Stunning Renovated Hotels in London
London hoteliers certainly know how to reach the peaks of luxury and surpass them. In the last few years alone, London hotel renovations have produced some simply stunning results, treating guests to immersive historical experiences while maintaining every aspect of modern convenience.
Whether you are looking for 18th century opulence or 1930’s glamour, there is a high-end London hotel room ready and waiting for you. Here we have chosen five of the best recently renovated London hotels which have kept key aspects of their original design.
Described by Harper’s Bazaar as ‘one of London’s best kept secrets’, Hazlitt’s hotel lets you experience luxurious Georgian townhouse interiors in the heart of the city.
Located on No. 6 Frith Street, Soho Square, Hazlitt’s was originally the home of celebrated essayist William Hazlitt. Built in 1718, the boarding house was where Hazlitt lived, worked, and ultimately died – the landlady was so anxious to re-let his room that his body was laid under the bed until collection for the cemetery!
Expect four poster beds, exquisite antiques, and claw-footed tubs when you stay here; even the creaking floorboards and sloping walls evoke 18th century eccentricity and charm. Each room has been individually designed and furnished, and all are named after celebrated visitors of Hazlitt’s day.
2. The Dorchester
The Dorchester opened its doors in 1931 and has been serving distinguished clients, from royalty to rock stars, with the utmost finesse ever since.
This hotel has a fascinating history: hub of creative luminaries and Foyles Literary Luncheons in the 1930s; bomb shelter of choice and headquarters of General Eisenhower during World War II; Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor’s honeymoon spot in 1964; if walls could talk, The Dorchester could tell some truly riveting stories.
After becoming Grade II listed in 1985, the hotel was fully refurbished from 1988-1990, to the tune of $100 million dollars. The rooms retain their original furnishings and atmosphere; when paired with highly attentive concierge services, this ensures a thoroughly enjoyable stay for all.
While staying at The Dorchester, it’s essential to partake in afternoon tea at The Promenade and Spatisserie, which has been a staple service since the hotel’s doors opened and features live piano music. We also recommend indulging in a ‘Dorchester of London’ cocktail, created by Harry Craddock, one of the most famous barmen of the 1930s. Chin chin!
3. St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel
This masterpiece of Victorian architecture originally opened its doors in 1873 as the Midland Grand, serving travellers passing through the St. Pancras railway station.
Designed by ecclesiastical architect George Gilbert Scott, who also created the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park, the finished building was an imposing and intricately ornate edifice of Midlands red brick. The St. Pancras station hotel was renowned for technological innovations such as ‘hydraulic ascending chambers’ (water-powered lifts) and flushing toilets, a rarity at that time.
By the 1920’s, however, the Midland Grand was becoming outstripped by its more modern competitors, which had ensuite bathrooms. The hotel closed its doors in 1935 and fell into disrepair. Though it withstood three WWII bombings, the biggest threat to the building came in the 1960s, when city planners sought to demolish it. It’s thanks to the protests of Sir John Betjeman and associates that the hotel instead acquired a Grade I listing in 1967.
British Railway abandoned the station in 1985, and the hotel remained abandoned, only used occasionally for film shoots. Salvage came in the mid-1990s, when St. Pancras was chosen as the site of the Eurostar. Restoration of the hotel began in 2002 and took a whole decade; through attentive care and advice from English Heritage, hundreds of renovation specialists were able to restore the building to its former luxury.
Now the hotel boasts an exquisite blend of contemporary and historical features, from detailed painted ceilings to the opulent green and gold colour scheme of the Ladies’ Smoking Room. One of the most highly-regarded features is the Grand Staircase, a pertinent example of neo-Gothic extravagance with wrought iron balustrading, stretching three floors up to a vaulted ceiling decorated with the Seven Virtues against a celestial sky.
4. Lanesborough Hotel
This Grade II listed neoclassical hotel on Hyde Park Corner in Knightsbridge is reputed to be the most expensive in the city. The site of the Lanesborough Hotel started life as home to the Viscount of Lanesborough, and then became St. George’s Hospital in 1733. The building was demolished to make way for a new hospital, which operated from 1844 to the 1970s.
The Lanesborough was originally refurbished and opened in 1991, but in 2013 underwent another renovation, reopening its lavish doors in 2015. Led by celebrated interior designer Alberto Pinto, a team of artisanal specialists used age-old techniques to achieve luxurious Regency style, while delivering state-of-the-art technology.
Guests at The Lanesborough are spared no extravagance; from a 24 hour personal butler service to a fleet of chauffeurs, this hotel is perfect for those seeking truly traditional London hospitality and comfort. The hotel boasts awards including two Michelin stars for the Céleste restaurant and an Award of Excellence for its afternoon tea by the UK Tea Council.
The Lanesborough has also recently partnered with social etiquette authority Debrett’s to launch a pair of courses titled The British Way. Course delegates can soak up knowledge of traditional British social occasions while surrounded by the hotel’s timeless elegance.
Renovation: A Blend of the Contemporary and the Traditional
Renovating historical London buildings isn’t an option for high-end hotels alone; with an expert construction group, your residential or commercial space can be lovingly restored to enhance traditional features while gaining contemporary relevance in an ever-changing city.
The SJ Construction group are luxury London property developers whose renovation specialists can manage your project from design to construction. No matter how aged or damaged, with successful planning permission any property can be restored beyond its former glory. Contact us today to see how we can bring your restoration ambitions to life.