On our most recent trip to London Philippe and I met friends at the Beaumont Hotel and fell in love with it. Located in Mayfair, The Beaumont is the brainchild of Jeffrey King, who with his partner Chris Corbin are the famed restauranteurs of London's super-chic restaurants, such as The Delaunay, The Wolseley, J. Sheekey's, Le Caprice and The Ivy. They all share the signature King & Corbin trademarks of cool elegance and retro-glamour. The one exception for me is the Wolseley, which because of the sheer scale of the dining room always reminds of a hotel and I recently learned that that was the original intention for that space, but didn't come to pass.
The Beaumont Hotel site was originally a garage and car park built in 1926 and their dream hotel, along with a 'heart & soul' needed to convey a sense of history, real or imagined. In possession of a very fertile imagination, Jeffrey created a fictional character named James (Jimmy) Beaumont born in Michigan in 1885, who graduated from Yale and went on to establish a career as a hotelier in New York. During the Prohibition era James became quite disheartened with the lamentable state of the hotel business and was encouraged to try his luck abroad, in England. Read the entire intriguing story from The Style Saloniste interview with Jeffrey King.
With just 50-rooms, 13-studios and 10-suites the hotel's essence is of classic elegance and Art-Deco glamour, discreetly tucked away in a cul-de-sac in Mayfair, no easy feat with the madness of Oxford Street less than a block away. The Beaumont embodies all the elements of what a grand luxury hotel experience is about for Jeffrey King..."I had always been beguiled and fascinated by hotels as being glamorous, mysterious and sexy" and The Beaumont ticks all those boxes.
As classic and period-driven as the hotel is there's an unexpected contemporary public sculpture, literally carved into the facade of the upper floors, by Antony Gormley, arguably the most talented British sculptor living today. Comprising of solid blocks of oak and steel this formidable piece of art/architecture's named 'Room' actually houses a room, accessed through one of the suites. The exterior represents the artist's body as a crouching cuboid figure - love it.
The attention to detail throughout the hotel has a no-expense spared sensibility, really only possible nowadays by independently owned mansion-style hotels, which London has in abundance as I wrote in a previous blog about London's Grand Hotels. Needless to say the Beaumont, along with its fabulously elegant, gentleman-club vibe Colony Grill Room restaurant is my new favorite!
All photos but 2 are from Style Saloniste