The Tata Group-owned luxury hotel brand has converted the old Crown Plaza hotel at 54 Buckingham Gate into St James’ Court, A Taj Hotel; while the adjacent property - Taj Buckingham Gate, Suites and Residences - has seen a number of changes to its offering along with the development of two new signature suites.
"This important re-branding comes at an exciting time for the increasing strategic links between India and UK,” said the Taj Group’s managing director and chief executive Raymond Bickson. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to restore these iconic hotels that have more than a century of heritage.”
The refurbished, 342-bedroom St James’ Court, A Taj Hotel now offers a variety of ‘enhanced and differentiated’ guest experiences, including a signature welcome, in-room check-in and signature fragrances. An extensive fleet of exclusive vintage and classic vehicles will also be available, with other experiences including the ’24 Karat Gold Afternoon Tea’ and a customised ‘Kids @ Taj’ programme.
Meanwhile, the 86-room Taj 51 Buckingham Gate, Suites and Residences is now offering its own bespoke experiences such as the 'Taj Royal Attache' butler service, optional Jaguar airport transfers and horse and carriage rides.
In addition to the two signature suites - the world's first Jaguar Suite and the uniquely designed Cinema Suite - the 51 Buckingham Gate hotel is remodelling other suites. Later this year, the property will welcome a new lobby and reception lounge, a new restaurant, tea and library lounges and a private dining area.
Guests at both of the hotels will benefit from free Wi-Fi, a ‘Clefs d’Or’ (Golden Keys) concierge service, tailored treatments at the Wellness Centre and a range of on-site F&B options including Sriram Aylur’s Michelin-starred Quilon restaurant.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is operated by Indian Hotels Company Limited, which is owned by the Tata Group - the UK's largest manufacturing sector employer and one of its largest foreign investors. The London hotels bolster the Tata Group’s portfolio of iconic brands which includes Jaguar, Land Rover and Tetley Tea.
At the end of 2012, Orient-Express Hotels - owner of Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons - revealed its board had unanimously rejected an unsolicited takeover bid launched by minor shareholder Indian Hotels, declaring it as financially 'deeply unattractive'.
Deepa Harris, the Taj Group’s senior vice president for global sales and marketing, said: "The success of our London hotels provided the impetus to consolidate our brand presence in the UK, being an important source market for Taj.
“St. James' Court, A Taj Hotel is positioned as an English classic, while Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences will offer authentic luxury experiences, reflecting the universally acclaimed warmth and personalised service that the Taj is celebrated for.”