Last Updated on April 21, 2022
A Stylish Five-Star Hotel in Westminster
The 5-star Guardsman Hotel is located at Buckingham Gate, one of Westminster’s iconic addresses. As its name suggests is just a short walk from the Queen’s residence Buckingham Palace, so a great place if you fancy trying your luck at picking up a prince!
The wonderfully central location is perfectly situated to explore London’s landmarks. It’s easy to get to almost anywhere either on foot or by jumping on the tube. Once you’ve settled in, I recommend strolling through the beautiful St James Park, watching the Changing of the Guards at the palace gates, or visiting the Tate Britain Gallery. Or perhaps you would like to rub shoulders with the politicians in Westminster or shop till you drop in London’s West End.
We arrived at the hotel with a warm welcome, starting our stay with a glass of champagne in the elegant drawing room surrounded by comfortable armchairs, sumptuous sofas and a library with a selection of interesting books and a carefully curated art collection. The Guardsman has a chic boutique-style ambience, with more of a members club feel to it than a bustling hotel.
After our welcome drink, we were shown to our Guardsman Signature room on the third floor. This spacious bedroom was bathed in natural light from the full-length windows which look out over the rooftops of St James’s. A large double bed, with plump pillows and soft white linen sheets, a desk area, a wall-hung TV, mini bar, fresh fruit, coffee and tea making facilities. And I especially loved the personal touch of a small bottle of relaxation Temple Spa Quietude spray.
The room was stylishly decorated in pale green and muted shades of blue and grey, with soft natural textures, wood panelling, heavy draped curtains with a brass framed wall hung mirror and contemporary light fittings all adding to the refined look.
A stunning free-standing bath with brass hardware opened directly onto the bedroom area with fold back smoked mirrored doors. The sleek black and white marble bath and shower room oozed luxury, along with Noble House bath products, soft fluffy white towels and robes we had everything we needed.
Also available are the airy Executive Rooms, providing extra comfort and space and abounding with that distinct Guardsman style. Some have interconnecting rooms which are perfect for family stays. Spoil yourself with a Deluxe Room for a little extra luxury, or you might fancy a Superior Double Room, beautifully designed to provide comfort and a real sense of occasion. For the single traveller, the cosier Queen Rooms are ideal.
The Guardsman is more than a hotel as it also has six residencies that provide a home away from home for those who want a longer stay. Smart and sumptuous self-contained apartments offer stylish comfort and privacy with a kitchen, a dining area, space to work, and state-of-the-art technology. Extra services include a private chef, a valet and 24-hour room service.
In short, there are plenty of options to choose from. We loved our Signature room but appreciate that which style of room you pick will be based on your own requirement.
Before dinner, we relaxed at the bar on the lower ground floor. We drank perfectly mixed Negronis and chatted congenially will fellow guests before sitting down for dinner in the sophisticated dining room.
It was tastefully styled with dark green panelled walls, marble-topped tables, sage green leather banquettes, caramel leather chairs and elegant Art Deco glass panels and lights with Francis Bacon-esque distorted portraits and landscapes paintings adorning the walls and a spiral staircase leading up to the galleried drawing room above.
The menu changes regularly, offering fresh and seasonal modern European dishes and there’s an accompanying varied wine and cocktail list.
I started dinner with my first asparagus of the season, beautifully charred and served with a splendid runny yolk egg from a Burford brown. My companion enjoyed a generous portion of fresh tuna and creamy avocado mousse with a hint of horseradish, which gave it a piquant bite, served with crisp melba toast.
Pan-fried stone bass was perfectly cooked and sat on a bed of salty surf clams, with samphire in a luxurious champagne velouté. The herb-crusted lamb rump was tender and hearty, served with crushed Jersey Royals in a delicious rich jus with rosemary, olives and sun-dried tomato. On the side crisp green beans with a confit of sweet shallots and some scrumptious sweet potato fries.
Our meal was accompanied by a bottle of chilled Sauvignon Blanc, Pebble Dew, Marlborough, full-bodied with apple, citrus and papaya notes.
For good measure and because we are greedy, we ordered desserts which went down a treat. The fabulous fake rhubarb cake was an exciting mix of textures with sweet orange zest, sharp citrus mousse, a dollop of rich vanilla mascarpone cream and a crunchy almond and vermouth granita.
The pretty elderflower pannacotta was bedecked with seasonal berries, gooey meringue and vanilla ice cream.
Breakfast is also served in the dining room or can be ordered from room service. The a la carte menu offers plenty of choices, including pastries, fresh fruit and juices, yoghurt and granola and cooked breakfasts. We indulged in a traditional plate of smoked kippers with potato cake, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce and my favourite toast French toast with sweet cured salty bacon and maple syrup. All washed down with fresh coffee.
Service at The Guardsman is immaculate, we felt wonderfully looked after by the attentive staff who were friendly and helpful at the same time as being discrete and unintrusive. This charming, decorous and distinguished contemporary hotel has a lovely relaxed ambience, it’s ideal for discerning guests who want to stay in a central London location.
The Guardsman Hotel
1 Vandon St,
London SW1H 0AH
Phone: 020 7309 9200
Looking to stay somewhere different in London? Check our review of Middle-Eight Hotel in Covent Garden