If there’s an upside to the enormously overheated state of the London hotel market, it’s the competition at the top end: the Connaught is just one of a fraternity of clubby old grand hotels, any one of which would be by some distance the top hotel in just about any other town.
In days past the Connaught was as old-school as can be, a bastion of country-house pomp in the heart of Mayfair. Today, after extensive renovations and a redesign by Guy Oliver, it’s less the archetypal country manor and more the archetypal London luxury hotel, which sounds like a dismissal but isn’t actually; these interiors won’t shock you with their originality, but the muted colors and clean lines, along with judiciously preserved traditional references, project just the right atmosphere of stately seriousness.
In a sense, then, it’s still the same old Connaught, and that’s a good thing; this is still among the most desirable handful of London addresses, the service is still of the very highest standard, and the bars and restaurant are still as exclusive as ever. The modernization serves simply to keep the old place relevant, and prevent the slide into stuffy self-parody that so often tempts historic properties — the Connaught won’t be mistaken for a hip little boutique anytime soon, but it’s a viable destination for the current generation of luxury travelers, and at its age, that’s no small achievement.
How to get there:
The Connaught is a 5-minute walk from the Bond Street tube station. If you’re arriving from Heathrow Airport, the most convenient transfer option to central London is the Heathrow Express train, which leaves Heathrow Airport every 15 minutes and takes 15 minutes to arrive at Paddington Station. One-way fares are available from £25 and round-trip fares from £37. By black cab, The Connaught is approximately a 45-minute ride from Heathrow Airport (depending on traffic) and can cost upwards of £50.