Last year I had the distinct pleasure of visiting The Connaught on a windy autumn day. Tucked in amongst chic shops, galleries, and restaurants at the heart of Mayfair, The Connaught aims to redefine the luxury experience. I was impressed by the hotel’s effortless blend of old school British with contemporary art and a variety of rooms to suit every taste. The Connaught is one of those clubby hotels that I enjoy so much in London. While The Ritz, Claridge’s, the Lanesborough, and others are known for ornate soaring ceilings with gilded frescoes and pastel shades of blue, pink, and green, The Connaught is happy to give you private member's club vibes. Tufted leather, wood paneling, and a crackling fireplace give this gem of a hotel the feel of a secret club – and your name is on the list. Be sure to admire the beautiful staircase rising from the lobby – Ralph Lauren himself tried to buy the stairs from the hotel for his New York store. When The Connaught declined to sell the original, he instead brought in designers who spent weeks measuring and sketching the stairs and had a perfect copy made.
On top of gracious service, magnificent suites, and an ideal location, the Connaught is also noted as a gastronomic destination. During my visit I enjoyed lunch in one of their restaurants – Jean Georges at The Connaught (right across the hall from two Michelin-starred Helene Darroze at The Connaught). Jean Georges is, I suppose, the more casual of the two, though just how casual a black truffle pizza washed down with lychee bellinis can be is up to you to decide. We tucked into crispy salmon sushi, grilled octopus, Cornish John Dory, and, yes, a black truffle pizza.
Speaking of lychee bellinis, The Connaught Bar was recently named the best bar in the world. And I have to say that although I have not been to every bar in the world, the inviting ambience, service, and cocktails are definitely fabulous. After lunch I had another cocktail, and I am sorry to say that I do not remember what it was called, if I ever even knew. The bartender enthusiastically made me his newest creation, which was not yet on the menu, and was beaming when I told him how much I enjoyed it (he was still beaming when I took this picture!). The canapes on offer in the bar include a Sakura Wagyu Beef sandwich and Imperial Beluga caviar, though I would likely opt for another slice or two of black truffle pizza. Because, why not?
COVID-19 Updates from the Connaught
The many modifications we are making for your health and safety will be discreetly done, so you can relax and confidently enjoy your time at The Connaught.
AS YOU ARRIVE
After being greeted by our doorman, we will sensitively talk through the relevant ways in which we will be taking care of your health, personal safety and happiness. You should feel comfortable that every element of your stay will be handled with the greatest possible care.
Thermal imaging cameras have been discreetly installed at the hotel’s main entrance. On arrival, you’ll also receive a bespoke amenity kit of face masks, hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes.
HANDLING WITH CARE
Hand sanitiser in touchless dispensers will be available throughout The Connaught including reception, the concierge desk, entrances to our restaurants and bars, and other key locations. Meanwhile our housekeeping team is elevating their already high standards with enhanced cleaning procedures that place particular emphasis on ‘high touch’ areas.
Our housekeeping team will rigorously clean bedrooms and suites with products proven to be effective against viruses and bacteria. You can expect linen to be changed and laundered at high temperatures daily, while regular filter replacements are set to optimise fresh air exchange through in-room air conditioning and purifiers.
YOU ARE REQUIRED TO WEAR A MASK
All guests of The Connaught are required to wear a face covering in the public areas of the hotel at all times (except while eating or drinking, or if medically exempt). Complimentary masks will be provided at the entrance to the hotel and at our restaurants and bars. For guests who are staying with us, these are also provided as part of the in-room amenity kit.
We will clearly indicate ways you can maintain appropriate social distancing measures throughout The Connaught.
DINING AND DRINKING
As our bars and restaurants reopen, it will be to a small number of guests at each service, following Government-mandated occupancy limits. Each setting will receive the same rigorous cleaning standards as elsewhere in the hotel, and we will cleanse and disinfect ‘high touch’ points hourly.
Menus will be available electronically via your personal phone or tablet – with the option for single-use paper versions, should you prefer. If you choose to dine in your room or suite, your meal will be served according to the strictest safety measures.
Throughout The Connaught, you will be able to make use of contactless payment methods.
As always, should you need it, you will be able to seek medical support from our trusted healthcare partner, which includes testing and health check services.
At the heart of The Connaught is a sense of family. By acting responsibly and taking expert advice, here’s how we are looking after the wellbeing of our people.
Prior to returning to The Connaught, every team member will undergo a COVID-19 antibody test. If any employee later shows symptoms, they will be asked to isolate at home while medical assistance is arranged by the hotel, including a COVID-19 test.
Each day, every colleague will pass under thermal imaging cameras installed at our staff entrance, to monitor their temperatures. All members of staff will also have their own masks, hand sanitiser and other personal protective equipment as appropriate.
As they return to work, comprehensive, regular training is equipping our teams with the knowledge to reach the highest COVID-19 health and safety standards and protocols. All training is driven by up-to-the-minute advice.
For an even more in-depth and up to date details about the new health and safety measure at The Connaught, please do not hesitate to ask! I am in constant contact with my partners and always have the latest news and updates to share with you.