It has a past not many hotels can proud themselves with and also the best Executive Head Concierge in the world. Its location is one to die for, too: St. James’s Place, only a few minutes away from Buckingham Palace. The Stafford London by Kempinski.
Frank Laino, the hotel’s Executive Head Concierge, was chosen “The best concierge in the world” for more than 5 years. With Italian roots, Frank was born and raised in London. He worked here as a concierge for more than 20 years of which 10 at The Stafford. Thanks to his contacts Frank can satisfy almost every request of the guests. Gino Nardella, Master Sommelier, is another big name in the team of The Stafford London. Gino earned this title in 1981 and ranks amongst the few Master Sommeliers in Great Britain who currently hold the title. Gino’s knowledge is huge, starting from his childhood spent at the family-owned vineyard in the South of France to more than 40 years of exprience in the field. We can’t speak about Gino without referring to the hotel’s 380 year-old wine cellars, one of its trademarks. Built in the 17th century by Lord Francis Godolphin, the wine cellars are situated below Blue Ball Yard, which dates from the 18th century. Today, the hotel’s wine cellars – the perfect place for private events, launches or festive dinners – house between 18,000 and 20,000 bottles, including many rare and precious vintages.
Its fascinating history represents another defining element for The Stafford London.
Previously known as Richmond Club Chambers, Green’s Private Hotel and St. James’s Place Hotel, The Stafford London was officially opened in 1912. During the Second World War the hotels’ cellars served as a refuge for British and Canadian officers. In the years following the war the Better ‘Ole Club was founded, whose membership comprises guests recognized for services above and beyond the call of duty. One of its most famous members is HRH the Prince of Wales. At the end of the ‘80s The Stafford was already a favourite amongst the American tourists in London. From 1995 the hotel has undergone a program of continual re-investment, including a 6-month closure for major refurbishment in 1996, with an annual spend of over 1 billion pounds on redecorating and replacing fabrics and furniture. May 2007 saw the opening of the all-suite Stafford Mews “all-suite” development, in 2010 the hotel being included in the Kempinski Hotels collection.
The Stafford London offers 105 rooms and suites spread across The Main House, The Carriage House and The Stafford Mews.
The Main House includes 67 rooms and suites, the decorations and materials used echoing the glorious times. The Gov’nor’s Suite, spread on 2 levels and boasting a seven metres tall window, is certainly impressive. The lower floor has a lounge, a library and a dining-room, while the upper floor holds the king-size bedroom. The Carriage House has 12 restored rooms and suites, all overlooking the Blue Ball Yard. Originally built as stables to house the thoroughbreds of the nobility, The Carriage House later became the home of an antiquarian bookseller and a workshop for a renowned art picture framer. Reflecting the building’s past, the rooms and suites from the ground floor still retain their stable doors and bear the names of famous horses. All of the rooms feature the original timber beams thought to have been reclaimed from old sailing ships in the 1750s. Nowadays, The Carriage House are one of London’s most attractive and original accommodation options. During the summer months scented flowers fill the balconies, while in winter they are replaced with decorated Christmas trees which stand outside each door. The Stafford Mews brings 26 junior and master suites – with one, two or three rooms – spread over 6 floors. This wing can be accessed via a separate lobby with the option of in-room check-in. The Mews also includes a penthouse apartment with private outdoor terrace overlooking the London skyline.