Live like a king at Claridge’s
London is chock-full of historical treasures, but none more so than Claridge’s. Built in 1898, the five-star luxury hotel, set in the heart of Mayfair, is often referred to as an “annexe to Buckingham Palace” due to its long list of royal guests over the years. As a large portion of UAE expats head to the British capital at some point over the holidays, we’d recommend booking in for at least one night to get one of the most authentic traditional British experiences.
And if you’re going to do it, do it properly by opting for one of its famous suites. Each boasts a sitting room as well as spacious bedroom (space being a rare commodity in London), as well as the services of a personal butler, and represents a stunning tribute to the hotel’s timeless style. Unique in character and designed by either renowned interiors expert Guy Oliver or designer David Linley, the suites are a reflection of the Victorian and Art Deco periods, both of which shaped the hotel’s history, with many of its original features surviving.
While tips on what to eat and drink are to the right of this page, it’s worth noting that the 203-room hotel has some of the most exceptional service we’ve experienced. Polite and smiley staff pad quietly among the marbled and carpeted halls and no request is too much. The hotel’s head concierge, Martin Ballard, is a local legend and will ensure you’ve got a table at the most exclusive restaurants in town and a seat at one of the West End’s sold-out shows during your stay.
If you intend to celebrate the holidays while in town, Claridge’s Festive Package includes a two-night stay, horse-drawn carriage ride through Mayfair and a Christmas lunch by Michelin-starred chef Simon Rogan. Plus, this month the hotel has one of the city’s most impressive decorated trees, with Dolce & Gabbana, John Galliano and Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz each taking a turn at decorating the tree in previous years. This year the green gauntlet has been thrown at the feet of Christopher Bailey from Burberry.