Celebrated London restaurateurs Corbin & King open The Beaumont.
You might think The Beaumont hotel had been built at the height of the Art Deco craze and recently restored to a former grandeur, but you'd be wrong. True, the ground floor steel-casement windows date from 1926 and the upper levels date from the same period. But then you notice the Transformer-like edifice to one side, perched as if waiting to spring into life. This three-storey-high Antony Gormley sculpture is modern yet just manages to blend into the building's frontage. It's there to do more than just raise eyebrows. Called Room, aptly enough, the sculpture is a spectacular one-bedroom suite, yours for £2,250 ($4,141) per night.
The Beaumont is a clever imposter inside, too. The building was an Avis rental garage until three years ago, when it was acquired by Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, the celebrated restaurateurs behind The Wolseley and a string of other dining rooms. They've converted the former parking lot into a faux Grand Hotel with chessboard floors, lots of marble, plenty of dark wood panelling, and staff dressed like flunkies from The Grand Budapest Hotel. There's nothing obsequious about the well-judged service, though.
Gormley's Room apart, the 73 rooms are understated yet well-appointed with excellent attention to detail; chrome, marble and white-tiled bathrooms, masculine and sober bedrooms, comfortable beds, complimentary soft-drinks. There's a beautiful spa in similar classic style.
The Colony Grill Room restaurant is on-theme, with a vaguely transatlantic 1920s look. It delivers a menu of retro Anglo-American comfort food for the many diners who patronise the restaurant, feigning nostalgia for the historic Grand Hotel that never was. Rooms from £395 ($727).
The Beaumont, 8 Balderton St, Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair, London