Royal Lancaster London
An £85m renovation has magnificently transformed the prestigious Royal Lancaster London hotel overlooking Hyde Park both internally and externally, in a universal restructure.
With the opening of its opulent new entrance, the mid-century icon has reinstated its original name ‘Royal Lancaster London’. The concept and design was created by London-based Studio Proof.
The hotel is now welcoming its sixth decade with refreshed style, combining sophisticated glamour with touches of quirky attitude associated with the English character.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted by a magnificent 8m high curving glass and bronze façade which serves to visually ‘move’ the building line forward.
This, together with the release of significant back-of-house space, has meant that the design team was able to increase the lobby space by 60% and create a spacious ‘living’ lounge that sits comfortably in the new public area space on the ground floor.
The showpiece of the lobby is a palatial sweeping staircase made of 300 square metres of white Carrara marble which wraps around to the first floor.
The lounge establishes a design vernacular which is carried through the public areas as well as across the guest rooms.
Elegant, open brass shelving, embellished here and there by brightly coloured objèts, provides a sense of separation from guests walking past.
The prevailing colour palette is of dusty gold hues and muted blue, upholstery is plush and the furniture specially designed.
Linear motifs appear playfully throughout the design – from the carpet pattern to the lighting scheme by Nemo Lighting. A triptych by Croft Design Studio featuring striking geometric forms creates a focal point at the back of the space.
The design challenge therefore was to reconcile the different types and sizes of groups by making the space as flexible as possible through day and night.
The result is a light and relaxed lounge embellished with art and subtly framed with an open fretwork of contemporary brass screens decorated with tiny birds.
On one side, the lounge opens onto the intimate Park Bar and a complete shift in tone. Here the walls are solid and clad in horsehair panels, the lighting level is low and the colour palette dark and ‘clubby’.
The marble and bronze bar is luxuriantly curvaceous and extends out of the bar into the lounge, providing an additional service point during busy times.
At the end of the lounge, a significant architectural intervention has allowed for large glass doors to be installed that visually link the Park Restaurant and allow plentiful daylight to enter the space.
Within the restaurant, the vista of Hyde Park and its Italian Gardens is without parallel among London hotels, and the interior design reaches out to connect diners with the natural world outside.
Tai Ping carpets suggest traces of branches and rain drops, there are further decorative screens with birds, and, in a nod to Hyde Park’s favourite pastime of horse riding, quilted leather and stirrup-style strapping to the banquette seating.
Once again, the designers were conscious of the need to cater for different groups; in addition to the banquettes, there are tables with collections of contemporary armchairs and high sharing tables with integrated device charging sockets and bar stools for solo business travellers.
Feature pendant lamps, designed by Studio Proof (and made by Snep Trappen), create an elegant ‘procession’ along the high ceiling.
The redesign of the towering 18-storey hotel also encompasses the complete refurbishment of all 411 guest rooms and suites. Every guest room has a far reaching view across London, and the modern design emphasises these premium vistas.
Room categories start with the Classic Double Room at 20 square metres. All of the guest rooms have Handy phones, hidden international plug sockets, bath robes, slippers, The White Company toiletries, waterfall showers and under floor heating in the bathrooms. TVs show over 138 international channels and 33 radio stations are available.
David Morris, Creative Director, Studio Proof said: “Our redesign of the restaurant, bars and lounges, has sought to firmly connect the hotel with the park and its heritage. We have also resolved spaces so that whilst they primarily focus on supporting breakfast and conferencing demands, they now also offer luxurious spaces to drink and relax.
“The views from the Park Restaurant are stunning, and everywhere there are carefully considered, abstracted references to the natural world just outside the front door.”
General Manager of the Royal Lancaster London Sally Beck said: “The hotel has had a rich and celebrated past, having opened as one of the most chic hotels in London in 1967. 50 years later, Royal Lancaster London reopened to once again be one of the most stylish hotels in the capital.
“Our Thai owner, Khun Jatuporn Sihanatkathakul was directly involved in the new design which exudes mid-century glamour and understated elegance synonymous with London. We are looking forward to the next 50 years.”
As one of the most iconic hotels in the Capital, Royal Lancaster London has an illustrious history; from Michael Caine being filmed for ‘The Italian Job’, to events attended by Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and countless other royals.
The hotel also famously hosted the after-party for The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine film premiere, which The Beatles’ attended in the Yellow Submarine Nightclub.
Royal Lancaster London is one of the largest banqueting venues in Europe with a capacity of 3,000 guests across its 16 refurbished meetings and events spaces. These include the renowned Nine Kings and Westbourne Suites holding 2,400 guests collectively for a seated dinner.
“WFC are an interior fit-out contractor specialising in the leisure industry. Established in 1976, the business complete fit-out projects for operators of bars, restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, theatres and health and fitness and gaming venues. Our extensive portfolio can be viewed on our website.
“This 17-week project comprised the strip-out and refurbishment of the hotel first-floor restaurant, lounge & kitchen. It was the final stage of what had been a complete refurbishment of the hotel.
“Working in a live hotel, we have to be mindful of noise constraints and also to maintain a protected route for guests to access the ground floor restaurant for breakfast. We also had to accommodate the safe removal of asbestos identified during the works.
“The finish is of a high specification and includes a variety of materials including marble, timber, metalwork, bespoke wall coverings and horsehair wall panels.
“We are passionate about our projects and take great pride in working closely with our clients and their professional teams to deliver the client’s vision.”
Edmonds & Co. Ltd
Edmonds & Co. Ltd was founded in 1870 and specialises in bespoke joinery and high-end architectural metalwork.
The company provides an unsurpassed service, assisting design teams in delivering their vision for a project. It works extensively within the central London area and has completed top quality restaurant works as well as bespoke receptions and joinery fit out projects.
In addition to the joinery, A. Edmonds & Co. also focuses on bronze works including shopfronts and is approved by The Crown Estate, with a significant number of projects completed in Regent Street and the surrounding area. More recently it was involved with the Park Restaurant at the Royal Lancaster Hotel.
David Edmonds, Director, said:
“We were involved with the Hotel back in 2011 with the refurbishment of the Westbourne and Nine Kings Suites and last year also completed the common areas including the ground floor reception. The Park Restaurant was completed in conjunction with WFC whom we have worked with for many years on a number of very high profile restaurants for Corbin & King including Zedel, The Wosleley, Bellanger and Café Colbert.
“We pride ourselves in being able to deliver a high quality project in both metal and joinery to tight project timescales. We relish the opportunity of working on projects that are technically difficult and will always be able to develop a solution.”
Croft Design Studio
Croft Design Studio specialises in the design and manufacture of bespoke wall art. In operation since 1989, Croft Design Studio boasts a highly-skilled team of artists as well as an in-house framing workshop.
Croft Design Studio has grown to become a market leader in design-led art, working for many award-winning companies throughout Europe. Recently, the company worked with Studio Proof creating both painted and printed artwork for the main reception, lobby, lounges, 1st floor landing, bar and restaurant at the Royal Lancaster London.
Croft Design Studio has produced work for hotels through numerous interior designers, including the Hilton Cologne through Goddard Littlefair and The Grove and the Athenaeum through Martin Hulbert Design.
A spokesperson for Croft Design Studio said:
“We have a sense of pride and accomplishment to be trusted for high-end, high-visibility projects such as the Royal Lancaster London hotel.
“We set great store in our ability to deliver what has been promised to strict deadlines and the highest quality. We can tailor projects to fit any budgets and quantities, alongside our willingness to work with our clients to meet their design brief.”
To find out more, please visit www.croftdesignstudio.co.uk.