Where should we begin? How about in 1857, when the British aristocrat Earl Granville and the Sardinian minister Marchese d’Azeglio opened a new club for travelling diplomats in London, thus laying the foundation for the St. James’s Hotel & Club?
We could also go back to the 1960s, when London became a centre of youth culture, filled with young people brimming with life. A time in which the city was reinventing itself, treeing itself from the mustiness of the post-war years. Models like Twiggy were changing our perception of beauty, hemlines were getting alarmingly short, and the sound of the era was being defined by the Beatles and the Kinks. There were no limits to creativity in London at that time. You can still feel that in the streets today. With this in mind, there’s one thing visitors to London can all agree on: it is exciting.
The city is breathtakingly modern yet wonderfully nostalgic, established and alternative at once. The next new world is always just a few moments away – which is why spending just one day in the city is clearly not enough. London is a single contradiction, and if you take a little time, you can experience how the city celebrates this fact: classic culture at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, or indie rock in the bars of Camden; the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square, or street art in Croydon; the teatime of aristocratic circles, or the pop-up events of the creative avant-garde. Upholding cherished traditions while constantly reinventing itself – that’s something London has mastered like no other city in the world.
Located in a quiet cul-de-sac, just a few minutes from Mayfair, Buckingham Palace, the exclusive shops of Jermyn Street, Bond Street and the Royal Academy of Arts, the Althoff St. James's Hotel & Club is also a master in combining contrasts and contradictions – in this case, the luxury of a 5-star hotel with a relaxed sense of unpretentious informality.
What’s more, the St. James’s Hotel & Club not only captivates with its tasteful furnishings, but also with the outstanding Michelin-starred cuisine in the Seven Park Place restaurant. But let’s take a quick look back at its more than 160-year history. The townhouse initially served as a gentlemen’s club that gradually became one of London’s most celebrated venues for both gentlemen and ladies alike.
Members included Peter Townshend, Sir Michael Caine, Sir Sean Connery and Lord Attenborough, as well as Liza Minelli. Today’s St. James’s continues the tradition, with only a momentary need for nostalgia. With stars such as Samuel L. Jackson, Alice Cooper, Elle Macpherson, Dita von Teese, Cher, Damian Lewis, Michael Bolton and Claire Sweeney, it is fair to say that the club has lost none of its appeal.
In 2006, the property was renovated and redesigned by Berlin-based designer Anne Maria Jagdfeld. Two years later, the building re-opened as the St. James’s Hotel and Club. This was followed in 2009 by the Seven Park Place restaurant, with William Drabble as host. Only a short time later, he and the Seven Park Place were awarded a Michelin star that they continue to hold to this day. Because some things endure even in an everchanging city like London. Things like quality, for example.
Luxurious and laid-back, quiet yet central. The 5-star boutique hotel Althoff St. James‘s Hotel & Club is the ideal base from which to discover London. Situated in a quiet cul-de-sac in the heart of Mayfair, the hotel is just a short walk from Buckingham Palace, exclusive shops, theatres and the nightlife of West End, yet far enough removed from the hustle and bustle of the big city.