London’s newest Grand Dame hotel has arrived. Following an 18-month refurbishment, The Carlton Tower Jumeirah has undergone the most extensive £100 million transformation with utterly meticulous detail and personalisation at every single touch point you can imagine. This was one of the most memorable hotel experiences in many years and just what was needed for a one night solo staycation to revive the senses.
Every nook and cranny of the 17 floor building has been redesigned, creating a new lobby, 186 new bedrooms, larger suites, a new health club and spa with London’s largest naturally lit swimming pool, a brilliant new destination restaurant Al Mare, a world class bar and much more.
Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts
Expectations were high considering one of the team had experienced the flagship Burj Al Arab Jumeirah recently. With 24 properties across the Middle Europe and Asia, I am excited to hear about newly opened properties around the globe like Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island with Bali and Oman in the pipeline for 2022. Jumeirah The Red Sea is also at the top of our list to visit, set to be an undiscovered haven of astonishing natural beauty surrounded by a kaleidoscope of untouched coral reefs. Part of the largest regenerative tourism project in the world, this will take eco luxury to new heights.
As an Arab living in the UK, there are so many clever little touches that give Jumeirah properties that luxurious Arabian homely touch whilst still feeling that the focus is on the local experience from the signature scent in the lobby through to the Arabic breakfast that is available throughout the world.
The Carlton Tower Jumeirah Welcome
The location in the heart of Knightsbridge of this new Grand Dame hotel is great for exploring London. As you enter, you are greeted with warm smiles from staff wearing custom made designed uniforms by Nicholas Oakwell, a UK leader in bespoke uniform design and that signature scent enveloping the air throughout.
The attention to detail in this Grand Dame hotel is extraordinary, a theme that runs throughout from the personal greeting at reception, a WhatsApp messaging service, monogrammed keys and ice cubes, a welcome message scrabble board made of white chocolate through to the minibar of dreams (more on that later).
A lot of our writers at Luxuriate Life Magazine are hotel obsessed. They get a massive buzz out of staying in hotels and the whole hotel room experience. I have never really understood why until recently. Suite 1414 must be one of the reasons why.
Half of the rooms at The Carlton Tower Jumeirah are suites and the level of comfort really stood out. Thick lush carpets, a clean neutral smell, elegant modern décor, a suite of proper Grown Alchemist toiletries and personalised little touches like initialled slippers created a real home from home feel. The warm colour palette influenced by British heritage hues in deep blue, greens and maroon as well as floor to ceiling marble bathrooms added to the luxury feel.
The view from suite 1414 was something to behold. Two balconies (87 of rooms/suites here have balconies) created sweeping views over most of London including Cadogan Gardens, The London Eye and more. Suite 1414 is the one to watch the sun set over London with a martini followed by a sunrise clutching a croissant stuffed with zaatar.
The minibar of dreams – Never have I seen such love and attention poured into a hotel minibar. This was a minibar that made you not want to leave the room. Fine wines, truffled crisps, chocolates, champagne, Clase Azul tequila (my favourite), a cocktail making set and many quality miniature bottles. One that stood out was a miniature royally presented bottle of the amazing liquid that is Louis XIII cognac (above) which I handled very carefully, ensuring I didn’t break any seals! The minibar digital kettle boiled water to precise temperatures, ideal for the Marco Polo tea presented by Chinoiserie Manager Andrea Salerno, made from 36 ingredients including Tibetan infused flowers which require infusion with hot water at 95c for three minutes. This is next level luxury hospitality.
Things to do
Before we get active, The Carlton Tower Jumeirah overlooks and has access to the private Cadogan Gardens, which you can roam around at leisure or if you are feeling fitter there are also tennis courts.
The Pool – This pool is London’s largest in a hotel with natural daylight and its bright interior is complemented by views through its double height glass ceiling, lined with poolside chairs for relaxation complete with magazines, dates, nuts, flavoured water and teas. The pool is of a decent size too, long enough for doing laps.
The Peak – The Carton Jumeirah’s health club is set across three floors and has been completely redesigned. New treatment rooms have been created at the Talise Spa and there are studio classes too. I had a workout in the gym which had smart bespoke Technogym equipment that tells you how to use machines. There is also a brilliant InBody scale (this is the first London hotel gym where I have seen this machine) which gives you all sorts of interesting body stats.
Dining at The Carlton Tower Jumeirah
First of all, Jumeirah take the food and drink experience VERY seriously, with over 40 restaurants in Dubai alone across a variety of concepts.
Al Mare is very much a destination restaurant and celebrates everything Italian. Chef Marco Calenzo and his team are at the top of their game, delivering the most authentic Italian experience in Knightsbridge, by a mile. Everything from the freshly made pasta to seafood oozes quality and class. There are also some interesting unique twists that combine seafood and Italian ingredients like a spicy bluefin tuna tartare sitting on top of a crispy rectangular saffron arancini – Italian sushi at its best.
The Chinoiserie Bar adjoining the lobby is a hubbub of activity and here you enjoy the hospitality of Enrico, Manuel, Asier and Osama. The cocktail list is a little special, taking inspiration from the world of botanicals and essences of the Royal Gardens to translate them into liquid emotions. My favourite is the ‘Pineapple & Sage’ with Macallan 12yo, Gagliardo Fernet, pineapple sherbet, sage cordial, lemon juice, soda and Fiori di salvia essence. This essence is a part of a beautiful range of essences by Santa Bianca, master minded by Head Mixologist Enrico Gonzato.
Dinner at The Chinoiserie – The menu is varied and features Jumeirah classics like a well made hummus and some spicy roasted prawns. I was recommended the Wagyu Beef Burger with black truffle mayonnaise, aged Comte cheese & caramelised red onions. The burger bun was even made with wagyu fat and the flavour really came through. The chunky cookies here are a must order – a range of thick moreish chocolaty cookies that every table in the know were enjoying.
The Carlton Tower Jumeirah is a welcome new Grand Dame hotel and the epitome of luxury in London and the world. The precise attention to detail and hotel experience will leave you with a sense of pride and a warm funny feeling inside, one that you want to experience again.
To discover more, visit: jumeirah.com
All imagery courtesy of The Jumeirah Group unless stated otherwise.
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