London is probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think about chic boutique hotels. When you mention hotels in London, most people think about design hotels, grand hotels and all things regal. However, London is deceptive, and really does have it all – chic, boutique, quirky – you name it London has it. Executive Traveller has hand-picked hotels and private meetings or events destinations which are private and unique.
Dukes in St James
Duchess rooms, a female general manager, mothering Sunday treats and James Bond style martinis – whatever happened to rogues and royalty?
Historique Dukes in St James’s Place has a new General Manager, Debrah Dhugga so Executive Traveller ‘popped in’ to see how the old place was fairing and what Debrah had in store for Executive Travellers. Debrah says “These are challenging times for the hotel industry but with a stunning product and a strong team, I am confident that we can continue to stand out from the crowd”.
So what has Debrah got in mind? Dukes is what we would probably like to call a typical English residence but it appears that with Debrah’s exceptional nine years’ experience in building the brand of boutique hotels at Malmaison, we are definitely in for a boutique treat at Dukes.
Traditionalists need not worry though because if you are one who likes to appreciate the classic British history in your residence, there has been royal presence in Dukes courtyard since 1532 and Dukes has been welcoming guests for over 100 years. One could be forgiven though, for regarding Dukes as a Gentleman’s Club especially as Dukes Bar is the place
to go if you want to be served legendary martinis in James Bond style; but with a new General Manager in situ, Dukes now has “Duchess Rooms” created especially to offer a warm welcome to women. Hoorah – after 100 years of welcoming rogues to royalty, poets to politicians, cosmopolitan crowds and women can join in and feel just as at home as gentlemen and enjoy the discrete service tailored to female business and leisure guests.
Debrah is saying it with style and women travelling alone, on business or with friends can expect the following feminine touches as standard:
• A personal welcome card from the female General Manager, yours truly, Debrah Dhugga;
• A female room attendant will escort them to their rooms and handle all room service and housekeeping requirements;
• Makeup mirror, hair dryer and styling accessories are positioned at easy reach from the dressing table;
• Female slippers;
• Fresh flowers brighten every room and a complementary fruit bowl is on offer;
• Female amenities, including a sewing kit are in every bathroom;
• A choice of glossy lifestyle magazines are laid out on the dresser or coffee table;
• A quite corner table is allocated to female guests dining alone, when available;
While we are on the women’s affairs, this mothering Sunday, guys, you can treat your spouses or mothers to a Van Gogh and Afternoon Tea Package at Dukes. Dukes is offering entry to The Royal Academy to enjoy the revered “Van Gogh: The Artist and his Letters’ exhibition, coupled with a delectable Champagne Afternoon Tea served at the hotel.
For those who prefer a more relaxing treat, Dukes is offering a “Total Relaxation” package which includes a back massage, a rejuvenating express facial and a calming scalp massage.
Guests can also book a Champagne Afternoon Tea in the Drawing Room or a special Mothering Sunday Lunch in the Dining Room which includes a glass of Rosé Champagne.
All Mothers that are welcomed to Dukes will be presented with a box of delicious handmade truffles to take home, to round off a perfect day.
Costs of Mothering Sunday Packages per person
• Van Gogh & Afternoon Tea = £34.75
• Total Relation (60 minutes) = £70
• Champagne Afternoon Tea = £19.75
• Lunch with glass of Rosé Champagne = £35
Private Dining rooms: Four
Health Club: Yes – 24 hours
Internet access: Free WiFi for guests
Private telephone lines: Two in each room plus voicemail
Room Service: 24 hours
35 St James’s Place
London, SW1A 1NY
Tel: +44 20 7491 4840
US toll-free: (1) 800 381 4702