London is one of the best destinations for 5-star hotels fans with so many different kinds of luxury and locations… For this stay I chose the Sofitel St James because it was very well-positioned in Tripadvisor (#3 in December 09) and the situation is just perfect at Piccadilly Circus.
You can easily go shopping at Oxford Street, take a drink at Soho or visit principle monuments like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Millenium Eye. Above rating is quite justified, the global quality for service and accommodation is really at 5-star level ; unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to experiment the So Spa nor the restaurant.
The hotel is located in an old Victorian building and decorated with a mix of classy british / modern design. All furnitures are in premium materials and looked very polished as the overall atmosphere smells luxury, especially in the huge lobby hosting every evening a piano player. I understood from the Receptionist that Sofitel St James was famous for its afternoon tea ; I could check it on Saturday, the restaurant was full of chic and trendy – young – people.
We enjoyed a Prestige Suite – 2nd highest category – very large for West End London with views over Waterloo Place and the top floor. Interior design, different from the rest of the hotel, is not impressive and even not luxury… Well, french style is not always comprehensive :) However the Sofitel So Bed allowed us to forget this disturbing point thanks to an unbelievable bed ; so peaceful nights !
Amazing lobby with a huge glass at the entrance with a homemade carpet – oriental ? – and a piano on the mezzanine. For sure you know you entered a luxury property ! The choice of furnitures gives a english classy touch to the overall. On the back of the building you find the Sofitel So Spa that we didn’t try ; it looks good but there is no pool or jacuzzi… I definitely don’t understand how we can call something SPA without any water zone ?! For the rest we never went to the restaurant and bar ; at check-in we were invited to wait at the Rose Lounge but I didn’t like it at all, too pink and old style for me.
Prestige Suites are always synonym of VIP stay in Sofitel properties. As I said in introduction the suite were large compared to central London standard with its separated living-room, dressing and bedroom. Bathroom is a bit small in my view but fortunately Hermès bath products are top notch. In Prestige Suites mini-bar is always complimentary for soft drink, snacks and alcohol, refurbished each day. So pleasant to take a daily bottle of Champagne with premium chocolates! Decoration – especially wallpaper – is my only negative review ; I don’t understand why they put something so cheap in their best suites.
We didn’t had the chance to experiment the restaurant, bar or room-service. I can only share with you the reputation of Sofitel St James for the afternoon tea: chic, trendy and attractive for golden londoners.
Level of exigency
No-fault service, high quality and attentive ; these adjectives could qualify what I felt about service at Sofitel St James. Probably the french influence of the hotel manager! When you enter the building you are greeted by different level of staff, from door people to guest relation manager that indicates the way you ask for ; either rooms, bar or restaurant. It can be a bit disturbing for unused people as you can feel the staff oppressive. Upon check-in we were accompanied to our suite and Concierge presented us all functionalities. We appreciated a lot and that participated to make the difference with other supposed 5-star places.
Stay from May 14th to 16th 2010
The Sofitel St James opened in 2009 is composed of 185 guest rooms and suites. We booked a Prestige Suite – 60 sqm – with daily breakfast, complimentary mini-bar for soft drinks, snack AND alcohol (!!) at 500 GBP/night thanks to a “very early” rate.