The Berkeley has been the epicenter of London glamour for over a century and following a recent redesign by a team of leading international designers, you can see why this hotel deserves all the credit it’s been receiving over the last year.
After the successful launch of the luxurious Opus Suite at The Berkeley in 2014, acclaimed architect Andre Fu and his design studio AFSO returned to this classic Knightsbridge hotel to create two new contemporary super-suites, The Crescent Pavilion and The Grand Pavilion.
Fu’s design for these two exceptional suites was inspired by his admiration for the free-standing glasshouse that epitomised the golden era of modernism, Set within new glasshouses by Rogers & Partners that are cleverly integrated within the hotel’s existing outside terraces, each pavilion exemplifies Fu’s signature language of relaxed luxury and contemporary classicism with an emphasis on understated English sensibilities.
Conceived to reflect the look and feel of a contemporary English country house, the 3200 square-foot Crescent Pavilion suggests the experience of a private residence surrounded by a lush English garden. With the focus on generous comfort, the Suite is also created as an ideal location for entertaining.
Guests enter this luxurious suite through a wood panelled passageway lined with delicate gold patina fabric to discover an exquisite living salon designed for small, intimate gatherings.
At the end of the living salon, a curved portal sculpted entirely in solid volakas white marble heralds the suite’s most stunning design feature– a vast 800 ft² glasshouse designed as a contemporary sunroom with 270 degree views over London.
Set within this pavilion is an area for entertaining that adjoins an alfresco lounge, as well as a dining space that seats twelve. The glasshouse is imbued throughout with Andre’s personal design touches – from the bespoke hexagonal rock glass chandelier, the intricate stained oak partitions with interlocking brushed brass brackets, to an island bar decked in precious Quartzite Aqua marble. The hand-tufted carpet in mint green and mineral grey, by Taiping Carpets, evokes the verdant lushness of the terrace in this city retreat.
Fu has continued the spirit of the living space into the master bedroom and a second ensuite bedroom with a palette of pale racing green, mineral grey and champagne gold, allows Andre’s vision to extend from the outdoor garden into the suite interior.
The Grand Pavilion
Perched as the pinnacle of all hospitality experiences, the Grand Pavilion suite offers a two-bedroom sanctuary that will provide discerning guests with the ultimate urban escape.
Entering through a hallway decked with gloss-lacquered warm grey English panelling and upholstered with emerald green silk, guests are immediately confronted with the dramatic views of an open-fire pit, contrasted with a series of stone plinths that sets the base for an extensive lounge. The adjoining landscape is also distinctly sculptural and pure to echo the understated calmness of this unique emotional journey.
Within the Suite, guests are led to a dining salon that can host up to eight guests, Adorned with natural light and positioned to adjoin the outdoor terrace, the dining room is decorated with a backdrop of hand-embroidered wallcovering that echoes in hues of grey, mauve and ivory the rhythmic silhouette of raindrops, a pattern inspired by the works of the late Jean-Michel Frank.
Adjoining the dining room is the main living room that is housed within the glass pavilion. Enveloped by a frame of continuous floor-to-ceiling glazing, guests will be intrigued by the juxtaposition of the hotel’s classic façade with this very contemporary design.
Set at the other end of the glass pavilion is the master bedroom. With 3-sided full height glazing and its own private terrace, the room features sculptural artworks by Conrad Shawcross, a king-size bed, a separate dressing area, as well as individual ‘his and hers’ walk-in wardrobes. Meanwhile, the master bathroom epitomises Fu’s signature style of relaxed luxury - a freestanding cast stone bathtub proudly stands in front of an impressive sculptural stone backdrop with solid Baltic grey marble carved into a series of full height ‘petals’ that appears to fold and unfold into each other. This expression of tactility is further enhanced with the antique brass bathroom fixtures by Kallista.
Fu has created two extraordinary glasshouse suites that exude modern luxury, experimenting with texture and colour to create sanctuaries of tranquility and unparalleled comfort. The experiential visual narrative is influenced by traditional English sensibilities combined with an expression of relaxed modernity, heralding a new era of hospitality.
The most atmospheric room in The Berkeley is the Blue Bar, designed by the late David Collins. The walls are painted in a mix made up from 50 shades of the colour, entitled ‘Lutyens Blue’, named after the original panelled walls designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, which came from the original Berkeley hotel when it was based in Piccadilly.
Drop in for some of the most colourful cocktails in town. Or discover the Blue Bar’s contemporary side by scoring a table in the state-of-the-art glass extension. Spacious and impeccably stylish, this is a bar whose sparkling energy is sure to leave you spellbound.
Walking into the Collins Rooms is like taking a breath of fresh air. After a six month restoration created by acclaimed designer Robert Angell, the protégé of the late David Collins whom the restaurant is named after.
Angell’s interior design has simply enhanced the overall experience, creating a serene spaced filled with natural light illuminating the contemporary new look, this charming dining room has become a firm favourite with fashionistas and food-lovers alike.
The Berkeley Bar & Terrace
It may be new, but the roots of The Berkeley Bar & Terrace stretch back 400 years thanks to a singular tree: The Fulbeck Walnut. Part of the Fulbeck Estate, it fell in the Great Storm of 2007. But this end was just a new beginning. The timber was salvaged, cut and transformed by expert craftsmen and is now celebrated in every line, accent and panel of our timeless interior. Continuing the celebration of craftmanship is the bar itself – spacious and cosy in equal measure. Inside, carved plasterwork, coral tones and curved edges set an elegant scene, with wooden accents that were hewn from a single tree.
One of London’s most acclaimed restaurants, Marcus – named after acclaimed chef Marcus Wareing, creates inventive, Michelin-starred modern British dishes. Everything – from the menu and ingredients to the relaxed ambience which sets the tone beautifully in the contemporary dining room.
The Maybourne Hotel Group which owns and manages The Berkeley, Claridge’s and The Connaught recently added their first international property, The Maybourne Beverly Hills – four of the world’s most renowned hotels. The groups hotels have histories that stretch back over a century. And, while each one retains its timeless appeal and individual nature, they are committed to ensuring they are always in tune with the wants and wishes of today’s discerning guests.