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Review: An Overnight Stay at Conrad London St. James

Ting Dalton heads to Westminster and checks into the Conrad London St. James for a luxurious night in…

Getting on the London Underground often means a cramped, arduous journey to get from A to B. This time, however, it was with some glee that I bounded off the tube with a breezy demeanour – I was on a staycation and looking at the city with fresh eyes.

It was a pleasant walk from Westminster, with the low sun illuminating the Houses of Parliament, I strolled along Bird Cage Walk to my final stop at Conrad London St. James – a luxury hotel, which is part of the Conrad Hotels and Resorts Hilton group.

Conrad London St. James is located opposite St. James Park station on the District Line – so even tourists with no sense of direction couldn’t fail to miss its neat frontage and gold signage. The hotel offers up a traditional British welcome, where guests can indulge in as little as or as much as they want from the hotel’s several bars, restaurants and lounges. Perfectly positioned for all the major attractions across the city, and spitting distance to the green environs of Hyde Park, fitness fanatics will be pleased they can jog the many running routes, or use the hotel’s fitness centre.

Living so close to London, it’s not often I get the opportunity to actually stay in the capital, so after an easy check-in, and declining any help with my luggage – I was only carrying one small rucksack –  I made my way across the shiny marble floors and the dynamic artwork of the lobby up to my Junior Suite on the fifth floor.

Conrad London St. James

First impressions were good. For a London hotel, my room was surprisingly generous with a living room area and spacious bathroom covered in floor-to-ceiling marble. To my delight,  the coffee table was adorned with afternoon tea treats. The macarons and mini-chocolate cheesecake didn’t last long. Being the sole occupier, the king-sized bed with plush pillows looked inviting, and I spent a few seconds deciding which side I was going to plump for.

My next decision was just as easy, after freshening up, I made my way back down the first floor which is home to the Executive Lounge. There are several benefits of having Lounge access, including dedicated check-in services as well as complimentary breakfast, hot drinks and snacks throughout the day. Feeling somewhat like I was entering a secret club, with exclusive key access, once inside, I was quickly seated in a large armchair and served a glass of Champagne, followed by an assortment of canapés including melt-in-the-mouth scallops. I was beginning to feel the day’s stresses ebb away.

Blue Boar Restaurant

While I could have happily spent the next few hours reclining in the same position, my next stop was downstairs to the Blue Boar Restaurant, which serves up British dishes with a contemporary flair. Sinking into the brown leather banquet seats, it was a stretch deciding what to eat from the extensive menu showcasing fine British produce from Yorkshire lamb and corn-fed chicken, to halibut and wild rabbit strew. Chargrilled asparagus with a poached egg was to be my first choice, the truffle and hollandaise sauce adding a subtle richness. My rare ribeye served with triple cut chips just about finished me off.

On the suggestion that I should have one more drink before I retired for the evening, I ventured through to the Blue Boar Bar, which was heaving with merry revellers. The atmosphere was somewhat lively for a mid-week evening but in a good way. The extensive cocktail menu did tempt, but I opted for an old favourite, Hendricks and tonic over lashings of ice. By this point, I was ready to head to bed.

All my grand ideas of slipping into the huge tub, and wrapping myself in the complimentary bathrobe for some R&R went out of the window after a fine evening of dining and drinking. The turndown service was a nice touch, and after falling into the soft sheets, I drifted off into a restful slumber. I didn’t even think about what side of the bed I was on.

The Conrad London St. James manages to combine high-end accommodation for weary travellers looking for a base to explore the metropolis and an all-night destination for those looking for a luxury getaway. London is a haven for foodie lovers and cocktail connoisseurs – the choice is endless. So it’s refreshingly different to be able to embrace idleness and stay in just one place for the whole evening and have a delightful night in.

Conrad London St. James  Standard rooms start from £317 per night in a room-only basis

Win a weekend away at Conrad London St James. Enter here.

More luxury places to stay: Cowley Manor and Four Seasons Hampshire.