Only 270 miles separate Antony Gormley’s iconic Angel Of The North in Gateshead and his inhabitable sculpture at the five-star Beaumont hotel. And yet they feel worlds apart.
I caught a glimpse of the former – bearing down on the East Coast mainline like a guardian of industrial heritage – en route to London’s Mayfair district, home to the latter.
A cubist representation of Gormley’s body, ROOM is The Beaumont’s most celebrated suite and its standout art installation, perched on the front of the building in a steel-clad extension to its Art Deco facade.
From around £1,200 a night, guests can occupy its dark, mysterious, cavernous space – with the illusion of a floating white bed – where they are encouraged to enter a different state of consciousness, or at least a meditative pause.
The modernity of ROOM’s stark abstract exterior is in contrast to the understated glamour and elegance of The Beaumont’s interior, which has old-style American luxury at its heart.
Budget or boutique?
Opened in 2014, The Beaumont is grand in style but maintains a welcoming ambience and the intimacy of a much smaller hotel. With a five-bedroom presidential suite among its 73 rooms and suites, it caters for some of the world’s wealthiest travellers.
Our one-bedroom classic suite – the entry level option – was bigger than my first Edinburgh flat and certainly had more TVs (three, including the integrated waterproof flat screen for bath-time viewing).
The separate hallway and sitting room were decorated in the hotel’s soft Art Deco style, as was the bright and airy bedroom with its king-sized bed. The luxury extended to a white marble bathroom, with heated floor and walk-in rain shower.
A collection of original paintings, photographs and books gave the suite a homely, individual feel, while modern comforts included free movies, a jukebox service and high-speed wifi.
Wining and dining
A visit to the Magritte bar, specialising in American whiskies, will ease you into the hotel’s laid-back stateside vibe. It’s like a “classy joint” from the roaring 20s, where champagne is sipped and cocktails stirred.
An all-day à la carte menu is available in the 100-cover Colony Grill Room, a sophisticated but unpretentious restaurant with live jazz on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
“Timeless transatlantic favourites” revolve around seafood and steak, with salads among the other options. We chose steak tartare – prepared at our table – and the crab special, followed by grilled lobster and an Aberdeen Angus rib-eye from the selection of American-style broils.
Attentive waiters made sure our dessert of caramelised bananas and rum was flambéed with a flourish.
The Colony offers a lavish breakfast menu which can also be taken in the Cub Room, the hotel’s cosy private residents’ lounge.
Worth getting out of bed for
The hotel’s setting, overlooking quiet gardens, belies its proximity to bustling Oxford Street, only a few strides away.
It’s a dream location for shoppers, with Selfridges & Co on the next block and Fortnum & Mason nearby.
Our concierge was keen to offer some local recommendations, including the Royal Academy, famous for its centuries old Summer Exhibition; The Wallace Collection, a charming property displaying 18th and 19th century art; and the fascinating Handel/Hendrix House, home to musicians George Frideric Handel and Jimi Hendrix 200 years apart.
We were able to use The Beaumont’s Tate membership card to enjoy free access to the Van Gogh and Britain exhibition, on until August 11 at Tate Britain.
A chauffeur-driven house car is available to guests for local trips.
Guest book comments
Of all the things to love about this hotel, it’s the friendly, personalised service that sets it apart and ensures that you leave with a smile on your face.
Rates start at £425 per night for a classic room and £1,160 for a classic suite, inclusive of breakfast. The Beaumont, Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair, London W1K 6TF (+44 020 7499 1001 www.thebeaumont.com)