St. James’ Court, A Taj Hotel, London is a discreet Victorian masterpiece, typifying the concealed charm of one of Britain’s finest luxury hotels. Crisp and elegant, with the signature Taj warmth, Since its debut in 1902, the hotel has been patronised by the highest in the land and, today, it continues to retain the sophistication of bygone days. Perfectly placed for Buckingham Palace and St. James’ Park, and conveniently close to Westminster, Victoria Station, the West End and Mayfair.
Housed in an impressive Victorian brick building, this hotel is the epitome of elegance and luxury, a hidden gem in the heart of the capital. The expansive lobby oozes opulence with its marble floor and rich blue plush carpet. Dark wood, gilded mirrors and gold accessories evoke a calming elegance, a place that is luxurious without being pretentious, staff greet you with a smile and go out of their way to make sure you have everything you need, and then there’s the courtyard, a calm oasis with majestic turrets and a cherub-adorned fountainsurrounded by a turn-of-the-century red brick frieze, depicting sylvan scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, the perfect place for a glass of champagne, morning coffee or just to sit, relax and contemplate.
The décor and smell in the hallways as we head up to our room is lush, a haze of different fragrances from T London, set against a backdrop of deep blue walls and wooden floors. Our room over looked the courtyard and was directly behind the outdoor clock face, housed between reinforced glass so no ticking to distract us from the beautiful interiors.
A large stylish, contemporary room with a colour palette of light grey and neutral tones. The lounge area houses a light green sofa and chair, dark wooden desk and side tables, accessorised with soft furnishings in soft earthy tones and of course a large flat screen TV. The ideal place to sit and unwind, read a book, watch a little TV and plan what to do for the rest of the day.
The elegant bathroom hasa walk-in shower big enough for two, with plenty of fluffy white towels, twin bath robes, slippers and a hairdryer.
First things first, timeto enjoy a glass of champagne and take in the ambience of the tranquil courtyard before making our way to dinner.
There are a number of restaurants and bars across the hotel that range from casual to fine dining, definitely something to suit everyone’s tastes. We were dining in Bistro,where the seasonal menu is full of fresh, locally sourced produce and includes delightful dishes such as a traditional London platter, comforting Indian favourites and desserts to surprise and indulge in.
As a starter we both had tempura prawns served on a spicy bed of baby gem lettuce, the tempura batter was perfectly light, crispy and wonderfully spiced.
Our table was in front of the floor to ceiling windows that lookout onto the bustling London streets, it’s a great place to enjoy delicious food and drink whilst watching the world whizz by.
Scottish Salmon was my choice of mains, served with seasonal vegetables and a white sauce, a delightful balance of textures and tastes.Chicken tikka masala was hubbies’ choice,smooth, warming and utterly delicious.
Suitably full I declined dessert but my refusal fell on deaf ears (I’m so glad it did) and the waiter brought me out a refreshing fresh fruit platter, perfect for cleansing the palette. Hubbie never refuses dessert and opted for the moorishly delicious sticky toffee pudding, there really was no space for anything else and so we headed back to our room where neither of us needed any help to drift off into a blissful night’s sleep.
Next morning breakfast is a feast of buffet foods that include pastries, cold meats and fruits, with hot dishes available to order. We were keeping breakfast light as instead of checking out we were spending a few hours in the newly launchedJiva Spa.
Situated off the courtyard, the spa is an oasis of soft lighting, calming music and delicious smells. The facilities include a relaxation area with vitality pool (this was pure heaven to use), steam room, sauna and an “emotional’ shower.
The Jiva spa is a tranquil haven, dedicated to wellness and relaxation and centres around luxurious treatments derived from ancient Indian wisdom, culture and royalty. Jiva means ‘inner force’ and has been rooted in India’s rich heritage of wellness for centuries, blending ancient techniques and unique ingredients to calm the mind, body and spirit, it sounded so indulgent that of course we had to have a treatment and opted for the ‘Indian Aromatherapy’ a dreamy massage that began with a soothing footbath, before using essential signature oils (I chose relaxing) generously applied and gently massaged into the skin, creating a dreamlike state for you to relax, rejuvenate and wish you could be pampered like this every day.
St James’s Court – A Taj Hotel, London is a luxurious haven, oozing opulence at every turn. A fabulous combination of modern interiorsthat are steeped in history at every turn, the perfect place to indulge in some me time, step out on the streets for some sightseeing, business or pleasure this really is the place to be.
Rates at St James’s Court – A Taj Hotel, London start from £205 per night on a B&B basis.
For more information please visit www.stjamescourthotel.co.uk