I’ve been fortunate to stay at a number of luxury hotels and resorts over the years but none of them have been quite so special as 51 Buckingham Gate in the Westminster area of London. Just a short walk from Buckingham Palace, 51 Buckingham Gate is a 5-star all-suite hotel owned by Taj Hotels. The hotel features 85 suites, ranging from one to nine bedrooms, all with fully-equipped kitchens, a living room, bathroom and bedroom.
My husband and I arrived at the hotel tired, hungry and in desperate need of a shower. We got our first taste of 51 Buckingham Gate’s service when we were directed to relax in the library with some drinks and snacks while the staff handled the check-in process. Once the paperwork was complete, we were escorted to our room by a member of the staff. He gave us a tour of the suite’s features and then gave us some tips for exploring London. We were delighted to find a plate of fresh fruit in our room since we were starving after barely eating the crappy Delta food.
The room we were given was on the top floor and faced Buckingham Palace. The bedroom, while small, had one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in. Adjoining the bedroom was a full-sized closet where I stashed some of my outfits for the week. The bathroom had heated floors, a shower and a huge tub with a TV. Although I never had an opportunity to experience it, a personal hand-drawn butler bath was available for an additional fee. Turndown service included two chocolates from Rococco, my favorite chocolate shop in London.
The living room was huge and included a desk, TV, couch and table. My husband would spend the late evenings playing video games on the couch before coming to bed.
We never used the kitchen since we chose to eat all of our meals out but it could definitely come in handy for families or a long-term stay. The refrigerator was well-stocked with bottles of still water, with more added every time housekeeping came to our room.
The next morning after arrival, we ate breakfast at the hotel, which was included in our rate. A bread basket was brought out prior to the breakfast entrees. The service was very personal without being overbearing. There was a very grumpy woman sitting across from us who kept barking orders at the waitstaff and I felt very sorry for them. Over the course of the 6-day stay, we had breakfast in the library 3 times and chose to eat at the St. James Court Hotel’s buffet twice, which included a mix of English and Indian dishes.
While the room at 51 Buckingham Gate was incredible, the service is what really stood out. As I mentioned above, we decided to eat breakfast one morning at the adjoining St. James Court Hotel and rather than pointing at where to go, we were escorted by a member of the staff directly to a table. When we needed bar or restaurant recommendations, the staff was spot on with our requirements. In the mornings, the staff address us by our first names and asked how we enjoyed the restaurant or bar they recommended.
Our 6-day stay at 51 Buckingham Gate was a special treat and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
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