Just metres from London’s Piccadilly Circus, Hotel Café Royal unveils its new lobby…
London’s five-star Hotel Café Royal has unveiled its new lobby and guest arrival experience. Designed and overseen by the world-renowned architect and interior designer Piero Lissoni and created with a total investment of almost £5m, the large new lobby delivers an outstanding and glamorous entrance to the hotel. Inspired by the lobbies of the world’s Palace hotels, the new reception area at Hotel Café Royal is double height and one of the largest in London. With the new restaurant above, also designed by Lissoni, this new grand space fully completes the offering at the hotel, now open for five years.
“I wanted to respect and convey the true ‘feeling’ of London by combining the contemporary life and taste of the city’s inhabitants with its inheritant elegance and tradition, explains Lissoni. “On working with The Set hotels in the collaborative efforts to create and complete the project he stated “on this project the word ‘impossible’ was forbidden to use”.
Having worked with Lissoni frequently in the past, most notably on the spectactular transformation of a Dutch heritage building into the renowned Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam, Georgi Akirov, Chairman of The Set says of this project: “Loved by London residents and international guests alike, Hotel Café Royal enjoys an unrivalled setting and an exceptional address as the living room of London and with this new lobby and restaurant they will now have another grand space in which to convene, converse and celebrate.”
Lissoni’s previous global projects are varied and extend to yachts, residential properties and luxury hotels including the Conservatorium in Amsterdam, also owned by The Set hotels. In addition to his architectural work, Lissoni is also lauded for his extensive work in furniture design, having worked for companies such as Boffi, Cassina, B&B Italia and Flos. Working closely with the hotel team, Lissoni has transformed the main entrance to the hotel on Air Street. The transformation of this historical space, part of the original Café Royal built in 1926 is a sensitive yet striking one, a hallmark of Lissoni’s work.
The minimalist yet opulent lobby is characterised by a sense of space and contemporary glamour that marries the building’s guilded past with its patrons’ contemporary lifestyles. As visitors arrive through the double height revolving door they are first greeted by a view of the bespoke Murano glass chandelier that dominates the room.
Designed by a fabled Italian firm Vistosi, the chandelier weighs over 350 kilograms and is situated above a table at the centre of the room designed by Lissoni himself displaying flowers by Hotel Café Royal’s in-house florist Jamie Aston. The back of the room holds the reception and guest relations desks flanked on each side by large bookshelves containing a library of books produced and curated by Maison Assouline.
To complete the lobby, waiting areas with furniture pieces designed by Paolo Castelli and by legendary Italian makers Poltrona Frau, Cassina and Living Divani are available to guests and visitors alike. Of the lighting in the room, Lissoni described the effect he wanted to achieve as ‘sexy and sensual, the poetic contrast against the darkness’ of the traditionally listed room. Manufacterers used to light the space include Architectural FX (using their sustainable LED system), Atrium Flos and John Cullen.
Above the new lobby space, Lissoni’s work continues into the 110 cover restaurant. A personal passion for food and kitchen design has led the architect to work with a number of chefs and now the internationally-renowned Laurent Tourondel who will shortly open the new restaurant at Hotel Café Royal.