A century after Mr Selfridge opened his emporium, top-drawer elegance has returned to Oxford Street with what may be London's most beautiful new boutique hotel.
Avoiding the tourist tat shops, cross over from Selfridges' main entrance and head down Balderton Street till a robot stops you in your tracks. A robot protruding from a white building, that is - he's designed by sculptor Antony Gormley as a talking-point piece of art for The Beaumont hotel.
Inside, the robot known as The Room serves as a double-decker suite. But strangely, it's lacking in the glamour of the rest of the hotel, which is undiluted art deco hedonism.
The Beaumont looks like it's been around for 90 years instead of just a few months, recalling its heritage as a 1926 car showroom. So it's no surprise the whizz kids who converted the building to a five-star hostelry were Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, the pair behind that other art deco car showroom-turned-fashionable hangout, the Wolseley on Piccadilly.
They may be new to hotels, but they have done it right, with utterly glamorous rooms furnished with bespoke furniture of inlaid dark wood and bathrooms gleaming in marble and mosaics. A vestibule containing the wardrobe offers an extra touch of luxury, and the larger studio rooms have every home comfort down to a concealed Nespresso machine and tea service. Even the lifts are a delight, plastered with photos of pleasure-seekers dolled up in the festive togs of a more gracious era.
In a spirit of generosity, this uber-friendly hotel aims to add value for guests with not only free tea, coffee, wi-fi and a fridge full of complimentary milk, water and soft drinks, but that rarity in London five-star hotels, a free breakfast. Minimal, perhaps - two glazed scones with butter and preserves - but exquisite, and complimented by a wide choice of freshly squeezed juices, and tea or coffee.
The Colony Grill restaurant slightly startles in the morning with its lack of natural light, but much use of bevelled mirrors restores the equilibrium, and it's clear that, like the adjacent bar, it's already a popular West End meeting place. There is also a private club area for residents only, plus a small gym and spa. And for those lucky enough to find it available, a free ride for a mile in any direction in a limo, which can't be pre-booked.