Lauren Steventon checks in to check out the newly redesigned rooms at Duke’s that are aimed at the solo female traveller.
St James’ is London at its most traditional: suited gents heading to their clubs whilst bespoke dealerships line the streets. However, the new female General Manager at Duke’s wants to make it more welcoming for travelers of both sexes.
Dukes’ hotel, set in a quiet cul-de-sac (St. James’ Place), is an elegant English townhouse, minutes away from Mayfair and Buckingham Palace and located in the centre of London’s old-world and male orientated club-land. The hotel has been a celebrated beacon of luxury for in-the-know travelers for many years but with the appointment of their first female GM, Deborah Duggen, a conscious effort is being made to give the venerated hotel a heightened feminine touch.
Dukes’ has always had a lively history and charm – it was a firm favourite of Oscar Wilde and Byron, two men with a notorious understanding of women’s desires. Now the hotel has had several rooms re-designed with the solo female traveler in mind and known as The Duchess Rooms.
The rooms are decked out in pretty pastels with spacious Italian marble bathrooms. They aren’t the largest rooms in London but they are cosy and welcoming. Each guest in a Duchess Room has a personal welcome card from Deborah with her direct telephone number should they have any questions, concerns or needs. Whilst, lots of little feminine touches have been added to make female guests feel at home: fresh flowers, glossy magazines, ladies slippers and a selection of delicious Dukes’ chocolates. However, men need not despair, not all rooms have been modified to suit the feminine aesthetic and the hotel’s restaurant and bar still offer the surroundings that inspired the libertines of old. Try the martinis – it’s a piece of at-table theatre.