The Taj 51 Buckingham Gate stands apart from most London hotels; not only do you have all you’d expect in a hotel; excellent restaurants, full service, and a top spa, but it offers spacious suites and residences perfect for those longer stays, for families or just because you love to spread out.
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Why We Love This Hotel
The number one factor has just got to be the space. It’s effortless to forget that space is at a premium in Central London when you’re staying at the Taj 51. But it’s most definitely not just about the space here. The hotel itself is a hypnotic blend of Indian architecture, history, and contemporary comfort; the dining options include not only a Michelin starred restaurant but a stunning Courtyard complete with a tiered fountain at its center.
Central London is quite literally on your doorstep here; Buckingham Palace is a 5-minute stroll down the road. Continue down The Mall, and you stumble into Trafalgar Square, and then you’re minutes from Leicester Square, Covent Garden, and Chinatown. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are a 10-minute walk.
Best Time To Visit
London in Springtime is one of my favorites. The Summer brings a party atmosphere and pop-up delights by the bucket-load but having said that, Christmas shopping and snuggly around a cozy fire means London is a joy any time of the year.
How To Get There
Taj 51 is just a five-minute walk from St. James Park Underground Station and Victoria, with its Rail and Coach stations, is a 10-minute walk. Heathrow is about 45 minutes away by car, or you can take the underground, which takes about an hour. We came into London Waterloo train station and took the underground on the way to the hotel, but on the way back, we instead chose to meander through Westminster, which took around 25 minutes and was a lovely walk.
Style & Character
There is a sense of immense history and tradition at Taj 51, of which the staff are clearly very proud. This combines with Eastern charm, ornate architecture, and the stunning courtyard with its impressive marble fountain at its heart surrounded by stunning urban gardens.
Service & Facilities
The hotel boasts the Jiva Spa, where you can make use of a 24-hour fitness center as well as a vitality pool, sauna, and steam room. Their spa treatments are inspired by Indian wellness philosophies and use Temple Spa products.
Service is clearly of utmost importance at Taj 51; it has a calm, professional feel with echoes of a different time.
The stylish suites and residences vary in size from one-bedroom suites to six-bedroom residences. Even the King Junior Suite is 40 square meters, so space is very much the theme here! All the stunning air-conditioned suites include a fully-equipped kitchen with washer/dryers as well as a luxe bathroom, and there’s also a dining space. This is part of the kitchen in the smaller suites, but in many, it’s part of the main living space or even a standalone room. This doesn’t feel like typical apartment living. You are very much aware that a luxury hotel is looking after you; toiletries are provided. They are just full-size Temple Spa products instead of miniatures, you have Nespresso coffeemakers, iPod docks, and Wi-Fi access, and the in-room dining menu is extensive and also includes options for younger guests.
We were delighted with our Falconers Two Bedroom Suite, beautifully decorated, incredibly spacious with all the mod cons and amenities you could ever wish for. If you are planning to blow the budget, though, I would definitely consider the exquisite and unique Jaguar Suite designed by Jaguar’s Design Director; it is a sophisticated celebration of the classic British luxury car company.
Food & Drink
The clever thing about a stay at Taj 51 is that although your stay is likely to include in-room dining and maybe even cooking for yourself, the option is there to dine at several of the excellent restaurants and bars based both in Taj 51 itself and also at the adjacent sister hotel St. James’ Court. Located within Taj 51 itself, Kona serves modern European dishes, and we also took breakfast here. The restaurant also has a long-standing reputation as the place for a creative afternoon tea experience; tip – request a table in the room with the opulent peacock wallpaper. It’s quite beautiful. The two hotels are connected by the beautiful St. James’ Courtyard; you can enjoy a cocktail as the sun sets as well as an alfresco dining menu which includes contemporary Indian dishes; it feels stunning that such a location exists in the heart of central London and I’d strongly recommend visiting it if you’re ever in the area. The award-winning Michelin Starred, Quilon, serves dishes inspired by South West India; Bistro, located within St. James Court, offers British and pan-Asian fare and nearby Bombay Brasserie serves authentic Indian cuisine from its home in South Kensington.
Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences
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