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The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences Review

By The Hotel Specialist

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The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences is located in the post district of Mayfair and it is an exclusive family run five star hotel of London which boasts an elegant independent personality. The new look of this exciting property is by British agency Kinnersley Kent Design which perfectly combines the spirit of the area, from the spectacular architectural lobby and lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows that give the impact of being in Green Park that it is situated opposite. Kinnersley Kent Design has struck a stunning balance between the sophisticated and approachable, the classic and contemporary.

Located in front of Green Park, The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences offers to its guests a captivating and elegant retreat close to Hyde Park, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Buckingham Palace and all the facilities like boutiques, bars, restaurants, musuems and so on of Mayfair neighborhood. It offers 132 rooms, 12 suites, 18 residences and The Penthouse Suite which takes pride in its individuality. The re-design serves to strengthen this philosophy by honouring the hotel’s heritage with everything carefully chosen to complement and emphasise its award-winning one of a kind spirit. Formerly the entire property was built in 1850 with the aim to be a private residence, it became a Gentleman’s Club for high society during the Victorian era and only then it was transformed into a five-star hotel like we know nowadays. All the rooms and residences offer elegant and fashionable furnishings with lovely and individual pieces of art combined with contemporary furniture. Rooms, suites and full-service residences with kitchens, living and dining areas are contemporary but homely, unfussy yet inviting, practical whilst stylish. Each room have  Bose docking stations, Hypnos beds, large flat-screen TVs and Nespresso coffee makers. They are equally convenient for business travellers as they are for families staying for a flying visit or year-long sabbatical.

Hotly awaited is the new restaurant Galvin at The Athenaeum restaurant and The Bar at The Athenaeum. The Michelin brothers, Christ and Jeff Galvin overseen the food and beverage area of the hotel, from breakfast to afternoon tea, from lunch to dinner but also private dining experiences and last but not least the 24/7 In Room Dining. This is the first ever partnership for the Michelin brothers that are known for an impeccable seasonally driven and market leading cuisine, and they  showcase their favorite dishes, alongside new ones created for The Athenaeum, using local producers’ home grown produce. The Bar of The Athenaeum which has a discrete entrance on Down Street, is famous for its incredible whisky collection but also for its delicious cocktails and elegant interiors. Outside, the new Terrace is one of the few outdoor dining areas on Piccadilly.

All the guests can get benefit of Spa facilities and gym. The latter provides strength training equipment and cardio machines to name a few. There’s also relaxation areas within the REN Spa. Children are so welcome there’s a Children’s Concierge and many of the fully-serviced residences were designed with families in mind. Last but not least the Living Wall is a captivating vertical garden that goes from the street level to the 10th floor Penthouse.

Located opposite Green Park, the guests can even boast the Royal Family as their neighbours; London’s Piccadilly which isn’t just an iconic address, it’s one of the capital’s most important thoroughfares. In the heart of Mayfair it stretches from Piccadilly Circus to Hyde Park with some of the city’s most recognizable landmarks lining the way. These include The Royal Academy, Green Park and much more. The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences holds the primary elements of  English Style: personal, interesting, discreet, lavish, friendly and quirky. But it’s perhaps the views that leave the lasting impression, taking in Royal Green Park, the spires of Buckingham Palace and London Eye beyond.


Mayfair is the most central of London’s wealthy areas. Royalty and government are within earshot and the tranquility of the capital’s famous parks virtually on the doorstep.  The hotel overlooks Green Park, and so very convenient for Mayfair, St James’s, and Knightsbridge. With its spacious new pavement terrace, its living wall and its views over Green Park, it has a more refreshing, natural feel than neighbouring hotels, especially in summer. With attractions such as Buckingham Palace, the Royal Albert Hall and the beautiful boutiques of Knightsbridge all within close reach, The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences is the perfect location for your London getaway.

