There are plenty of contemporary and modern hotels in London, ones that feature the latest in dining and high-tech trappings. But there’s something about entering into a bit of a time warp when you visit the city that adds a charming touch to any U.K. trip. The Stafford is an excellent, character-filled and cozy place to do just that. Founded in 1912, this hotel is centrally-located in St. James, just around the corner from the see-and-be-seen Wolseley restaurant and at the entrance to Hyde Park. Throughout its several structures, it features 107 guest rooms, among them a restored carriage house that once served as stables for 18th century nobleman Lord Francis Godolphin. There are no horses there now, but there’s a certain magic every time you pass by.
DuJour spoke with Stuart Procter, COO of The Stafford Collection, to learn more.
What’s the most requested room at the property?
Our new suite in the Main House, The Stafford Park Suite.
What makes it so special?
The suite is split across two levels with a large bedroom and stunning marble bathroom on the ground floor and a separate living rom with private bar on the first floor. But what makes it truly special is the expansive private terrace, with its views across the most iconic London landmarks.
What is the nightly rate for these rooms?
What’s an interesting tidbit about the hotel that speaks to its status as an icon?
There are so many interesting stories it’s hard to know where to begin! The history of The Stafford is so varied. Our Main House building was once the private residence of Lord and Lady Lyttelton, who formed part of the Spencer family.
What’s your personal favorite room and why?
I love our recently renovated Main House Master Suites. They offer large bedrooms alongside a spacious separate living room. Plus, for those traveling as a family, there are interconnecting options.
What’s your favorite design element on property?
The American Bar. It was renovated in 2018 and is filled with memorabilia donated by our guests over the past 70 years.
What special perk or amenity do you offer that no one knows about?
All our guests have the opportunity to tour our private museum, hidden beneath the hotel at the rear of our wine cellars. It’s full of memorabilia left behind by US and Canadian Officers after WWII and is really special
How about one more fun fact about the property?
Over the years, The Stafford has played host to a number of very special guests, however one in particular holds a special place in our hearts: Nancy Wake. Wake was the Allies’ most highly-decorated service-woman of WWII and the Gestapo’s most-wanted person with a 5-million-franc price on her head. She was code-named The White Mouse because of her ability to elude capture. Nancy lived at The Stafford for two years between 2001-2003 and kept guests and staff entertained with her huge sense of fun! One of our most popular cocktails in The American Bar is The White Mouse–created in Nancy’s honor.