Luxury Hotels


London’s Park Lane has been momentarily transformed. The front garden of THE DORCHESTER is hidden behind 3-metre tall white hoarding (BAUR AU LAC in Zurich has similar hoarding while its entire Reception-Conciergerie is brought up to date but there, cleverly, the hoarding is embellished with a lifesize photo of what the new entrance will look like). There’s obviously an entire new industry of white hoarding manufacturers and erectors. At The Dorchester, the stylish Promenade – above – and bedrooms and a new Cake & Flowers boutique are all being done by Pierre-Yves Rochon.

Ah that design legend, born in Brittany in 1946, stylist of such great hotels as WALDORF ASTORIA BEVERLY HILLS, ST REGIS ROME, and HOTEL MARTINEZ, Unbound, in Cannes. At the last treasure, he highlighted the hotel’s Art Deco past (Art Deco was roughly 1910-1930). The seven-floor hotel, which today has 409 rooms, just made that time-frame: it was opened 1929 by Emmanuel Martinez. Rochon has brought out lots of whites, and pastel colours. A palatial place, which echoes the words of hotel GM Yann Gillet whose vision is for this to be THE Palace on the Riviera, open year-round.

Whereas ‘manners maketh man’, it is not true that ‘design makes hotel’. But design certainly help. Of course there are other top designers on the luxury hotel circuit. Girlahead thinks of Martin Brudnizki (born Stockholm 1966). In London he turned a disused bank integral to THE LANGHAM into the sensational Wigmore pub. Now he is redesigning the hotel’s bar. Some of Girlahead’s other favourite designers are Tara Bernerd, FOUR SEASONS NEW YORK DOWNTOWN and FORT LAUDERALE, HARI HONG KONG and London, ROSEWOOD MUNICH; André Fu, UPPER HOUSE, Hong Kong; Kit Kemp, all Firmdale Hotels. Hear her, below: