London’s hotel design scene is enjoying a moment in 2022. With the opening of NoMad London, The Londoner and the soon-to-open Peninsula London, it can be easy to overlook the legendary hotel establishments that have stood the test of the time. and are currently undergoing major renovations. One of the most complex and interesting of these is The Dorchester, which recently announced a large-scale refurbishment.
> While you’re here, why not watch our video exploring style rather than fashion inside The Dorchester?
The hotel, which opened its doors in 1931, has worked with the biggest names in design and architecture to transform the hotel: Pierre-Yves Rochon redesigns the hotel entrance, La Promenade, new Cake & Flowers boutique, and rooms and suites; and Martin Brudnizki Design Studio was appointed to redesign the bar. And overseeing the whole operation is ReardonSmith Architects.
After decades of refining a tradition of putting guests at the center of everything, The Dorchester has found a way to stay true to its famous past while mastering what matters in an ever-changing world. By cultivating and encouraging sophistication without snobbery, style without excess and curiosity without judgment, this remarkable hotel embraces its next chapter as London as home for those who make the world go round.
Pierre-Yves Rochon’s vision presents bright, fresh and carefully composed rooms and suites, designed in various colorways inspired by an English garden, from pale leaf green and mist pink to heather blue and lemon yellow. New signature and junior suites will be introduced, allowing spacious, more residential-style accommodation for guest comfort.
The famous Dorchester facade has been a prominent landmark of this vibrant international city for over nine decades. New lighting will rejuvenate the exterior, creating a welcoming glow on Park Lane. Guests will arrive at an upgraded forecourt, with beautiful green granite underfoot and a landscaped, verdant garden beneath the famous plane tree.
The arrival experience will extend into an open lobby, flooded with natural light and surrounded by two towering works of art. Both are truly distinctive, but each work connects to the other through their celebration of The Dorchester’s prized position, entrenched in the landscape since its original arrival.
The promenade will capture guests’ imaginations as they move beyond the lobby into the heart of the hotel and the setting for lively dining experiences, including the Dorchester’s afternoon tea. A new destination will be unveiled towards the end of La Promenade, a glamorous and sparkling space for fun and frivolous evenings of Champagne, seafood and entertainment.
An original collection of contemporary works of art by British artists will be unveiled throughout the Promenade. The pieces, unique and crossing a range of diverse media and techniques, all offer a new take on nature and have been created to evoke the sensation of walking through a perfectly preserved and cultivated British landscape.
Meanwhile, Martin Brudnizki is redesigning the mythical institution of the hotel cocktail. Here, patrons will encounter a movie-star-looking bar and a supporting cast of talented bartenders ready to host evenings of adult entertainment.
The bar’s new interior is inspired by the spirit and elegance of the Roaring Twenties, a time when good manners were still important and yet chaos was celebrated. The new layout allows for a dedicated entrance to Park Lane and an outdoor terrace with views of Hyde Park. Ornate design runs throughout the bar, including a 1930s palladium leaf ceiling creating a warm effect when Martini hour turns into evening. An upper part of the bar and a “cozy corner” offer more privacy without compromising the atmosphere.
A series of Cecil Beaton pieces will hang in the bar to honor a long-standing connection between the photographer and designer and the hotel, and to remind guests of this glamorous decade. Some of Beaton’s original drawings and celebrity photographs will be brought together with works by contemporary artists, such as Rosie Emmerson, who drew inspiration from both Beaton and the energy of that era.
With its own entrance on the Deanery Street corner of the hotel, Cake & Flowers is an entirely new offering to attract the curious and the sophisticated. The window displays will come to life with captivating masterpieces that showcase the passion and mastery of in-house designer florist, Philip Hammond, and executive pastry chef, Michael Kwan. Inside, shelves and showcases will be filled with living delicacies; signature pastries and cakes to take away, gift boxes with unique presentations, bouquets of flowers and a selection of artisanal Champagnes and chocolates.
As well as renovating all public areas, the hotel will also unveil newly designed guest rooms and suites – here’s a sneak peek showing what to expect:
The Dorchester will be ready to unveil its new interiors from early September 2022 – achieving this ambitious turnaround, given the latest material sourcing constraints, will be an extraordinary feat. Until then, the hotel remains open to guests throughout the refurbishment with its popular afternoon tea served in the beautiful Orchid Room and a Mediterranean concept at the Dorchester Rooftop throughout the summer. As The Grill, Alain Ducasse and China Tang have done renovations in recent years; they will remain open as normal, as will the Dorchester Spa. The Ballroom, with its own Park Lane entrance, the magically theatrical Penthouse & Pavilion, and the Chef’s Table continue to be available for corporate and social events.
Stay tuned as Hotel Designs is committed to publishing all the latest news from The Dorchester during this refurbishment period.
Main image credit: Dorchester Collection