Following a major renovation, Venetia van Kuffeler stays at London’s ultimate grand residence, The Lanesborough
Few hotel renovation projects have been as highly anticipated as The Lanesborough’s 2015 relaunch. Shrouded by scaffolding and tarpaulin for a year and a half, the spectacular Grade II* listed building on Hyde Park Corner stands at the heart of the capital. Long considered one of the world’s most luxurious hotels, The Lanesborough’s legacy lies in the fact that it was built on the former home of Viscount Lanesborough.
Having closed its doors in December 2013, the hotel has been transformed into the Oetker Collection’s latest masterpiece hotel, bringing their expertise to the UK for the first time. Celebrated interior designer Alberto Pinto was tasked with honouring the building’s architectural heritage as one of London’s most revered Regency landmarks, whilst incorporating the latest contemporary luxury and technological innovations. The project marked one of Pinto’s final ventures before he passed away at the end of 2012, and his legacy lives on at the hotel. A team of artisans – including specialist embroiderers, cabinetmakers, bronzers, lacquerers and gilders – used their age-old techniques to deliver a distinctive form of luxury befitting for The Lanesborough.
The hotel now has 93 guest rooms and 43 suites including the Royal Suite, which extends to seven bedrooms. All rooms are stunningly furnished in the building’s original Regency style, and accompanied by personal butler service. Guests can call on their butler to tend to their every wish throughout their stay, whatever the time of day or night.
On check-in, guests are handed their own headed notepaper and personal cards to use while they are in town. A fleet of 14 luxury cars including a Rolls Royce Phantom chauffeurs residents around London in impeccable style, all contributing to the feeling of a grand private residence.
It follows that guest rooms have the feeling of a lovely, privately owned country house, but with the latest technology to boot. Each room is unique and supremely comfortable. Fourteen different types of bed canopy hang within the rooms, with over three million hand stitches and bespoke tailoring using the best quality fabrics. Each marble block for the bathrooms was individually chosen and acute attention was given to ensure that each slab was perfectly book-matched. World-renowned British perfumer Roja Dove has created bespoke fragrances and bathroom amenities for every guest room. Desks are stocked with media hub, in-tray, post-its, staplers, printers and even a fax. International calls to Europe, US and Russia are complimentary. Televisions are hidden behind grand paintings and are revealed at the touch of a button. Everything the modern day international traveller could possibly need has been thought of.
The magnificent Céleste restaurant serves gourmet cuisine by executive chef Florian Favario using the finest British ingredients. The Library Bar has the warm atmosphere of a private club, and offers a timeline of vintage Cognacs dating back to the 1770s. Hidden well beneath Hyde Park Corner, the Garden Room – with its walk-in humidor – is an impressive cigar-lover’s paradise.
The meticulous attention to detail and bespoke design surpasses the usual five-star hotel project and sees The Lanesborough capturing its position as the grand residence in the capital. The Lanesborough emulates the style and impeccable service of its French sister, Le Bristol, while staying true to its British roots.