A former bank, this Grade II-listed hotel combines French feels with classic British hospitality. We checked it out

Sofitel St James Suite spot review Hotel

We stayed

In the Royal Suite. It’s huge. The hotel’s most prestigious accommodation offering, it’s just as appropriate for suiting up as it is for bedding down. Beyond the marble-floored entrance, sliding doors reveal an open-plan living space where, besides being the spot for post-work decompressing, is also a serious entertaining area. 

Its focal point is the dining room, where an eight-seat dining table is offset with wall and ceiling features, and an adjoining kitchen means food and drink can be prepared close by. We may not have been entertaining on our visit, but that didn’t make our king-size bed, Hermes bath products and views of Waterloo Place any less impressive.

Sofitel St James london hotels private dining

We ate
At the light and bright on-site restaurant The Balcon. Once we’re done photographing the central statement spiral staircases and wine display, we sit down for three courses of head chef Matt Greenwood’s (of former Blixen fame) creation. 

Classic French techniques meet familiar British flavours with the likes of scallop and avocado mousseline with lobster and brioche, beef tartare made at the table (with caviar as an optional extra) and a sharing plate of Parisian pastries all topping our ‘favourites’ list. 

A quick peek behind a silk curtain also reveals the 20-seater private dining room, where groups enjoy the atmosphere of the brasserie and dishes from the main menu.

Sofitel St James London royal suite hotel spot review

We liked
The majesty of it all. The Sofitel St James does classic British hospitality justice, paying homage to its 1920s heritage. The St James Bar (look up and you’ll see a huge oil painting on the ceiling) is where inventive cocktails should be supped and cigars ordered. Meanwhile, the pretty pink and red Rose Lounge sees afternoon teas and browsing in the library being accompanied by a live harpist. 

Having a breakfast meeting? Check out the headline dish on the menu: a poached lobster and caviar omelette with a potato hash and 22-carat gold leaf. 

Prices for the Royal Suite at Sofitel London St James start at £1,500 per night.

6 Waterloo Pl, St. James's, London SW1Y 4AN