Connaught Culture

'Olde' English atmosphere with a comfortable, modern touch

By: Lisa Jennings

On a quiet street off Grosvenor Square, The Connaught is arguably a classier alternative to Claridge’s in London’s popular Mayfair district.

The lobby, with a roaring fire on chilly days and warm mahogany paneling, aims to feel like home if home is an elegant country manor rich with antiques. Last year The Connaught and sister London hotels The Berkeley and Claridge’s were bought by Quinlan Private investment group, which regrouped the three under the Maybourne Hotel Group brand.

The new owners are planning the addition of 35 new rooms and suites at The Connaught, as well as an upgraded spa. While recent upgrades have given the hotel a contemporary look, there are still plenty of touches of “olde” England, such as the damask and chintz furnishings, and paintings of hunting scenes. Built in 1897, the hotel is, after all, more than 100 years old. Still, the atmosphere is not stuffy or intimidating.

The penthouse is particularly traditional, but offers plenty of square footage with a large living room and separate bedroom. French doors open to the narrow terrace, which overlooks London, and offers a perfect setting for breakfast or an intimate dinner on a summer night.

Even nicer is the more modern front-corner suite, which can be connected with another double or single room. The expansive living room can be set up for small meetings.

Tucked behind the lobby, the American Bar is a quiet spot for those who don’t want to be seen. But The Connaught Bar, with its modern take on Edwardian style, is a great place for a late-night scotch.

The Connaught is a perfect hotel for off-season visitors looking for a particularly English experience.


The Connaught
Mayfair, London

Hits: Great suites; a lovely mahogany spiral staircase that looks like something out of an old Hitchcock film. Climb to the top and look down.

Misses: No business center, though guests can use one at a neighboring hotel. Internet service in rooms costs more than $20 per hour.