‘I’ve never actually stayed in a hotel in London,’ my friend Alice said to me as we opened the door to our suite at the Conrad London St James Hotel, which recently marked its two year anniversary.
Attending a school reunion dinner at the historic East India Club in Mayfair that night, we were ideally situated at the Conrad.
We’d barely been in the room for long when a slip arrived under our door informing us that drinks and canapés were going to start in 15 minutes at 5:30pm.
All of the suites at the Conrad come with access to the ‘executive lounge’, located on the first floor of the warren-like hotel.
Akin to an airport lounge, everything is free – including the booze – with a rolling service all day.
Alice and I swiftly freshened up before darting to the open bar, which was nicely full of other eager beaver hotel guests.
En route we ran into a couple who were suitably glammed up for the night – wafts of ‘his n’ her’ scents dousing the air.
In the lounge I plumped for a glug of Johnny Walker Black Label – it had been a long day – while Alice opted for a more sophisticated glass of prosecco.
We also snaffled up some canapés, with a puff pastry beef pie, spoonfuls of potted shrimp and wedges of meat terrine hitting the plate.
Loaded up like donkeys, the two of us decided to take our stock back to the suite and get ready for the night ahead.
Our friend Duncan was going to join us at the hotel in 30 minutes, so a girly catch up was in order.
Our spacious room had plenty of room to lounge around in, with a desk area, sofa and large en-suite bathroom complete with a marble-edged tub.
As we made use of the in room sound system, a tap sounded at the door and Duncan had arrived.
The three of us didn’t feel cramped as we all got ready for dinner. The ironing board was extended and our overnight bags had erupted into a strewn mess.
We left the hotel and took a beautiful sunset walk through St James park, with dozens of swans littering the water.
The three of us were almost hesitant to leave the hotel, as we were having such fun catching up, but we had to get to dinner.
The East India Club was a sharp contrast to the Conrad, with old-school furnishings consisting of stuffed animals, patterned carpets and large portraits of people gone by.
The Conrad meanwhile has a funky vibe, with the building decked out with modern art, club-like down-lighters and slick dark wood.
After feasting on some chicken breasts and Baileys cheesecake at the East India, we were keen to get back to our suite.
Retracing our steps through St James’ Park, we swiftly got back to our home for the night, a smart man in a bowler hat greeting us in as we shuffled through the revolving glass door.
I’d read online that the suite slept three, expecting the sofa might pull out into an extra bed. But we found there was no extra bed to accommodate Duncan.
All being good friends, we decided it would be fine to sleep together. The bed was actually so big, that none of us came into contact all night.
Waking up early, with a slight fuzzy red wine head, I left Alice and Duncan in bed to go and check out the gym in the basement.
The workout room at the Conrad has everything needed to burn some sweat and after a few miles on the treadmill I felt like new.
Getting back to the suite, I made use of the giant bath tub and fluffy robe before we all got dressed and ventured down to breakfast.
The morning buffet was stocked full of delicious treats and we all agreed it was one of the better hotel breakfasts we’d had in a while.
Our ‘suite dream’ had come to an end and we all bid farewell after a quick visit to Westminster Cathedral.
With Duncan and Alice gone, I ventured back to the Conrad to meet my friend Aysha for afternoon tea.
The hotel has recently launched a new afternoon tea menu and I was keen to check it out.
Aysha informed me immediately on arrival she was ‘starving’, so we swiftly got the round of courses flowing.
First up, was a pot of tea-infused smoked salmon with crisp breads. A selection of finger sandwiches then followed.
The middle course consisted of tasty ginger-infused scones with lashings of clotted cream and jam.
But the pièce de résistance was the neat selection of cakes, all bright and shiny – almost too pretty to eat.
We washed everything down with multiple glasses of champagne – ‘hair of the dog’ and all that!
I left the Conrad feeling pretty great after my luxury staycation.
It definitely made for a fun weekend in London and something I’d recommend others to do.
After all, sometimes it’s good to treat yourself – just if you’re three, remember to inquire about the extra bed!
To book a room at the Conrad London St James or to make a reservation for afternoon tea, please visit conradhotels3.hilton.com or call 020 3301 8080