“Your home away from home, your residence in the Capital, the perfect pied a terre in London”, how often have these claims been made about a hotel I wonder? These statements are not only clichéd but almost always very wide of the mark, so I was naturally a little sceptical when reading about Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences before my recent stay. Happily I was to be proved wrong.
If location (location, location) and space are the two most important things we know to look for in real estate, this lovely property certainly has every right to boast. If not the closest hotel to that most immodest London home – Buckingham Palace, the Taj 51 Buckingham Gate is undoubtedly in the top three as the crow flies.
A two minute walk from the hotel brings you to the Palace’s ornate gates, and just beyond that the verdant expanse of Green Park, in the other direction the convenience of Victoria Station is almost as close, one could hardly ask for a more dignified and stately address in town. And what of space? Any fears that the central address might mean cramped quarters were allayed immediately upon being led through the archway on arrival and marvelling at the huge outdoor courtyard in the middle of the building. Known as the Shakespearean Courtyard, in reference to the depictions of several of his sylvan scenes on the walls that surround it and home to a magnificent fountain, the courtyard offers a charming spot for drinks or meals in fine weather, a magical spot in the middle of town.
Surprised by the grandeur and scale of the courtyard our excitement to see our room was only heightened when the lovely receptionist let us know we had been upgraded to a ‘Kings Deluxe One Bedroom Suite’, words like ‘deluxe’, ‘suite’ and indeed ‘kings’ never being a bad sign in my experience! While by no means the largest or grandest of the hotel’s offerings (the hotel’s 1,832 square foot two bedroom Cinema Suite is the stuff of legend) it passed my rather unorthodox luxury test of being able to get up to jogging speed without crashing into a wall with flying colours.
With a palette of pleasantly muted greys and beiges, soft carpets and plush furnishings in the large living room and bedroom and acres of brilliant white marble in the expansive bathroom the suite felt sophisticated but also welcoming. We were glad to note that there were no sharp edges, inaccessible power points or confusing technology to get in the way of a relaxed stay and a chic personalised welcome platter of chocolate dipped fruits and macarons set the scene. A fully equipped galley kitchen was also present in the suite, cementing its credentials as somewhere you could easily spend a week or a lot longer.
With a dinner to attend out of the hotel and the Taj’s much lauded Afternoon Tea fully booked on the day of our visit, it was left to breakfast to be able to judge the hotel’s culinary prowess. After a long and comfortable sleep in our king size bed we decided that a visit to the dining room would ruin the fantasy that we always lived in such spacious splendour, so in-room dining was pressed into service. As we had come to expect, standards were typically ‘Taj-high’ – the delivery was quick and efficient, the smile of the attendant wide and the quality of the food excellent and set us up nicely for a day of sightseeing and walking around the city.
Taj is perhaps best known for its iconic properties in India such as the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur or the legendary Pierre Hotel in New York. Based on our stay I feel sure this lesser known gem, Taj 51 Buckingham Gate should also be on the list of any well-seasoned international jet setter. After all, if the neighbourhood is good enough for HRH, its good enough for the rest of us….
To discover more, visit: taj51buckinghamgate.co.uk
All imagery courtesy of Taj 51 Buckingham Gate.
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