The name may be simple enough – The Twenty Two – after its position just off London’s grand Grosvenor Square, but, inside London’s newest hotel, it’s anything but. The lobby is a monochrome ode to chic styling – with mirrored doors, polished marble floor and black lacquer furnishings giving a seductive, ‘after hours’ feel. Despite the imposing frontage of the Grade II-listed building – it’s all columns, curlicues and creamy, sandblasted Portland stone – friendly staff greet you as if you are long-lost friends, making you feel immediately at home.
And what a home it is. This new addition to London’s hotel scene gathers together everything that is wonderful about a cheeky hotel stay – making it tempting even for those who live in the city. Not only is it a 31-room bolthole in the centre of Mayfair, but The Twenty Two is also home to a chi-chi Member’s Club and oozes a glamorous ‘if you know, you know’ feel about it.
Owned by ex-owner of Blake’s hotel, Navid Mirtorabi, and with Darius Namdar, formerly of Corbin & King and Chiltern Firehouse, as managing director, The Twenty Two has nothing but ‘heavyweight’ hands to guide it.
“Our vision is to instil a more playful side to Mayfair,” says Darius, “We want everyone who passes through The Twenty Two to experience exceptional service, be greeted with a smile and, most importantly, feel welcome and accepted, whilst enjoying the best hospitality London has to offer.”
Drawn to the Parisian feel of the building’s exterior, Navid Mirtorabi’s realisation of the project began six years prior to opening and has been the driving force for the creative vision from the outset. He enlisted interior designer Natalia Miyar to oversee the décor in what was her first hotel project. Based between with London and Miami, she is renowned for her sumptuous residential projects, and offered a fresh take on bringing Mirtorabi’s vision to life.
Rooms have a gorgeous, maximalist appeal with each having their own unique design. Some of the attic rooms, for instance, are wrapped in bold Pierre Frey wallpapers – on all walls and even the ceilings – chairs and blinds come in matching fabric, so you feel totally cocooned in the space. There are opulent, oversized glass lamps, old-fashioned dial phones (“Simply dial ‘22’ for anything you want,” you are told) and plush velvet cushions. Walk-in wardrobes, nude pencil drawings and sexy, black-and-white marbled bathrooms give an old-school Hollywood feel.
Detailing is next level with cloud-like, monogrammed slippers, cotton cosmetic bags filled with essentials and Victorian slipper baths, with pink bath salts and sea sponges, ready and waiting for you to soak off the day. The in-room mini bar has also been taken to a different realm and is quite possibly the best-stocked in London: from Spanish Le Tribute ginger beer to Diplomatico rum, You + I kombucha to Charbonnel and Walker truffles. It’s as decadent as the deecor.
The overall feel of The Twenty Two is intimate, elegant and playful. Touches of classic Parisian design are referenced throughout the property, with custom upholstered pouffes, gold fringing and velvet piping. Corridors are lit by tiny lamps covered by charming fringed lampshades. The bar-lounge area (part of the Member’s Club area, but open to guests) has a bohemian feel with bistro-style, ruched linen curtains, fabulous scarlet velvet seats and over-the-top rainbow-hued wall-lights – fashioned like turtles by artist Marie Christoff. Here, walls are hung with an eclectic art collection and lined with bookshelves – it feels quirky but cool. Champagne cocktails are served in elegant, coupé glasses, and are the perfect pre-cursor to dining in the powder-blue panelled restaurant on the opposite side of the lobby.
Crisp, white linen-laid tables are lit by candlelight – this is a place to be seen and to see – with guests dressing up for the occasion. The ambiance remains relaxed and informal, however. The all-day menu of British classics and Mediterranean favourites has been conceived by executive chef Alan Christie, and is packed with crowd-pleasers – from the elaborately-dressed Devon crab salad to the succulent, grilled tiger prawns with seaweed butter; the silky Cacio e Pepe pasta to Dover Sole Meuniere, which arrives dripping with a buttery caper and parsley sauce. Portions are generous and service is slick and attentive. Desserts, meanwhile, are totally indulgent and include a stand-out almond cake with poached pear and clotted cream and house-made ice creams and sorbets.
From the perfect scrambled eggs for breakfast to the plush interiors – a stay here feels like one which is ‘generous’ in spirit, and this ethos continues with the fact that you can extend your night further into the early hours if you so wish. Just venture downstairs to the ‘Music Room’ – also part of the Member’s Club. It’s a lavish nightclub, with crimson shades, a DJ booth and indoor-outdoor bar, open to late for night owls.
“My ambition for The Twenty Two was to create a space where the creative and the curious, in London and globally, can come together and feel welcome; a living room of sorts where guests feel inspired and at home in their surroundings,” Navid Mirtorabi says.
It’s old-world glamour, spruced up for a 21st century guest.