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Can A Central London Hotel Really Be Described As Sustainable?

Forget what you know about Mayfair’s luxury hotel offering. 1 Hotel Mayfair is modernising the scene with its clean-lined, neutral aesthetic and keen sustainability efforts.

Few new hotel openings come without sustainability claims, and coining anything fully sustainable is a huge statement to make. In its most literal translation, this travel industry buzzword refers to the use of natural products and energy in a way that does not harm the environment. It’s a goal that’s almost impossible to achieve.

Rising to the challenge is 1 Hotel’s latest portfolio addition, which opened its doors in London’s Mayfair in July 2023. Self-credited a ‘sustainable sanctuary in the heart of the city’, its eco-conscious efforts are of focus.

The Vibe

Approaching its tall, wrought-iron front door, guests are greeted with over 400 square metres of floor-to-sky greenery. But this wall hasn’t just been installed to make a visual statement, it provides energy-saving building insulation and absorbs greenhouse gasses. Its plants are fed using the same specially-designed water irrigation system that captures rainwater to fill each bedroom’s in-built filter machine. It goes without saying that cups, bottles and carafes are void of single-use plastic.

Interior materials are natural, too – think textural stone, linen and canvas, as well as wood that has been treated to enhance its unique grain. A soft, neutral palette and vast windows allow the sun to spotlight beautifully-crafted furniture and minimalist, decorative details and, as a result, bedrooms require 50 per cent less energy to light the room than a standard hotel. 

There’s something almost Mediterranean about the vibe here, and closing the door to one of the spacious suites feels like a complete departure from the intensity of the city outside. 

The Rooms

Inside, 181 beautifully-considered, naturally-lit rooms span the hotel, 44 of which are suites. The latter offer something that little bit extra special and a King Suite comprises a living area and a walk-in wardrobe as well as a bedroom. Waterfall showers, standalone bathtubs and double sinks enhance the feeling of luxury. All rooms come fitted with a filtered water machine, linens are white and headboards are covered in textured, stone-coloured canvas to complement the beechy wood and slate-grey furniture. Daylesford products line the bathroom worktops, bringing the scent of a spa into the space. Those looking to capitalise on calm are invited to roll out the in-room yoga mat before taking a shower and wrapping up in a soft jersey hotel dressing gown.

The Little Extras

In a tasteful nod to the community, there’s a bedside note that suggests any clothing or overpacked items left behind will be donated to charity. Guests can hang their donations on recycled paper hangers in the wardrobes.

The Food + Drink

Dovetale is the ground floor, two Michelin-starred restaurant. Not only does it rival some of London’s Zone 1 delicious hotspots, it’s also aligned with the hotel’s overarching eco-conscious theme. Chefs work with ingredients sourced from regional providers: farmers, fishermen and bakers are chosen for the regenerative ways their products are grown, and local vegetables are used too. There’s a subtle sense of old-school sophistication here: service is attentive without being overbearing, chairs showcase elegant yet comfortable design, and lighting is low enough that the setting, although large, veers on the right side of intimate. It’s unpretentious but feels like a treat. 

The To-Do List

Milo Brown Photography

Green Park is just a stone’s throw from 1 Hotel; grab a coffee from Neighbours, the hotel’s entrance hall cafe, and head out for a morning walk to make the most of waking up in central London. Those staying longer than a night should book a table at Hide – the nearby three-storey restaurant by Ollie Dabbous, and Hedonism is also close by, a wine-first destination offering tastings of more than 50 fine and rare bottles. Maru is another special occasion option; it’s an intimate Omasake-style restaurant. Book in advance.

Elsewhere, walk along Regent Street to Soho and grab a coffee or a glass of wine from one of Carnaby’s casual eateries before browsing dedicated boutiques like Ganni, Byredo and Annies’ Ibiza.

The Verdict

While it’s just about impossible for any hotel – let alone one in central London – to be fully sustainable (there are, of course, still elements of its day-to-day function that require non-renewable energy), 1 Hotel is up there with those making the most focused and credible efforts towards the goal. Not only that, but this beautifully-designed destination is modernising the Mayfair hospitality scene in a way that’s both exciting and oh-so-welcome.

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