I struggled to find a top quality hotel in London for my honeymoon night as everywhere seemed to be booked up or the hotels were ridiculously priced at over £500. Having only previously stayed in one top central London hotel a few years ago, which was Swissotel, The Howard on the Embankment, that would prove to be the benchmark for this hotel stay. I paid £320 in 2004 for a top quality room at Swissotel, overlooking the river with a separate living room area and had a massive bathroom. So paying £500+ for a 5* Luxury Hotel in London seemed pretty silly, seeing as they were only standard rooms, offered no breakfast and the rooms looked tiny on the photos.
In the end, I decided to go through last minute.com secret hotel option and coincidentally Sofitel was selected with its luxury rooms. I was quite happy with my luck as the day before I rang Sofitel directly who told me they all luxury rooms were fully booked for my dates but when I rang them back to confirm my reservation the day after, they said that they had had a last minute cancellation............hmmm!
Anyways, I told them it was a special occasion and when we arrived, the receptionist had informed me that we had been upgraded to a junior suite to the delight of me and my wife.
We were taken upstairs and shown the room where there was also champagne on ice and a letter from the management, welcoming us......when I say letter, i mean compliment slip but it is the thought that counts.
The room and bathroom was smaller than I thought it would be for a Junior Suite. What would a luxury room be like I wonder?
Toiletries were Hermes which were brilliant and so was the rain shower too. The bed was incredibly soft and just as those other reviews have described it to be.
We ordered room service, which was again, as expected, overpriced - club sandwich was £16 + service charge but it was very delicious almost justifying its price tag.
As we stayed one night, we said no to breakfast option....I know you're thinking "it's this guy's wedding night...what a cheapo" but then you would think again for £26 per person for breakfast......Starbucks does just the same job only for £3 a pop and there's about 500 in central London.
Sofitel did the simple things well: staff were friendly and helpful, room was exceptionally clean, bed was brilliant and so was the food. However, it begs belief that top central London hotels cost this much and I hate to think what tourists think of the prices when they choose to book. I guess less is more, especially for these hotels bang in central London.
Yes the hotel is bang in the central of London, just a minutes walk from Piccadilly but yet £450+ for a room (remember I had booked a luxury room and got a free upgrade) is astronomical - I don't think my stay would have been as good if I was given a smaller, luxury room.
However, you get what you pay for; there is no question this is a top quality hotel in terms of the service you receive, the food and the cleanliness of the rooms but the rooms are not just big enough so don't expect too much on the basic accommodation options.
I have come to the conclusion that the large proportion of what you pay for is the location. This is why everything is so damn expensive at this place but yet you should not have anything to complain about while you're there as you will be treated so kindly and made to feel so welcome.
Would not stay there again though as I think there are a better hotels, which offer you better room space and luxury for your money.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sofitel London St James lies discreetly at the very heart of London. Created in a magnificent grade II listed building, the 183-room hotel boasts accommodation to suit every taste. The hotel features a restaurant, "The Balcon," an elegant cocktail bar, the St James Bar and a chic yet cosy Rose Lounge, ideal for afternoon tea. The hotel is the perfect place to unwind with So FIT, a gym and relaxation space, and a luxurious spa, So SPA. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sofitel St James London Hotel London
- Accor St James London
- Sofitel London
- London Sofitel St James