The Lanesborough London has undergone an extensive renovation transforming the luxury hotel’s bedroom suites and public areas across all five floors.
Located on the borders of Knightsbridge and Belgravia, with panoramic views of Hyde Park, the venue now offers guests 93 newly revamped bedrooms, 43 of which are suites with the largest, The Royal Suite.
The renovation also extends to all public areas of the hotel include the restaurant, The Library Bar, cigar lounge The Garden Room, seven private dining rooms, and the back-of-house areas.
Works began on the renovation scheme on the 20th December 2013 when The Lanesborough closed for an unprecedented renovation. The venue reached its final stages in 2015 opening to guests in July.
Working alongside main contractors Beck Interiors, ReardonSmith acted as Lead Design Consultant and Architect with responsibility for coordinating the refurbishment and remodelling of The Lanesborough in close collaboration with the interior designers, Studio Alberto Pinto.
The Alberto Pinto Studio team were asked to reflect the signature style of the hotel, honour the building’s architectural heritage as one of London’s most revered Regency landmarks, whilst incorporating the latest in contemporary luxury and technological innovations.
ReardonSmith implemented the new design of the public areas and guestrooms as well as leading the design in the refurbishment of back-of-house areas and the exterior, including the specification of new thermally efficient roofs to enhance the environmental credentials of the building.
A team of artisans worked on the project using age-old techniques, known to be used in decorating palaces, and were entrusted to deliver a distinctive form of luxury. The craftsmen were specialists in their fields including embroiderers, crystal specialists, cabinet makers, bronzers, lacquerers, gilders, mirror specialists, and makers of decorative trimmings. Over 300 people were involved in the day-to-day transformation of the hotel, allowing for exceptional time and care to be taken into each detail.
Numerous original detailing has been restored during the project including ceiling roses, coffering, cornicing and fresco painting. Award-winning British artisans in plaster, Locker & Riley’s skilled team of artists, model makers and master craftsmen, produced a unique plasterwork design for each room upon Studio Alberto Pinto’s request and control. 2,100 books of 23 ¼ carat gold leaf were used to elaborately dress the ceilings of public areas and guest rooms, reimagining the Regency period and reflecting the heritage of the building.
The ceilings have been replaced throughout the public areas with highly decorative fibrous plaster, with each room receiving its own unique design, crafted and refined to the satisfaction of Alberto Pinto. Central to the design plan was the concealment of all air conditioning grills and access panels which were either hidden within the all-new wall and ceiling mouldings or behind resin panels designed to perfectly replicate the mouldings.
The Portuguese marble in the entrance lobby has been refurbished and, with rigorous attention to matching, extended throughout the public circulation areas. The stone panels on the walls have been revived and mirrors are now inset into the arched niches.
Elsewhere, new trompe l’oeil perfectly replicates the genuine stone walls. Throughout the venue the previously dark mahogany panelling has been stripped back to reveal a warm, mid-toned timber, further refined in The Library Bar with the introduction of exquisite decorative panels which were hand-painted in Italy.
The Royal Entrance has been transformed with trompe l’oeil painted walls and ceilings to create the appearance of fabric gathered to form an elaborate tented structure. Delicate marquetry panelling has been introduced to line the walls of the St. Georges Room. The Belgravia Room has been remodelled, opening it up into a single grand function room with antiqued Venetian fluted mirrored pilasters and hand-engraved mirrored crystal window pelmets displaying at their centre a crest which pays homage to the name of the room.
The Lanesborough’s restaurant has also been fully refitted to reflect the Regency-inspired design brief with new hand-modelled frieze panels to match the new fibrous plaster ceilings. At the entrance to the restaurant, bespoke wine stores have been created to hold the hotel’s large collection of fine wines.
The two original staircases have also been retained and restored.
The hotel’s guest rooms were grouped into five design schemes, reflecting the Regency period, with each group consisting of three rich jewel colour ways to create warmth, harmony and comfort. 14 different types of bed canopies hang within the rooms, with over three million hand stitches and bespoke tailoring using the highest quality fabrics.
Each marble block for the new all-marble bathrooms was individually chosen and acute attention was given to ensure that each slab was set out for perfect book-matching.
The Royal Suite will be reinstated as The Lanesborough’s largest suite, extending across 45o square metres comprising seven bedrooms and bathrooms, two living rooms and dining room exude exquisite taste, impeccable British craftsmanship and attention to period detail.
To complement the lightened interiors, an unprecedented 54 chandeliers have been made by family run business Wilkinson, specialists in English crystal chandeliers. All of the lead crystal glass is blown in the UK, hand cut and polished in Kent. The largest chandelier to hang in the restaurant weighs 200kg and stretches two metres wide, illuminating the delicate bas relief and Wedgwood china mounted on the walls of the grand restaurant.
