In Mayfair, one of the most expensive London areas, stands the Beaumont, one of the most expensive London hotels. Surprisingly, this stately structure was a parking garage from when it was built in 1926 until 2009.
The rapid expansion of automobiles in the first quarter of the 20th century demanded the quick expansion of associated services such as gas stations and garages. The car-related needs of Mayfair residents, as well as guests of new stores like Selfridges, had to be accommodated, so a company named Macy’s (no relation to the United States-based retail giant) constructed a four-story parking garage near Oxford Street.
This being Mayfair, the new garage featured a properly styled facade in the popular Art Deco style. Despite ever-increasing status of Mayfair as an expensive commercial and residential location, the building managed to survive as a parking garage (plus a gas station), then as car servicing shop and even, between 1980 and 2009, as Avis car rental.
Finally, the lease to the building was sold in 2009, and by 2014 it was converted into a luxury hotel, with its newly designed interior matching the glamorous exterior. The lease is now owned by the Barclay brothers, who also own the Ritz.
On the one side of the hotel, you can’t help but notice a strange-looking cuboid structure. Believe it or not, but it’s one of the hotel rooms! The room was designed by Antony Gormley, who is better known as the creator of the “Angel of the North.”
Know Before You Go
The hotel is between Marble Arch and Bond Street stations, behind Brown Hart Gardens, on either Balderton Street or Providence Street.