The Biltmore Mayfair may have opened in 2019, but it still feels like a brand-new property. Once a four-star Millennium hotel, the property re-emerged in five-star splendour just a few months before COVID-19 locked-down London. By Maya Kachroo-Levine
Returning to Londontown after nearly two years of closures feels like a homecoming for travellers from all over the world. Something about returning to the streets of SoHo and Covent Garden, seeing the crowds flood back to Piccadilly Circus, and once again cosying up in pubs across London feels like a true reclaim of UK travel. And the Biltmore Mayfair, after a complete transformation pre-pandemic, is finally able to show off their new programming, over-the-top suites, and culinary offerings to the tourists keen on discovering an emerging luxury hotspot.
In the square mile that’s already home to The Connaught, The Dorchester, and Claridge’s, The Biltmore Mayfair exudes the gravitas travellers have come to expect from London’s Beverly Hills-esque neighbourhood. LXR Hotels & Resorts — the third top-of-the-line portfolio from Hilton, joining Waldorf Astoria and Conrad — choose the perfect block of Grovesnor Square for one of their flagship properties.
You can feel the historical weight of Mayfair’s long-time luxury standing in every element of The Biltmore. Seemingly every notable dignitary, both American and British, has stayed in this hotel over the course of the 1900s, which is why each of the eight signature suites is named after an iconic political visitor (think: the John Adams suite).
And you don’t need to be a history buff to appreciate these sprawling suites, each of which offers 24/7 butler service. Of course, nothing reminds you that the area is steeped in British tradition quite like the hotel’s over-the-top high tea, served with vintage Moet & Chandon Champagne, and an impeccably crafted menu by chef Jason Atherton. Known for his popular London haunts like Social Eating House and exclusive dining experiences at the eight-seat Tasting Table, Atherton is overseeing all culinary at The Biltmore Mayfair, from Cafe Biltmore to the forthcoming fine dining restaurant.
As LXR — a newcomer on the luxury market — builds their portfolio, they’re curating a hotel experience that reflects the destination of each property. Where their Seychelles and Anguilla spots capitalise on beach programming and exotic spas, The Biltmore Mayfair has an essence shaped by the exquisite London neighbourhood.
From Cafe Biltmore’s inviting alfresco patio and the fireside lounge where high tea is served and the soon-to-open Pine Bar, the common areas are made for high-class London gatherings. The suites, looking out over brick facade-lined Mayfair streets offer a similar nod to the posh surroundings — especially with the three-piece suit-clad butlers ready to assist with reservations for the latest exhibit at the Tate Modern, tickets to “Hamilton,” and dinner at nearby it-restaurants like Gymkhana and Sexy Fish.
From afternoons spent gallery hopping in Mayfair to noshing on tea sandwiches or chef Atherton’s sumptuous petit fours by the fire, and then dining out at night, the programming at The Biltmore Mayfair will show you the very best of this district.
In partnership with Penhaligon — the prolific British fragrance house founded in 1870 and the maker of the hotel’s luxe toiletry line — the hotel can set guests up with a curated fragrance experience. You’ll walk just a few blocks from the property to the Penhaligon shop, whose scents once cloaked the likes of Oscar Wilde, on Regent Street. Inside the perfumery, Penhaligon specialists will ask about your scent and style preferences, bringing out sample upon sample based on the types of textures you like, your fashion sense, and your palette.
That’s not the only exclusive experience you’ll find at The Biltmore — the concierge (or your personal butler) can arrange the pièce de résistance: a private shopping experience at Harrods. The hotel has arrangements with three of the most famous stores in London — Harrods, Selfridges, and Harvey Nicholls — and VIP guests can enjoy a personally curated shopping experience based on their style and luxury preferences. For any traveller who’s dreamed of a private room with Champagne at Harrods and fashion advice from an expert stylist, it’ll be a real pinch-me-moment.
If embarking on the holy grail of shopping sprees is less your speed, you can choose an option that whisks you off to the English countryside thanks to the Biltmore’s Bentley excursion. The hotel arranges for a Bentley and a local driver to pick you up at the hotel and head to Surrey Hills, just over an hour outside London. There, lunch will be booked for you in Shere Village, a stunning little town where you can walk around, enjoy a classic Sunday roast or fish and chips — and maybe, if you’re lucky, even stumble into the White Horse Tavern, where The Holiday was filmed. And really, is there anything more essential when vacationing in the UK than sipping gin and tonics by the window at the famed pub before returning to Mayfair for a nightcap at your favourite hotel?