Great Scotland Yard Hotel
Once the infamous and historical site of London’s Metropolitan Police headquarters, Ministry of Defence and palace housing Scottish royalty, Great Scotland Yard’s latest chapter is a 152-room luxury boutique hotel, reminiscent of a country estate, in which the notorious stories of the landmark’s past unfold through exquisitely sculpted interiors and eclectic decorative elements.
The design of the hotel was overseen by Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA), one of the world’s leading hospitality interior design firms.
Tradition and history meet present-day luxury in the design of Great Scotland Yard, the first Unbound Collection by Hyatt hotel in the UK. Away from conventional hospitality codes, HBA designers elected to express the individuality of Great Scotland Yard through an unexpected play of Edwardian-inspired hues and patterns, conventional Whitehall, and a burst of colour that relives the timeless elegance and sophistication of the era with a flair of contemporary details.
“This building is an icon hiding a century and more of dark and infamous secrets,” said HBA Partner David T’Kint. “We were challenged to keep the soul of the building and pay homage to its heritage rather than just bringing new life to old walls. Our design team created a destination that invites guests to experience the rich history of the building through new eyes as they enter a place where the past and present merge, to journey through various aspects of local culture, unlocking the secrets of the storied Great Scotland Yard along the way.”
Upon entering Great Scotland Yard’s inquiry room reception, guests are greeted by two desks crafted from antique luggage. The hotel entry steps down into the lounge, leading to an assemblage of social venues where a parlour, bar, restaurant and club room coexist in the company of a carefully curated collection of works by British artists.
The Yard, a modern British restaurant, transports guests to a comfortable countryside escape with barrelled ceilings, vintage lamps and millwork from Northern Ireland. Inspired by The Imperial hotel in Delhi, The Parlour is a warm setting for afternoon tea or cocktails with its classic colonial feel, black-and-white checkered flooring and oversized fireplace.
Hidden behind secret doors disguised in bookshelves is a portal to Sibín, Great Scotland Yard’s lucrative whiskey club. Whiskey-filled display cabinets sculpt the club into three spaces, rolling along the copper-leafed distressed wood floors, whilst a bar sits at the epicentre beneath a ceiling feature made of 1,935 bottles. The bar and lounge, The 40 Elephants, is named for the 19th and 20th century all-female London crime syndicate known for its longevity and skill in dodging police detection.
A stunning glass chandelier composed of a series of broken glass pays tribute to the way the female gangsters would break into London-area stores. Buried in the centre of the installation is a jewel-tone necklace representing the members of the Forty Elephants gang. HBA designers further conveyed the spirit of the thieves through glass-engraved portraits hanging high on the walls.
In the guest rooms, a warm, neutral colour scheme along with bespoke wallcoverings brings light to a British classic. Carpeting integrates the concepts of police badges and uniforms in a one-of-a-kind pattern whilst other nods to the London police include blue herringbone-patterned luggage rack walls and minibars set into a moulded TV wall showcasing a moustache. Furthering the “unlock the secret” design narrative of Great Scotland Yard, HBA designers commissioned wardrobes concealed behind a bookcase-like façade and finishing’s such as robe hooks and nightstand handles shaped as keys. The close-quarters bathrooms tout sophisticated oversized showers, a custom-designed radiator towel rail and an enclosed washroom, all cladded with British tiles.
Great Scotland Yard also houses suites as an upgraded extension to the guest room experience complete with marble fireplaces, blue-veneered nightstands in reference to the symbolic colour of the police, luxurious bathrooms with book-matched stone and in some rooms, four-poster beds.
No. 1 The Townhouse adjoins the Great Scotland Yard hotel, boasting original ceiling mouldings, wall profiles, doors and fireplaces complemented by new British nature-grade oak flooring, specially made carpeting and an eclectic array of furniture. Bathrooms are upgraded with a freestanding copper tub in front of the original fireplace, custom-designed vanity counter and freestanding mirror.
Located in the basement of the hotel is Grace and Favour. A modern take on the Whitehall tradition of “grace and favour” residences offered in gratitude for services rendered, Great Scotland Yard’s Grace and Favour is a collection of apartment-style event spaces for working including a kitchen, lounge corner to relax, fitness room to reenergise, LED wall screens for events and meetings, herringbone-patterned floors, and wall panelling with a playful twist.
HBA creates the signature looks of today’s luxury brands and unveils the world’s most anticipated hotels, resorts, spas, casinos, restaurants, cruise ships, independent contemporary boutique hotels and world-class residences. Leading the hotel design industry since 1965, HBA remains keenly attuned to the pulse of changing industry trends governed by today’s sophisticated traveller.