The chandeliers within the St George’s Room and The Belgravia Room are inspired by an 1860 chandelier manufactured by Perry & Co of New Bond Street, often found in Royal Palaces. Intricate Venetian Murano fluted mirror pilasters and hand-engraved mirrored crystal window pelmets within The Belgravia Room will reflect the chandeliers light to showcase the astute detailing on the ceilings, including a crest which pays homage to the room.
The Lanesborough is recognised as a building of special architectural and historic interest with a Grade II* listed status, therefore special consideration had to be taken at every part of the renovation.
ReardonSmith was responsible for negotiating all planning and listed building consents and for maintaining close dialogue with English Heritage and Westminster Conservation officers to ensure that the national asset was protected and enhanced.
A host of the finest British suppliers have been sourced for this project including Bennison Fabrics, George Smith Furniture and Brinton’s Carpets. The majority of suppliers used for the renovation are British with over 95% of material made bespoke for The Lanesborough. Every trimming and finishing is made to measure, before going through specialist procedures to meet hotel safety standards. Exceptions include the Italian sourced marble featured within the bathrooms, with each marble slab delicately positioned to ensure the precise matching of grains.
Angel Studios were enlisted by Studio Alberto Pinto for all embellishments within the hotel, employing the very best refined and varied decorative techniques, including 2,000 hours of stencilling, to ensure everything is handcrafted to perfection. A total of 5,500 original stencils are showcased throughout guest rooms and within The Library Bar.
The extraordinary vision of Alberto Pinto is realised throughout, placing The Lanesborough interiors in a class of their own. The meticulous attention to detail and bespoke design surpasses that usually entailed in hotel projects, with no room or ceiling being the same.
Geoffrey Gelardi, Managing Director, comments:
“Since we first opened 23 years ago, we have been dedicated to surpassing guest’s expectations with attention to detail and unrivalled service. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of the hotel industry and this renovation project marks an unprecedented moment in the history of the hotel. Through Alberto Pinto’s talent and vision combined with the latest innovations, we will undoubtedly reaffirm ourselves as one of the most distinguished and luxurious hotels in the world. We look forward to unveiling a new era for The Lanesborough.”
Lefroy Brooks specialise in the manufacture and supply of brassware and sanitaryware for bathroom projects within the commercial and residential sectors. The company has been in operation for over 30 years, with all of Lefroy Brooks’ brassware products being manufactured within the UK.
Over the past three decades, Lefroy Brooks has worked on many high profile projects, from Chiltern Firehouse and Ham Yard Hotel, to Soho House in Berlin. Most recently, Lefroy Brooks was responsible for the manufacture and supply of brassware fittings, including showers, taps and accessories, for all guest bathrooms at The Lanesborough.
Lefroy Brooks’ Specifications Manager, Kate Priestley, said:
“Working on The Lanesborough has been very important to us. We worked closely with the design team and this was a great hotel to be associated with.”
“Our range of products are based on a century of classic designs and we remain true to each period of time. We are a family-run business with its own factory and we are very proud of the service we provide.”
Arthur Brett is synonymous with quality and craftsmanship as the firm specialises in producing the finest hand-made furniture in a range of styles and finishes. The business offers a consultative service for clients to design and create unique bespoke pieces to complement their interiors, as well as producing a range of over 200 pieces as illustrated in their catalogue.
The firm’s philosophy is simple; ‘If you have a requirement for fine furniture, if you want the best, then we should be making it for you’.
Arthur Brett has been in operation in Norwich since 1860 where the workshop still remains today. Arthur Brett export products globally and have their UK showroom in London’s Premier design district, on Pimlico Road.
Since their inception the firm has worked on a number of prestigious hotels in the UK and across the world, including iconic and important landmark residences. Joe Heathfield, Arthur Brett Managing Director commented:
“Our worldwide association with discerning private clients and our ability to uphold discretion remains our key to continued success. For example we had an exclusive partnership with Donald Insall Associates to design and create a specially commissioned library for a Crown property.”
Recently the firm worked to the design brief set by the team at Alberto Pinto for The Lanesborough Hotel, where they were asked to commission bespoke designed furniture and upholstered pieces. These included writing desks and side tables for the private rooms and seating and gilded console tables for the public areas.
“Being involved in prestigious projects such as the Lanesborough fits perfectly with our exceptional heritage and established identity. The opportunity to showcase Arthur Brett furniture in the most perfect environment signifies our mutual appreciation for the new design brief and love for Regency period luxury furniture. It is also cements our partnership as the right people for the project. We congratulate The Oetker Collection on their newest addition to Masterpiece Hotels.
“We pride ourselves on our ability to make the highest quality of hand-made furniture still using traditional methods passed down through the generations. Our passion and enthusiasm for absolute quality, craftsmanship and the flexibility for updating our portfolio to include modern and contemporary pieces is indicative of where we are in today’s marketplace and it is this that keeps us as leaders in our industry.”