Walking distance from Buckingham Palace and many attractions, The Guardsman is tucked away on a quiet street off St James’s Park. The newly built hotel looks and feels more like a private luxury residence building than a hotel. The Guardsman is conceived to be a home-away-from-home and the ideal London base for discerning travellers.
It features 53 exquisitely appointed rooms (individually styled), each with splendid marble bathrooms. Six luxury residences take up the top three floors of the eight-floor building – each with living and dining areas, and state-of-the-art kitchens. Some of the residences also offer outdoor space, with The Astor Residence boasting a terrace with panoramic breathtaking views over Westminster. The restaurant and the bar are purposely catering mainly to hotel guests, allowing for ultimate intimacy and privacy.
How has the hotel performed since opening?
The Guardsman had a very noteworthy opening, opening twice during a worldwide pandemic is not the experience we thought we would be faced with. Despite this, here we are and have been delighting guests that have come through our doors. Occupancy is good and a mix of long stay guests in the Residences along with good occupancy in the rooms has led to good performance so far.
Guests feedback through reviews and endorsement from the press has led to us being awarded the Sunday Times Best Places to Stay along with a Conde Nast nomination. We were delighted with our five AA stars rating and continue to deliver a five star personalised service to all our guests.
Which are the USPs of The Guardsman London?
The Guardsman offers a tailored and personal service reminiscent of a member’s club with an emphasis on tailoring a guests stay to their preferences. So for instance whether a guest wants Beef Wellington or baked beans on toast for dinner they can have it. We don’t have many timelines, our guests can decide the pace of their stay
The pillars of our brand are our signature features: British, contemporary, yet classic. The Guardsman has a modern take on art deco styling with parquet flooring and farrow and ball colours. We use locally sourced ingredients where possible across the hotel from our ingredients in the kitchen to our guest amenities in our bedrooms using British companies first and foremost with sustainability at the heart of all we do and with a team that are confident, engaging, and responsible.
How is the hotel positioned? What is your comp set?
Our comp set includes some amazing hotels in St James and around Buckingham Place like The Goring hotel, The Stafford, Dukes and 51 Buckingham Gate – stunning beautiful, well-known institutions that we are working to build our new hotel to be.
What is the profile of your guests? Do you expect changes in the profile of your guests?
The Guardsman has attracted guests who like the discreet personal service and bijou style of the hotel. We have a mix of largely independent travellers who tend to be entrepreneurs and company directors who stay for a mixture of business and leisure quite often with their families as we have lots of connecting room options.
Additionally, as we have six residences made up of one, two and three bedrooms, some of which have terraces. we have many long stay guests who have enjoyed their time with us and appreciate being able to call room service and have their meal created for them off menu as and when they wish. We have catered for dinner parties in their Residences which have been lovely. Post opening, we had largely UK travellers as our source of business however now travel has reopened international business is growing predominately from the US, Canada, Europe, and Middle East currently which we would expect to continue.
Has the perception of luxury changed? Do guest have different expectations?
The perception of luxury has changed from what it was twenty years ago since independent boutique hotels gained popularity and more traditional five-star hotels weren’t the only options for a luxury experience. In some senses these boutique hotels attracted a new kind of luxury traveller who preferred a more modern less formal approach whilst still being pampered and treated.
You already achieved good scorings in reviews in a short amount of time since opening. What has been your approach to human resources?
Most of the Management team are from well-known five-star hotels and are well versed in the service our guests expect and have been able to impart this knowledge to our new team along with a series of preopening and soft opening training. We have also added team members with varying skill sets and now have a service-centric team.
Have you been affected by the challenges posed by staff shortages?
Like all hotels and businesses, we have found it more difficult to recruit, however have been fortunate to retain most our pre-opening team which has helped to manage the quality of service required.
How have your dining offerings been received? To what extent you are attracting locals?
Dining is available predominantly for in-house guests, their guests, and locals. We haven’t advertised to the general public as we wish to offer a relaxed experience to our in-house guests and ensure we always have space for them.
Post pandemic but also in the current context in Europe how do you see London’s rebound?
London’s rebound has commenced and with the Jubilee this summer interest in London as a destination is gaining momentum. London always rebounds as it will in 2022, I have no doubt.
What novelties shall we be expecting in 2022?
The world is our oyster. We are always looking to enhance our guests’ experience and so will be looking to continue to do so.
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