Grosvenor Square may seem like an unlikely location for a members’ club and boutique hotel aimed at the young and hip — Mayfair is ultra-luxe territory, inhabited largely by ambassadors and hedge funds. But the element of surprise is essential to any great hotel, and the Twenty Two is possessed of a vibrant playfulness that’s ordinarily found much further east.
That’s not to say it’s entirely turned its back on the opulence that makes Mayfair Mayfair. This gorgeous Edwardian building remains in fine form, and its interiors are notably Parisian in their inspiration, with ultra-saturated colors and an 18th-century ornateness to the décor. The Twenty Two’s ownership, management, and staff are all veterans of many of London’s finest establishments, both old-world and new; the service here is highly professional but never overbearing or intimidating, friendly and direct but never over-familiar.
The rooms, of course are stylish and extremely comfortable, with four-poster and canopy beds dressed in Egyptian cotton linens, and bathrooms in Cabochon marble. And a hotel (and club) like this lives and dies by its restaurant and bar — this one, a British-Mediterranean restaurant by Alan Christie, is a hit, with just the right blend of elegance and playfulness in its décor and a clientele that’s right on target: Mayfair, but a little younger and more skewed towards creative lines of work.