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Top tips for top London districts: Mayfair.

by Rajul on February 26, 2010

Mayfair’s elegant and surprisingly peaceful streets are perfect for taking leisurely walks

Renowned for its affluent inhabitants, Mayfair is widely considered to be one of London’s “poshest” areas; a view not dispelled by its high density of private members clubs, expensive restaurants and designer shops.

But there is more to Mayfair than meets the eye.  Allow London Hotels Insight to take you on a mini-tour of some of Mayfair’s lesser-known gems.

The area is not “cultural” like the South Bank nor grittily vibrant like Islington.  But it does have a certain refinement and elegance that bestows it with considerable charm, reinforced by an air of genteel tranquillity.

It’s certainly an area where celebrities like to hang out and you might spot them in the lobbies of the May Fair Hotel, Claridge’s or Dorchester nearby.

Check rates at Claridge’s

Check rates at The Dorchester

The May Fair's bar is a magnet for celebrities The May Fair’s bar is a favourite celebrity haunt

Check rates at The May Fair Hotel

But look beyond the surface and you’ll see that it also offers a calm oasis in the busy city and has a surprisingly relaxed atmosphere.

Our top Mayfair picks include:

  • Dover Street Wine Bar, for more celeb spotting;
  • Browns Labels for Less (designer clothes without designer prices);
  • The Mayor Gallery, for its Surrealist and Pop-Art exhibitions;
  • Shopping in the boutiques of New Bond Street;
  • 50 Berkeley Square, said to be the most haunted house in London (now a rare booksellers shop).
  • Burlington Arcade (expensive but fun even for window shopping, especially if it’s raining!).

It’s an area with some nice restaurants and pubs too, often spilling over with office workers after work.

The hotel we’d recommend in the vicinity is the Chesterfield Mayfair, part of the impeccably-managed Red Carnation Hotel Collection.

Each room at the Chesterfield is individually and personally furnished by the hotel group’s owner

This 4 star hotel in Mayfair was the venue for a recent focus group dinner – when top management gets to quiz recent guests to find out how they can improve further (though this is hard to imagine when almost all your hotels are already at or near the top of the TripAdvisor rankings).

Check rates at the Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel

The Chesterfield Mayfair has a gorgeously intimate bar, the sort of place where you don’t feel rushed.  Rooms are old-fashioned but then so is the attitude to service (refreshingly so) from the hotel’s well-trained staff.

Recent TripAdvisor comments praise the tranquil location (hard to believe you’re only a few minutes walk from Oxford Street) and the staff.

When I was last there I also liked the fact that they not only provide free WiFi like all Red Carnation Hotels, but also thoughtfully put a couple of permanently-connected computers at your disposal at the foot of the stairs.

The restaurant at the Chesterfield is particularly famous for its Dover Sole

Check rates at the Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel

Little wonder then that the award-winning Chesterfield Hotel is consistently rated as one of the best London hotels on TripAdvisor.

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Photo credits: Chesterfield Hotel.

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