The Athenaeum is a family-run hotel located in the heart of Mayfair, opposite Royal Green Park. Up on the tenth floor, The View is an idyllic lounge exclusively for hotel guests and offers panoramic views of the London skyline.
Back in 1850, 116 Piccadilly started life as Hope House, the elegant private abode of MP Henry Hope. The mansion was said to have attracted the attention of Charles Dickens, who noted its extravagant interiors.
When Henry Hope died, Hope House was sold to the fashionable Junior Athenaeum Club. It surged in popularity as it entertained the great and good of London society.
The word ‘Athenaeum’ loosely translates as ‘library’ and is derived from the Greek name Athena, the goddess of wisdom. The noble name stayed at 116 Piccadilly in the 1930s as the club disbanded and the building was transformed into a luxurious Art Deco apartment block.
Four decades later, the Athenaeum and its neighbouring Victorian townhouses were snapped up by British entertainment group The Rank Organisation. The company renovated the apartments into an iconic hotel to accommodate its movie stars whenever they were filming at London’s famous Pinewood and Ealing Studios.
Charismatic executive manager Sally Bulloch heralded the hotel’s Hollywood golden age in the 1970s, where her natural charm and perennial presence at the hotel bar made her a hit with guests. She was said to have enjoyed a glass of champagne (or two) with Elizabeth Taylor – among countless others. Boy band Take That announced their split from the penthouse of The Athenaeum, and legendary film director Steven Spielberg even installed an editing suite in one of the hotel’s residences when working on E.T., Close Encounters and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The rooms and suites at The Athenaeum epitomise the hotel’s proud heritage, championing bespoke British craftsmanship with a nod to Art Deco roots. Enjoy extraordinary views of either Green Park with floor-to-ceiling windows bringing the outside in, or overlook traditional Victorian townhouses.
The luxurious private Residences are ideal for families, groups and long-term stays. Abundantly spacious, all 18 apartments are fully-serviced with private entrance, fully equipped kitchens, living and dining areas as well as 24 hour In Room Dining for a true home-from- home experience
The Athenaeum has a selection of newly refurbished, spacious, air-conditioned meeting spaces with excellent acoustics. All have natural light – a rarity in central London – with views over Mayfair’s leafy Green Park.
116 at The Athenaeum is a modern restaurant headed up by Executive Chef, Ian Howard. Staying true to the ‘British foundations, international inspiration’ ethos, expect inspiring seasonal menus from dawn to dusk, championing local producers. Think Isle of Mull scallops with chilli and garlic butter, pumpkin tortellini with hazelnut truffle pesto and iced berries with sake sorbet and white chocolate sauce.
No London restaurant would be complete without a quintessentially British afternoon tea. After all, to drink tea is to forget the noise of the world. So, prepare to indulge in delicious sandwiches, picture-perfect cakes and freshy baked scones, all served up on bespoke Ali Miller crockery.
An intimate setting with floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase the magnificent ‘Living Wall’, The Bar at The Athenaeum is a destination in its own right. Small nooks, plush sofas and leather chairs provide a luxurious environment, while backlit display cabinets show off a prized whisky collection.
Nestled beneath the five star hotel in Mayfair, The Spa offers an idyllic urban retreat, where guests can indulge in bespoke REN treatments and enjoy a quiet sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Facilities include a hot tub, sauna, steam room, relaxation space and two spacious treatment rooms. There is a 24 hour gym featuring equipment from Technogym and Peloton bikes.
The four properties that make up the group, Ralph Trustees, are the 5 star Athenaeum in Mayfair and Greengarden House, a development of serviced apartments in St Christopher’s Place, both in central London as well as the two rural properties, The Grove, a 5 star resort in Hertfordshire and the 4 star Runnymede on Thames set on the banks of the River Thames in Surrey. Under the creative vision of the owners, each property retains a unique personality grounded in its heritage. Without doubt, the surprise and wit of the quirky features and extensive collection of art and sculpture throughout the properties, set the group apart. What remains constant throughout the group are shared high standards, pride in their staff and a warm welcome to all guests.