London staycation ideas to recreate every kind of holiday

PUBLISHED: 13:08 23 December 2014 | UPDATED: 12:08 24 December 2014

St James' Court, A Taj Hotel Lobby

St James' Court, A Taj Hotel Lobby

© Matt Livey 2012

With the run up to New Year well under way, using up those last days of holiday to jet off somewhere warm may be impossible - with limited time to plan and spiralling Christmas prices. But, though the next few months may be cold and dreary, there is no other city quite like ours and taking steps to enjoy it is easier than you think.

St James' Court, A Taj Hotel FacadeSt James' Court, A Taj Hotel Facade

With the difficulty of getting away for a much-needed break we often forget we live in one of the best cities in the world. People from all over the globe flock to London during Christmas time to see its magical winter sparkle, and often it can be to ignore what’s right on our doorstep.

Three perfect hotels all offer a different kind of Staycation in London, whether you seek heady decadence, primping and pampering, or crave a rural retreat that isn’t too far from civilisation, these options have it all:



THE ROYAL TREATMENT: St James’ Court, A Taj Hotel

24 Karat Gold Afternoon Tea24 Karat Gold Afternoon Tea

A stay at St James’ Court, A Taj Hotel is a truly special experience. From the aura of general opulence to the quietly excellent service, a night or two at this luxury hotel will leave anyone feeling indulged and ready for a step back into the real world.

Tucked away in a tangle of lanes, a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace, its breathtaking red brick and stone trim façade is easy to miss, epitomising a quintessentially British charm.

Recently acquired by Taj Hotels, the Asian hospitality group have restored the hotel to its original Victorian-Edwardian magnificence with lavish Indian-inspired accents.

St James’ Court is perfectly situated to explore London, with transport links to the West End, Mayfair and all the bustle of the city.

But with three restaurants, two bars and a verdant, blooming courtyard - now beautifully decorated for the winter - as well the wellness centre spa and Golden Keys concierge service, you would be forgiven for not wanting to leave the comfort of the building.

The interior is elegant, with a polished art deco style floor and twisting glasswork lining the lobby, which glitters and sparkles in delicate light.

Finger sandwiches at24 Karat Gold Afternoon TeaFinger sandwiches at24 Karat Gold Afternoon Tea

Rooms are sleek, chic and understated, decked out in pale shades of olive and grey. The executive suite is a generous 45sq ft of space, including a separate living area with desk, sofas and two televisions

The bathroom’s airy shower with inbuilt speakers are a highlight and every conceivable comfort has been taken care of before you need to ask: a dish of chocolates to greet guests when they arrive, toiletries and slippers alongside embroidered bathrobes, a vast menu of breakfast dishes that can be brought to the room at no extra cost and a morning paper hung considerately on the door in a signature St James’ Court turquoise bag.

It is the experiences the hotel offers that truly gives that feel of decadence. Alongside the Laurent-Perrier Champagne Flight, the standout is the 24 Karat Gold Afternoon Tea.

The series of sweets, scones and finger sandwiches are served with Luxor Pure Gold 24K Brut Champagne, certain to dazzle guests, flecked with gold leaf.

Dishes include champagne and mango jelly, again shimmering with gold leaf, strawberry tart, a white chocolate globe which crackles with gold popping candy and a marbled chocolate opera cake.

Alongside scones and sandwiches this is a vast amount of food, which is as delicious as it is visually striking.

White Chocolate filled with gold leaf popping candyWhite Chocolate filled with gold leaf popping candy

With every care taken to make everything look as beautiful as possible, from rooms to restaurants and perhaps most of all, the inner sanctum of the courtyard, this discrete London hotel opens up a world of splendour to inject all the sophistication you need into your Staycation.

Address: 45-51 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6AF

Rates/Packages: Rooms, breakfast inclusive from £159


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