultant chef to the Disney Pixar movie.
If you know 1 Hotels, you know how seriously they take their rest and relaxation. The brand isn’t shy of a good party – Dover Yard welcomes in a resident DJ every Friday and Saturday night – but it’s the holistic approach to wellness that render the 1 Hotels spas in such demand for guests and locals alike.
Centered around British luxury spa brand Bamford – as is the case for all their hotels, from the spas to the room toiletries – the 1 Hotel Mayfair spa menu includes classics such as the deep tissue massage and a range of facials, as well as in-house waxes and even personal training. I chose the 90-minute Bamford Body Signature treatment, and it was excellent; taking place in a converted suite (the spa space doesn’t officially open until the end of August 2023), it was personally tailored towards my needs and wants, and I left feeling utterly refreshed and totally reset.
The clue’s in the name; 1 Hotel Mayfair is perfectly located for the ultimate London city break. Mere steps away from bustling, postcard-pretty Piccadilly and adjacent Green Park, and a lovely five-minute stroll away from the luxury shops and amenities of the world-famous Bond Street and Savile Row, it’s difficult not to fall in love with the British capital when staying right in the heart of its glamorous Mayfair district.
In the summer, take advantage of Green Park and next door St. James Park for a long walk or picnic; even the Windsors themselves have been known to succumb to the great English tradition of a sunny park visit, and London boasts some of the best green spaces across the globe. Rainy days are a fabulous time to visit world-class art galleries, the Royal Academy and the National Gallery, located mere minutes away from 1 Hotel Mayfair. Otherwise, London’s theatre district, the West End, is an international epicenter for the best performances and the finest of dining.