The Guardsman Hotel review


Just a six-minute walk from Buckingham Palace, nestled in the heart of Buckingham Gate is The Guardsman – a classic yet contemporary boutique hotel from Shiva Hotels. The hotel, a brainchild of the creators behind Covent Garden’s Middle Eight, had its soft launch in October 2020 before throwing open its doors to guests in May 2021.

A purpose-built luxury boutique hotel, The Guardsman feels akin to a private member’s club, with an entrance almost hidden away in the streets of Westminster. Comfort and privacy for guests are a top priority; there are no walk-ins and patrons must be buzzed in or hold a valid room key if they wish to enter.

But exclusivity does not mean snobbery, with the gilded doors opening to smiling staff who are on hand to help with every guest need from check-in to check-out. Upon arrival, friendly concierge staff are there to take your bags and offer you a drink before taking you to your room.

There is also a seated vanity-come-desk area, with both a large wall mirror and a smaller vanity mirror for getting glammed up ahead of a night exploring the capital.

The pièce de résistance of the room, however, is what lies behind the folding, mirrored doors. If you want to relax in a bubble bath and then hop straight into bed, The Guardsman room is the perfect refuge.

Dividing doors glide open to reveal the bathtub and sink area, complete with opulent gold fixtures, meaning you can run yourself a bubble bath using the deliciously scented Noble Isle bath and shower gel, pop on the Smart TV and unwind above the streets of the capital.

The marble bathroom, complete with toasty underfloor heating, can also be accessed via a separate door. As well as the bathtub, it features a walk-in waterfall shower and a private toilet.

Rating: 4/5

The Dining Room, located in the hotel basement, is reserved exclusively for hotel residents and their guests, from breakfast until bedtime.

According to The Guardsman, menus are developed from “seasonal produce from carefully selected suppliers” and ingredients are “sourced locally wherever possible”.

With dim lighting and rich, Art Deco-style furnishings, it’s an ambient space to enjoy a three-course meal. Guests can settle themselves at a table positioned along the luxe velvet gastro-bench set beneath the restaurant’s very own gallery wall, or opt for a seat at one of the marble tables dotted closer to the bar for a drink before dinner.

The bar has its own cocktail menu but skilled mixologists able to whip up hand-crafted drinks on demand. There is an extensive list of options to choose from – the bar is kitted out with 250 whiskies alone, as well as a lengthy wine list.

From the moment of arrival, staff are on hand to deal with every request, including an array of dietary requirements. In keeping with the seasons, the menu does regularly change – though assures to always provide a classic, yet modern selection of dishes. The gnocchi with peas, broad beans, mint and pea shoots is a particular menu highlight.

After dinner, guests can make their way upstairs to The Library. The Guardsman’s cosy reading nook is a perfect spot to borrow a book and settle down in one of the large, eclectically chosen armchairs, or enjoy a board game with a friend.

When morning arrives, The Dining Room reopens for early breakfasts and lazy brunches. Flooded with light from an overhead skylight, the restaurant transforms into a bright and vibrant spot during the day, with an array of continental and full breakfast options to choose from.

Both vegan and vegetarian breakfast dishes are available, with the option to swap out sides for alternatives on request. The moist banana bread slice is the perfect treat to order on the side.

Rating: 5/5

Set in the heart of the exclusive St James’ neighbourhood, The Guardsman’s entrance opens directly onto Buckingham Gate, promising a wealth of fine dining, exclusive shopping and stunning landmarks all within a short walk.

Arguably one of the city’s most famous icons, Buckingham Palace, is a mere six-minute walk away. Westminster Abbey is eight minutes away on foot and a 15-minute walk will see you standing at the foot of Big Ben.

And if you fancy a break from the hustle and bustle of the capital, a stroll through the greenery of St James park is just around the corner. Excellent transport links from the hotel mean that guests can explore the wider city easily.

St James’ Park tube station is a two-minute walk from the hotel’s doors, and there are also several bus routes within the vicinity.

Rating: 3/5

Rooms start from £250 per night. Residences start from £750 per night. Breakfast and dinner can be added on to your stay for an extra cost. Find rooms and book direct on The Guardsman Hotel website.

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