007’s creator may no longer prop up the bar, but step inside this iconic Mayfair hotel, and you’ll find a spoil-yourself treat – in a central London location that can’t be beat. Nestled on the edge of Green Park, Dukes is a five minute walk from Buckingham Palace, super-close to Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, and easy bag-carrying distance from the shops of Oxford Street. See, even Bond couldn’t have uncovered a better base camp than that.
The signature drink is the Vesper martini, in honor of Ian Fleming who drank here and, legend has it, came up with Bond’s signature beverage and “shaken, not stirred” instructions here ... Let the newfangled show ponies compete. It doesn’t get much better than this ... Dukes wasn’t the only place I visited in London where the drinks were that pricey, but it was the only one where I felt it was justified.
The Dukes London in St. James features classic and contemporary design and is located in a quiet courtyard in the heart of Mayfair. Guests can enjoy boutique intimacy in a calming atmosphere of warm colors and comfortable, stylish furnishings, along with an impressive art collection. The Dukes' 11 hotel suites were refurbished and redesigned by leading UK designer, Shaun Clarkson, known for his contemporary and creative approach. The hotel also features a Drawing Room and Conservatory, gym and health spa, three meeting rooms, and elegant wedding facilities.
DUKES London concierge Ian Steiger provides recommendations on what to do in and around London
As befits its name DUKES Hotel has its own special style and grace. English charm combines with superb service and understated luxury to make guests feel as if they are staying in a private townhouse.
Dukes Hotel perfectly positioned in the tiny neighborhood of St. James has a rich and royal history. The area and hotel, discreetly located on a tiny road in a private courtyard, have been equally alluring for local artists, writers and global sophisticates for over a century.
For both business and pleasure, cigar bars first made their comeback in London, where boutique hotel DUKES London welcomes stogie-loving guests in the Cognac and Cigar Garden. The secluded patio behind the hotel offers a long list of cognacs to accompany the Cubans.
The Dukes London hotel has created several initiatives catering to women, including 19 new Dutchess Rooms (right) with fresh flowers, women’s magazines and size-appropriate slippers and robes and female staff members who are escorts at check-in.
Housed in a classic London red brick building (where a Union Jack may be waving above the front door), rooms are decorated in varying styles, but British flair reigns supreme, with wingback chairs, ornate mirrors, and towering wardrobes. THIRTY SIX restaurant is helmed by Chef Nigel Mendham and serves an early dinner for visitors headed to the theatre.
Dukes Hotel is located in a hidden courtyard off St James's Street. The service is traditional and pleasant - expect deferential butlers, maids and valets to tend to your every need. Some rooms overlook St James's Place, but book the penthouse for the ultimate, royal views: Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Spencer House.
The hotel is just around the corner from Buckingham Palace, so do as the queen would do and enjoy some afternoon tea before you martinis arrive.
After a speedy clearing of customs and a seamless train ride in, I dropped my bags in my sleek yet traditional suite at The Duke's Hotel, then ran downstairs to Duke's Bar. Well-heeled British business boys, Mayfair bankers and hedge fund folk have been known to have the patience of saints as they line up nightly, wrapping themselves around the building in search of the city's best made martini.
There's a new signature restaurant at Dukes London and it's guaranteed to get foodies drooling
As a guest of Dukes London, you can take advantage of their Picnic in the Park deal where four people eat a meal, which includes salad, sandwich, water and coffee or tea, and dessert, at the city's serene Green Park.
If your London-bound guests like their luxury cranked up to 11, suggest they stay in a suite at DUKES LONDON, where all 11 hotel suites have been newly refurbished.
After a speedy clearing of customs and a seamless train ride in, I dropped my bags in my sleek yet traditional suite at The Dukes Hotel, then ran down to Dukes Bar ... I felt like a spoiled Bond babe privy to membership in a covert international cocktail club as I seductively sipped this bit of liquid history while watching Britain’s business elite line up outside. I tipped this window of privilege a bit further, nibbling on gorgeous green olives imported from Puglia while planning my next cocktail conquest.
DUKES HOTEL guests never want to check out.
Frequented by James Bond author Ian Fleming, DUKES Bar is said to have inspired the classic Bond movie line, "shaken, not stirred." It's famous for martinis and personalized cocktail creations, which are made tableside by the bartender ... Try Fleming's Classic Vesper: No. 3 gin, Potocki vodka, Angostura bitters and Lillet blanc.
Long heralded as the world’s best place to get the perfect martini, Dukes Bar has been serving up spirits for more than a century. This is definitely not newfangled London. It’s a clubby place, and entering its doors is tantamount to crossing a timeline.
While we were enjoying our champagne cocktails in the sumptuous surroundings, conversation drifted to the royal wedding – rumour has it that the princes are already fans of the famous [DUKES] martini bar. We couldn’t help thinking the champagne bar would be the perfect little retreat for Catherine Middleton and her friends to soothe any pre-wedding nerves.
DUKES Hotel is one of the prettiest of the capital’s grandes dames – it’s no coincidence it was Princess Di’s bolthole of choice for escaping the pressures of life in the Palace ... DUKES new Perrier-Jouet bar is as boutique and beautiful as the rest of the hotel ... the stylish interiors have been designed by Shaun Clarkson to evoke an air of British tradition combined with Parisian chic. Perfect for an afternoon, evening or, indeed, first-thing-in-the-morning drink.
... if you weren't invited to the upcoming Royal Wedding ... you can always get treated like royalty at DUKES - a 5 star boutique hotel in the heart of London's posh St. James area. The hotel's Duchess Rooms are tailored to pamper solo female travellers.
At this St James' institution, customers regularly turn up in black tie… Alessandro Palazzi and his staff mix 150-200 martinis a night, proof that the third golden age of the cocktail has arrived.
Head to ... DUKES Hotel in St. James, where the martini trolley is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.
Down a cobbled alley in St. James sits DUKES LONDON, an intimate establishment with a reputation to match. The bar ... is famous for miraculous Martinis, the perfect way to start a secret liaison.
DUKES LONDON located in central London promises that any jet-setter will be treated like royalty in this palace, neighbouring some of London’s most prestigious restaurants, high-end stores, galleries and magnificent theatres.
It’s a beautiful hotel, charming and understated, discreetly tucked away in a private courtyard in an ultra-quiet street between Mayfair and St. James.
Immaculately clean and decorated in low-key traditional style ... this is where Ian Fleming was inspired to coin James Bond’s immortal line – “shaken not stirred”.
“If it wasn’t for Mr. Ian Fleming, I wouldn’t have mixed so many Vodka Martinis – shaken not stirred” said DUKES barman Alessandro.
... the superbly refined DUKES Bar for the ultimate Martini, made at your table.
The DUKES seems to pride itself in hiding it’s light beneath a bushel, from its quietly attentive service, including a concierge, to its almost secret location.
Nestled in a tranquil courtyard between St James and Green Park, you almost forget you’re in the capital when you walk up to DUKES.