There is nothing finger-waggy about this new eco-conscious sanctuary.
Describing itself as a "mission-driven luxury lifestyle hotel brand inspired by nature", 1 Hotels now has 11 sustainably focused properties dotted around the globe. 1 Hotel Mayfair is its first European outing, located in the terribly posh London suburb of Mayfair - known more for its conspicuous excess than environmental stewardship.
Hard to fault. Located on Berkeley Street, just off Piccadilly, the property is walking distance from Buckingham Palace, the Royal Academy of Arts and Green Park. Shoppers can find every high-end brand imaginable on nearby Bond Street and don't miss the area's historic covered shopping arcades, particularly Piccadilly and Burlington.
The nine-storey building is covered in almost 400 square metres of verdant "living walls", a theme that's continued inside with more than 1300 plants, shrubs and trees. The reception desk is fashioned out of an enormous Sussex tree trunk while the dry wall behind was hand-built by a father-and-son team using Yorkshire stone. Even the artworks have an ecological bent, from the intricate, multi-coloured circular piece made from discarded plastic in the lobby cafe to an unusual arrangement of moulted pigeon feathers under the hotel's bar. All in all, it's a tactile, earth-toned sanctuary that's the antithesis of the jewel-encrusted bling-fest found inside many Mayfair properties.
The 181 rooms range from entry-level 22-square-metre courtyard kings to Mayfair's largest penthouse, a soaring two-storey space with sweeping views over Green Park. All rooms feature a host of commendable sustainability initiatives, including wooden key cards, chalkboards instead of notepads and hangers made from recycled greeting cards. Guests are encouraged to leave behind any unwanted clothes for donation to local charities and refill their water bottles using the in-room filtered water dispenser. Impressively, none of these suggestions feel finger-waggy or preachy and the vibe is still unashamedly upscale, with swish grey robes, artisanal minibars and lavish bathrooms featuring Welsh slate sinks.
The property has teamed up with acclaimed English chef Tom Sellers for its restaurant, Dovetale, a relaxed space with an open kitchen and a focus on responsibly sourced UK produce. Seafood fans will be drawn to the extensive raw bar, which features Orkney scallops, Cornish crab and wild sea bass, while sweet lovers should leave space for a make-your-own ice cream sundae from the Knickerbocker Glory trolley. Next door is Dover Yard, an intimate cocktail lounge with a fireplace, art-filled bookshelves and a sustainable drinks program that repurposes leftover ingredients.
Mayfair has long been a playground for the affluent and the eminent. Stroll along leafy, supercar-lined streets, past high-end auction houses, yacht brokers and unfairly attractive people. Look beyond the ostentatious opulence, though, and you'll find a handsome neighbourhood of historic red-brick mansions; stately tree-flanked squares and delightful pocket-sized parks. Back at the hotel you can re-discover your inner Zen with a program of soul-nourishing events including yoga classes, terrarium workshops and nutrition talks.
The foyer's four-metre-wide "living" chandelier, made out of 50,000 strands of tillandsia, an epiphytic air plant that grows without soil.
Read more on Explore:
Where: 1 Hotel Mayfair, 3 Berkeley Street, London
How much: Rooms from £500 ($950) a night
Explore more: 1hotels.com/Mayfair
The writer was a guest of 1 Hotel Mayfair.