One of London’s leading 5-star hotels, for many years The Berkeley has long been a favoured destination for guests looking to sample stylish rooms, award winning food and luxurious facilities. Situated in leafy Knightsbridge, the hotel boasts 190 rooms, two restaurants, conference, meeting and private dining rooms and a spa.
The Berkeley is owned by the Maybourne Hotel Group and in recent years has undergone a number of renovation projects to radically improve the customer experience. With the hotel regularly operating at fully capacity, the works have been aimed at improving areas rather than simply creating more space.
Accordingly, the most recent work saw the first floor of the hotel transformed to solely house 17 of The Berkeley’s suites. Created by John Heah, the new suites have been designed to feel like apartments, making The Berkeley a contemporary standout in the Maybourne Hotel Group brand.
Speaking to Premier Hospitality, John gave an insight into his work:
“We were very lucky with the brief. We knew the Maybourne Group wanted something that was contemporary, that would fit with the Richard Rogers extension on the first floor and that they wanted a new strategy as to how they could improve the room offer. Originally we were only asked to work on the six terrace rooms but as the project progressed we were given the entire first floor.
“The question we had to work out was how we could increase revenue while reducing the key count. The only way to achieve this was to create a truly great product. It was through this that we came up with the idea of an entire floor of suites, which is unusual for a hotel in this country.
“We had to make our case for this idea but the hotel was very receptive and happy for us to create this product. My argument was that if you’re a first class traveller, you’re always put in the first class lounge and go to the plane via a separate door.”
As John outlined, suites are traditionally accessed by passing other guest rooms but it was quickly established that it would be better to create environment entirely devoted to suites. John continued:
“Basically the suites are small apartments and they feel like a domestic space. With elements like the furniture and fabrics, we’ve made it feel like a collection of items. The books, for example, range from gardening, serious novels as well as specially curated artwork for every suite by the owner himself. We want guests to feel at home.
“The best thing I can say about feedback on the work so far is that the hotel has been full. I have been really amazed by the positive feedback. Whether this is something that will be replicated elsewhere I don’t know but we were asked to create something different and that’s what we’ve done. Arriving by lift on that floor it feels totally different than other parts of the hotel.”
Moving through the rest of The Berkeley, each room has been individually designed with simple, and beautiful details. Furniture, fabrics and artwork are all specifically chosen to create a special experience – offering refuge from the rush of London.
It’s not just the overnight experience that attracts guests to The Berkeley, however. With two Michelin stars, Marcus Wareing’s restaurant, Marcus, serves exquisite modern European cuisines and has become a must-visit destination for food lovers.
Alongside this, the Collins Room is very much the best of British under Executive Chef Shaun Whatling. The menu contains a plethora of British classics, inspired by seasonal and carefully sourced ingredient from across the UK.
Afternoon Tea at The Berkeley – Prêt-à-Portea – is also no run of the mill event. Inspired by themes and colours of the fashion world, the menu is transformed every six months in line with the changing seasons in fashion.
Finally, the Blue Bar is a hidden gem, regularly frequented by those in the know. Housing some of the world’s rarest champagnes, award-winning barmen work their magic on a comprehensive list of cocktails.
Headquartered in Mayfair, the Maybourne Hotel Group owns and manages Claridge’s, The Connaught and The Berkeley. Committed to delivering authentic and unique guest experiences, Maybourne hotels maintain a timeless elegance and intuitive service style that are the hallmarks of these properties.
Fine Art Mouldings Ltd
Fine Art Mouldings Ltd specialise in the creation and installation of fibrous plaster work for use within the commercial, domestic and leisure industries. The company has been in operation since 1989 and within this time has worked on many prestigious projects, including Claridge’s, The Tate Modern and The V&A Museum, amongst others.
Most recently, Fine Art Mouldings Ltd has been involved with The Berkeley Hotel, where they are responsible for the creation and installation of the bespoke elaborate ceilings designed by architect John Heah. The completed suits are truly beautiful and a great example of the stunning work hand crafted by specialists.
Managing Director, Andrew Barry, said:
“The Berkeley is yet another five-star hotel for us to be working in, which is both an honour and a pleasure. It is always great to create a beautiful environment for people to stay and relax in. That is what we have helped to create at The Berkeley Hotel.”
“At Fine Art Mouldings Ltd we pride ourselves on the quality of our work.”
Bespoke Furniture, Cabinetry & Specialist Joinery handcrafted in Somerset, England
In operation for almost 30 years, Longpré is one of the UK’s leading bespoke cabinet makers. As the company has developed, so has its capabilities and Longpré has established an impressive international client portfolio. Commissions can include one-off pieces such as the unique chair and kneeler requested for HRH Queen Elizabeth II for a special service in Westminster Cathedral, or can require a large scale collaborative installation service when Longpré was the cabinet maker of choice for the John Heah designed opulent Amanera Playa Grande resort in Dominican Republic, awarded Best New Hotel (Wallpaper Design Awards 2017)
Longpré’s knowledge and niche craftsmanship are highly sought after by many of the world’s leading architectural and design practices and the team is particularly skilled in carrying out complete refurbishments for luxury private residences and flagship commercial premises. Managing Director Paul Longpré is rightly proud of its reputation for delivering exceptional quality,
“My aim has always been to be the best we can be for our clients. We are traditional cabinet makers with skills that are in high demand, old school if you like. And it’s this that makes us deliver the quality we do and why clients trust us, coming back time and time again. Our craftsmen and cabinet makers work on a piece from start to finish, they are passionate about what they do, they put everything into it.”
More recently, Longpré has worked with the Maybourne Hotel Group on some of their prestigious venues, including The Berkeley and The Connaught. For The Berkeley, Longpré has worked on the refurbishment of their new stunning first floor suites, the ballroom and is currently working on the fifth floor pavilion which continues at pace.
Paul Longpré added,
“To work with iconic hotels like The Berkeley is fantastic for us. The suites look spectacular. And the hard work continues with other exciting projects lined up with the Maybourne Hotel Group. We like to be a can-do company that strives to meet deadlines and where the client knows they can trust our quality, it never changes.”
Piperhill Construction Ltd
Established in 1997, Piperhill Construction is a privately owned building, refurbishment and fit out specialist working throughout the UK and Ireland. Working across a range of key sectors, Piperhill specialises in delivering luxurious interior fit outs, refurbishments, restorations of listed properties and basement excavation projects.
Piperhill is owned and managed by a highly qualified team of experts with extensive experience within the construction industry. The company has been working on 5 star hotel refurbishments for many years.
As well as The Berkeley Hotel, Piperhill Construction has worked on other Maybourne Hotel Group establishments, including Claridge’s and The Connaught.
Contracts Manager Michael Law said:
“We’ve worked throughout The Berkeley Hotel for many years alongside various designers. For this project, we worked with John Heah and it was a totally different concept to anything we’ve done before. It included a lot of natural materials and the look of finished product is entirely different to how it looked previously.
“It’s very important to be able to be able to continue working with The Berkeley Hotel. For a start it means we’re doing something right! It’s a prestigious hotel to work on, one of the best in London, and we also have a great relationship with the staff there.”