The name may be simple enough – The Twenty Two – after being just off London’s grand Grosvenor Square, but being London’s newest hotel, it’s anything but. The lobby is a monochromatic ode to chic styling – with mirrored doors, polished marble floors and black lacquered furniture giving a seductive after hours feel. Despite the landmark building’s imposing facade – it’s all columns, curls and creamy, sandblasted Portland stone – the friendly staff greets you as if you were long-lost friends, making you feel right at home.
And what a house it is. This new addition to the London hotel scene collects all that is great about a cheeky hotel stay – making it tempting even for those who live in the city. Not only is it a 31-room embrasure in the center of Mayfair, but The Twenty Two is also home to a chi-chi Member’s Club and exudes a glamorous ‘if you know it, you know it’ feel about it.
Owned by ex-owner of Blakethe hotel, Navid Mirtorabi, and with Darius Namdarformerly of Corbin & King and Chiltern Firehouse, as general manager, The Twenty Two has nothing but ‘heavy’ hands to run it.
“Our vision is to bring a more playful side to Mayfair,” says Darius, “We want everyone who passes by The Twenty Two to experience exceptional service, be greeted with a smile and, most importantly, feel welcomed and accepted, while enjoying some of the best hospitality London has to offer.”
Attracted by the Parisian feel of the building’s exterior, Navid Mirtorabi’s realization of the project began six years prior to its opening and has been the driving force behind the creative vision from the start. He engaged interior decorator Natalia Miyaro to oversee the furnishing of what was her first hotel project. Located between London and Miami, she is known for her lavish housing projects and offered a fresh take on bringing Mirtorabi’s vision to life.
The rooms have a beautiful, maximalist appeal, each with their own unique design. For example, some of the attic rooms are swathed in bold Pierre Frey wallpaper – on all the walls and even the ceilings – chairs and blinds are in matching fabric, so you feel completely in the space. There are opulent, oversized glass lamps, old-fashioned telephones (“just dial ’22’ for all you want,” you’re told), and plush velvet pillows. Walk-in closets, nude pencil drawings, and sexy, black-and-white marbled bathrooms give an old-fashioned Hollywood feel.
Detailing is the next level with cloudy monogrammed slippers, cotton makeup bags filled with essentials and Victorian slipper baths, with pink bath salts and sea sponges, ready and waiting for you to enjoy the day. The in-room minibar has also been taken to another realm and is arguably 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 decor.
The overall atmosphere of The Twenty Two is intimate, elegant and playful. Accents of classic Parisian design are found throughout the property, with custom upholstered poufs, gold fringes and velvet trims. Corridors are lit by small lights covered with 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, ruffled linen curtains, fabulous scarlet velvet chairs and over-the-top rainbow-colored wall lights – sculpted as turtles by artist Marie Christoff. Here walls hang with an eclectic art collection and are lined with bookshelves – it feels quirky but cool. Champagne cocktails are served in elegant coupe glasses and are the perfect prep for dinner in the powder blue restaurant across the lobby.
Crisp, white linen-covered tables are lit by candlelight – this is a place to be seen and seen – with guests dressing up for the occasion. However, the atmosphere remains relaxed and informal. The daily menu of British classics and Mediterranean favorites is curated 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 smooth Cacio e Pepe pasta to Dover Sole Meuniere, which is dripping with a buttery caper and parsley sauce. Portions are generous and service is smooth and attentive. Desserts, meanwhile, are totally indulgent and include a standout almond cake with poached pear and clotted cream and house-made ice cream and sorbets.
From the perfect scrambled eggs for breakfast to the luxurious interiors – staying here feels like a ‘royal’ in spirit, and this ethos continues with the fact that you can extend your night into the early hours if you wish. Just go downstairs to the ‘Music Room’ – also part of the Member’s Club. It’s a lavish nightclub, with crimson tones, a DJ booth and an indoor-outdoor bar, open late for night owls.
“My ambition for The Twenty Two was to create a space where creatives and the curious, in London and worldwide, can come together and feel welcome; a kind of living room where guests feel inspired and at home in their environment,” says Navid Mirtorabi.
It’s old fashioned glamour, refurbished for a 21st century guest.