The biggest buzz right now might be all about Andre Balazs’ first London hotel Chiltern Firehouse – aka the celeb hang out du jour.
However while Chiltern Firehouse is most definitely making its mark in Marylebone, it’s not the only hot ticket in town. Tim and Kit Kemp’s £100 million Ham Yard Hotel in Soho, Shangri La at The Shard (the first luxury property to open south of the River Thames) and the Rosewood London – a 1914 Edwardian Belle Epoque gem in Holborn – are also, rightly, making waves.
But it’s imminent opening of The Beaumont – the debut hotel from Jeremy King and Chris Corbin (the dynamic duo behind the buzzy Brasserie Zedel, The Delaunay and The Wolseley) that we’re working ourselves up into a lather over.
Haute Time was recently treated to a tour of the Browns Hart Garden property and can confirm that The Beaumont – with its Listed Grade 11 Art deco exterior – looks like living up to its hype to herald a return to “the pre-war elegance of Mayfair hotels.”
The Beaumont boasts 73 rooms (including 23 suites), a 100-seater classic grill room restaurant, an American bar, private residents’ bar and lounge, boardroom and a spa including a traditional hammam and treatment areas, as well as a resident’s gym.
The interior design has been realised by Fiona Thompson, principal of Richmond International, and her team, in close collaboration with Jeremy King, ReardonSmith Architects and Grosvenor. As with all Richmond projects, the interior is inspired by the building and its surroundings. Originally built as a car garage in 1926, and occupied by Avis Rent-A-Car until 2010, this Grade-II Listed building by famed 20’s architects Wimperis & Simpson offers a pure Art Deco style.
Overall, Richmond International’s design challenge was to create the ultimate 1920s inspired hotel, to capture the charm and excitement of the Art Deco era. Much research was carried out into materials, patterns and textures, in order to create a detailed and accurate evocation of the uniquely rich aesthetics of the time. Inspired by original Art Deco buildings all around Europe, Richmond’s interiors for The Beaumont pay homage to this first truly cosmopolitan and international design movement.
Antique and vintage pieces, as well as original works of art, posters and photographs sourced over the years by Corbin & King are placed throughout the public spaces and suites of the hotel. Richmond International have also worked with a number of selected, independent, high-quality makers, mostly based in the UK, for the creation of bespoke furniture.
Floor-to-ceiling steel windows run the full width of the building and the main Lobby and reception features a checked black granite and gold travertine floor and curved back wall in cherry leading through to the bar and restaurant beyond.
Speaking of which The Colony Grill Room and the American Bar form the central hub of the hotel. The classic Grill Room is on two levels, surrounded by specially commissioned murals and an eclectic collection of artworks, with an ornamental stained-glass roof light overhead, featuring linear geometric panes. The seating area features blood-red leather banquettes, 1930s bentwood and studded chairs. Behind a partition of rosy reeded glass panels, visitors will find the American Bar, adorned warm, bespoke period furniture in deep, dark browns.
The Cub Room is a bar and lounge exclusively for the use of the hotel guests, and features a small bar, with the walls and ceilings lined in a European cherry wood with strips of bronze, a hand-made Art Deco carpet in taupe and brown, and a varied mix of original and bespoke chairs.
Inspired by the Turkish Baths at the quintessentially British membership club, Royal Automobile Club in London’s Pall Mall, and by the iconic New York YMCA late 19th Century building, the Hammam and Spa is dressed in small black and white marble mosaics, a circular marble plunge pool back with small silver tiles, heated relaxation slab, two treatment rooms, and a relaxation area.
The bedrooms and suites exude luxury in pure, but softer Art Deco style, with polished rosewood wardrobes and sliding room partitions, timber headboards, bronze mirroring, mohair velvet chairs, bespoke, geometric wool carpets, bronze handles and original of-the-period artwork and photography.
Marble, chrome and glass feature heavily throughout the bathrooms, floors with black and white marbled mosaics creating geometric patterns, and ceilings featuring elegant Art Deco lighting.
Yet while all the accommodation elates, The Presidential Suite – situated on the top floor – is sure to be the most coveted. A sophisticated and comfortable ambience has been achieved with patterned silk curtains, handmade rugs and period antique furniture; the room is completed with lacquered white paneling, with feature brass inlays and parquet timber flooring.
A particular feature of the hotel is Antony Gormley’s ROOM, a suite in the form of an inhabitable sculpture by the artist. The steel figure was unveiled in June 2014, and overlooks Brown Hart Gardens in the heart of Mayfair.
Richmond principal, Fiona Thompson said: “The brief was to take the hotel back to the Art Deco roots of the original building. As the hotel is in the heart of Mayfair, we felt it was important to create an environment with a level of indulgence and richness of culture that would speak to any visitor. We have used a rich palette of colours and materials, geometric shapes and elegant, timeless pieces to capture the luxurious glamour and exuberance of this visual and influential period.“
An opening date is yet to be announced but The Beaumont is already taking online reservations for room bookings from 9 October 2014.