Ever wondered what it would be like to bed down for the night inside a contemporary artwork created by a world-famous artist? Well, here’s your chance.
I am rather partial to Art Deco architecture. The Sussex seaside town where I grew up was designed around a 1930’s lido and dotted with Deco-inspired holiday chalets. So, my first visit to The Beaumont hotel, set in a listed Deco building, meets with my approval.
Opened in September 2014, The Beaumont is the work of London restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King. They already own The Wolseley, The Delaunay and Café Colbert, but this is their first venture into the hotel business.
Tucked away in a quiet square behind Oxford Street, The Beaumont’s central location puts you in proximity of Bond Street, Oxford Street and Hyde Park, as well as the celebrity playground that is the Chiltern Firehouse.
It’s a far cry from the car rental business, which occupied the site for years. These days, the only automobiles you’re likely to see parked out front are Jeremy King’s vintage Bristol and the hotel’s courtesy car. The latter, a Daimler, is chauffeur-driven and in this bygone setting you can easily imagine a fictional character such as Hercule Poirot getting in.
Meanwhile, with museum quality art and sculpture increasingly being integrated into public and private spaces, it was only a mater of time before London’s luxury hotels upped the wow factor. ROOM is a habitable sculpture designed by British artist Antony Gormley to sit on The Beaumont’s façade. The giant crouching cuboid figure was commissioned as a piece of public art and so by rights, anyone can take a look at it from inside as well as out, but just be sure to call the concierge in advance.
The unique interior features a suite measuring 4 square metres wide and 10 square metres. It contains a high fumed oak-clad bedroom, which is accessed up some steps and through a heavy blackout curtain. Aside from being pitch black, the room is eerily quiet considering this is central London. I can see why it would appeal to an art-loving insomniac – one with £2,250 to spend per night.
Elsewhere, room rates start at £395. I especially like the Deco touches in each room and suite. Even the laundry drawers contain embroidered shoe bags and cleaning kits. I also spot Deco signage in the underground spa, which houses a small Turkish Hamam. Here a 30-minute body scrub costs £65.
Then there is the Cub Room, which is designed exclusively for hotel guests. It feels like a gentleman’s club complete with wood panelling and original ‘30’s paintings, which King’s art-collector wife picked up on her travels.
And finally, the hotel’s Colony Grill Room and The American bar. I’m here on a weekday and it is packed, mostly with men in suits. Specialities include a Caesar Salad made at the table, while the bartender recommends the house cocktail – aptly called The Beaumont. It fuses champagne, elderflower, pineapple and sherry.
Before I leave, Nigel Bowen, head concierge and a fountain of knowledge on the surrounding area, kindly gives me a hotel umbrella to fend off the afternoon deluge. He recommends I cross the road to the Italian terraced garden, which sits above a Victorian electricity sub-station, for the best view of the Gormley sculpture. From this vantage point, I see what appears to be a giant robot staring back at me.
The Beaumont, Brown Hart Gardens