A total refurbishment of this Hyde Park institution puts it firmly back on centre stage
The streets around London’s Hyde Park are as popular as ever with Arab visitors in the summer months, which makes the Royal Lancaster, located directly opposite with stunning views over the park, a big draw.
Opened in 1967, the unapologetically stark 18-storey tower, designed by the famous architect Richard Seifert (1910-2001), underwent a $105m renovation, reopening in November 2017.
The prestigious site has been completely transformed both internally and externally to give it a fresh take on mid-century glamour and understated elegance synonymous with London.
The entire frontage of the hotel has been remodelled and the exterior architecture now features a dramatic eight-metre high façade revealing an impressive double-height reception space. The showpiece of the lobby is a palatial sweeping staircase made from 300 sqm of white Carrara marble which wraps around to the first floor.
The highlight, though, is the rooms. Every one of the 411 guestrooms has a far reaching view across London, and the modern redesign emphasises these premium vistas. Suites include highly personal touches including a range of fantastic coffeetable books.
You could order room service and spend the day reading and staring at the views, but that would mean missing out on Nipa Thai, the hotel’s award-winning Asian restaurant, and Island Grill, which serves locally sourced, sustainable ingredients on its British menu. Both venues are a big draw in their own right.
While you’re dining, cast your mind back over the long list of famous visitors who have passed through these doors. Michael Caine was filmed here for The Italian Job; it hosted events attended by Muhammad Ali, Princess Diana and countless other royals. The hotel also famously hosted the after-party for The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine film premiere, which The Beatles’ attended in the Yellow Submarine Nightclub.
It’s a proud history, but you sense there are many more chapters still to be written.
The Royal Lancaster is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, and its rates start from £270 per room per night.