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The Stafford Hotel

A hotel in St. James, London

Just two blocks from Piccadilly and Green Park, yet removed from the bustle on the cul de sac end of a crooked street, the Stafford—three 19th century townhouses linked into a 1912 hotel—feels less boutiquey than its neighbor Duke's. But the Stafford has three features that set it apart: the popular American Bar (testament to its WWII role as a U.S. and Canadian officers's club and its current 65% American clientele), the genteel lounge for afternoon tea, and the carriage mews out back.

The best accommodations here involve a choice. Do you want a room on the back of the main building[md]a deluxe double with canopied beds and baths sheathed in marble (no. 100 also has a large private patio)[md]that overlooks the 18th century carriage house across the cobbled mews, with its red azaleas spilling over black wood balconies against white-painted brick?

Or do you prefer staying in a suite of the carriage house itself? These are fitted out as elegant country homes, with antiques and chairs ranged around a (non-working) fireplace, four-poster beds, double sinks in the baths, and a CD player. If the latter sound best, plump for the duplex "Guv'nors Suite" with its two bathrooms, dining nook/library, and access to the minstrels gallery

. All this, coupled with the Modern British cuisine served under chandeliers and trompe-l'oeil ceilings, and thoughtful touches like guest business cards (showing your address in London) and umbrellas in the rooms, have earned the Stafford a remarkable repeat-client rate of over 70%.

16 St. James's Place. [tel] 800/525-4800 in the U.S.; 020/7493-0111 in the U.K. Fax: 888/772-5349 in the U.S.; 020/7493-7121 in the U.K. Tube: Green Park. Rates: £230[nd]£295 ($383[nd]$492) double in main building, £345[nd]£475 ($575[nd]$792) suite in main building; £350 ($583) double in carriage house, £410 ($683) suite in carriage house, £700 ($1,167) Guv'nors Suite in carriage house. AE, DC, MC, V.

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Intrepid Travel

This article was last updated in September 2010. All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2010 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.