The history of The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences:

The prestigious address of 116 Piccadilly has seen its fair share of inhabitants over the years. Back in 1850, it started life as Hope House, the elegant private abode of MP Henry Hope. The mansion was said to have attracted the attention of Charles Dickens, who noted its extravagant interiors. This is not to suggest, however, that Mr Hope was an ostentatious character. In fact, he was renowned for his astuteness and committed patronage of the arts. His prize collection of Old Masters, which he would occasionally put on display to the public, made Hope House the home of one of Europe’s finest private art collections.

The same rational attributes cannot be assigned, however, to Henry Hope’s son-in-law, the roguish Henry Pelham-Clinton, the 6th Duke of Newcastle. When the Duke wed Hope’s only daughter, Henrietta, his spiralling gambling debts (around £230,000 – an eye-watering £143 million today) were settled and he acquired an impressive property portfolio to boot. When he died aged just 45, Henrietta sold Hope House to the fashionable Junior Athenaeum Club.

Gentlemen’s clubs were all the rage in the Victorian era, and the Junior Athenaeum surged in popularity as it entertained the great and good of London society. Among the MPs and Lords that passed through its doors, the club was particularly favoured by gentlemen connected with literature, science and art. The word “Athenaeum” loosely translates as “library” and is derived from the Greek name Athena, the goddess of wisdom. The noble name stayed at 116 Piccadilly in the 1930s as the club disbanded and the building was transformed into a luxurious Art Deco apartment block.

Four decades later, the Athenaeum and its neighbouring Victorian townhouses were snapped up by British entertainment group The Rank Organisation. The company renovated the apartments into an iconic hotel to accommodate its movie stars whenever they were filming at London’s famous Pinewood and Ealing Studios. As a five-star hotel, The Athenaeum has long been associated with the rich and famous. Charismatic executive manager Sally Bulloch heralded the hotel’s Hollywood golden age in the 1970s, where her natural charm and perennial presence at the hotel bar made her a hit with guests. She was said to have enjoyed a glass of champagne (or two) with Elizabeth Taylor, among countless others, and once (gently) admonished Russell Crowe for leaving his room untidy. Boy band Take That announced their split from the penthouse of The Athenaeum and legendary film director Steven Spielberg even installed an editing suite in one of the hotel’s residences when working on E.T., Close Encounters and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Today, stars, world leaders and the well known continue to use The Athenaeum as their discreet home-from-home.

The Athenaeum has been family-run since the 1990s and could not be more committed to its famous five-star service. An independent spirit remains at the heart of the hotel, where it continues to welcome everyone as VIPs and to make their stay individual.

Value for Money

Double rooms are from £280 (Euro 320,00). These rates are per room and per day and include breakfast and free Wi-Fi. Rates are subject to change without prior notice.

Access for guests with disabilities?

This hotel has lift to all floors.


Yes, there are 18 apartments with kitchenettes and bunks or pull out beds for the kids, and staff are very accommodating. There’s a dedicated Children’s Concierge and nannies and babysitters on hand.

When to go?

It’s always time to visit London. It gets cold in the winter but rarely snowed in. It gets warm in the summer but rarely blisteringly so (in fact, most buildings don’t even have air-conditioning). The winter months are generally more humid than the summer ones but experience only slightly more rain. You don’t come to London for the weather. It can rain at any time; there’s no dry season here. Daytime temperatures can range from -1° to 35° C  but they rarely stay below 2° C or above 26° C  for too long. Evenings are usually cool, even in summer, but hot July and August days can be muggy particularly on the Underground, which is not air-conditioned. The principal art season (for theater, concerts, art shows) falls between September and May, leaving the summer months for festivals and park-going. A few royal attractions, such as the state rooms of Buckingham Palace, are only open in the summer when the Queen decamps to Scotland. In summer, when the weather is warmest, the sun sets after 10pm and half of Europe takes its annual holiday and the queues for most of the tourist attractions, such as the London Eye and the Tower of London, might make you wish you’d come in March. For decent prices and lighter crowds, go in spring or fall, April and October seem to have the best confluence of mild weather, pretty plantings, and tolerable crowds. Everything is quietest in mid-winter but a number of minor sights, such as historic houses, sometimes close from November to March and the biggest annual events take place during the warmer months.


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