London: The May Fair
This five-star London heavyweight is still packing in the In Crowd. King George VI opened The May Fair in 1927 and now, this old girl doesn’t really look a day over 30.
Vibe: Always a bit more rock and roll than some of its neighbours in London’s Luxury Quarter, the opulent 404-room May Fair has both pedigree and panache—with a dash of whimsy thrown in for good measure. Spot the celebrity! Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, a variety of soccer players. The hotel also has a big Middle-Eastern clientele. You may even see a bowler hat or two, worn with absolutely no irony.
Rooms: Though ornate, rooms have lots of space for your own things and big bathrooms. Bold colours and patterns reign here throughout all the various room tiers, including bright red furniture, zebra-striped tables, and padded crocodile-print headboards and benches. Suites are even more opulent, gussied up with even brighter colours—fuchsia, yellow, turquoise—plus lots of shiny objets and quirky surprises like a bathtub lit from within.
F&B: All warm and woody, the May Fair Kitchen serves an extensive menu of Spanish and Italian small plates, including pizzas, pastas and risottos, plus grilled meats and fresh seafood. Adding even more to the variety, it also serves a few Mexican and Peruvian dishes from two other nearby restaurants operating under the same Kitchen banner. The A-listy May Fair Bar is legendary, with one of the best cocktail menus in the neighbourhood. Think: homemade infusions and out-there herbs. When you offer bespoke, floral-infused cocktails on the garden terrace, you’re pretty much at the top of your game.
Extras: The 200-seat luxury screening room is one of the best private cinemas in town. Comfort reigns supreme: The Italian leather seats have little fold-out tables for your snacks.
Off-Site: London’s Luxury Quarter always dazzles. The hotel is steps away from Green Park, a stone’s throw from leafy Berkeley Square and a short walk from Hyde Park Corner. Knightsbridge and Kensington are just down the road; this neighbourhood is as posh as you can get. Everyone who walks the streets is beautifully dressed, unsurprisingly, as Saville Row is about six streets over. The luxury shops of Old and New Bond Streets are sure to tempt. Jermyn Street, where royal family members gets their shirts and shoes made, is a five-minute walk away. The Buckingham Palace gate is a 10-minute walk.