The Dukes Hotel
“Shaken, not stirred” is what first drove us to the Dukes. Ian Fleming was a regular customer of its very small bar, allegedly where James Bond’s famous catchphrase for the martinis was created. It is a lovely hotel, small, charming and cozy, tucked away in a quiet street. Close to subway stations, it is a five-minute walk to Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park, ideal for those keen to exercise outdoors and in parks, and a few minutes away from Piccadilly and Oxford Street, for shopping and entertainment. The hotel façade is quintessential: a large townhouse perfectly blended into the surrounding residential neighborhood with a discrete sign and large British flag. The lobby, drawing room and restaurant are comforting, decorated in pastel tones and velvet furnishings. The rooms are relaxing, but the standard sized ones are very small and face the back of another building, so opt for a street-facing suite for more comfort and pleasant views.