Kempinski Hotels & Resorts spectacularly establishes its presence in
London with the double coup of representing two very different, character-
filled properties. The Courthouse Kempinski in Soho and the Bentley
Kempinski in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea give Europe’s
oldest management group footholds in two of the capital’s most talked
about areas. The Courthouse Kempinski, in the final stages of a stunning
transformation, will open at the end of the summer. The Bentley Kempinski,
which opened in October 2003, will be re-flagged from August 1, 2004. Both
hotels are owned by the Sanger family, with these ventures heralding the
beginning of a strong partnership between the owners and Kempinski, which
can be developed further in the future.
The addition of these two hotels of distinction in London marks another
important step in the international expansion of the Kempinski group, with
luxurious palaces, landmark city hotels, world-class resorts and refined
residences in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America and Asia. The
group will grow from its current 36 hotels to over 60 under operation
within the next three years.
The Courthouse Kempinski
The Courthouse Kempinski occupies a prime position on Great Marlborough
Street, opposite Liberty’s of London and Carnaby Street, just off Regent
Street. This new five-star hotel oozes flamboyant sophistication. Daring
design draws lavish inspiration from the building’s previous incarnation
as the country’s second oldest magistrate’s court, temporary abode at
various intervals to such well known names as Napoleon III, John Lennon,
Oscar Wilde, Keith Richards and Sir Mick Jagger.
The Courthouse Kempinski has 116 rooms and suites. The 13 suites are
located in the former judges’ robing rooms and the spectacular Lalique
Suite is sited within the former London residence to the Metropolitan
Police Commissioner. The 103 rooms are housed in a brand new wing built on
the site of a former police station, holding cells and a shooting range.
There are three dining areas; ‘Carnaby’s’ with separate street entrance,
offers all day dining with a lively, buzzy atmosphere. ‘Silk’ is located
within the infamous No. 1 Courtroom where the great and not so good have
pleaded their cases in previous years. This is fine dining at its most
special with cuisine following the ancient Silk Route, flavoured by
radical inspiration from Europe by head chef, Elisha Carter, formally of
Lola’s in Islington. The ‘Waiting Room’ is transformed into an elegant
palm-filled atrium in which to relax and enjoy breakfast, light meals and
‘The Bar’s’ clubby atmosphere is emphasised by low seating, a wall-length
glass bar and a monochrome design scheme of black and white leather. The
three former Ladies Cells are retained, though upgraded, to offer
intimate, private booths, complete with bunk bed and ice-bucket charmingly
fashioned from the original Victorian lavatory!
The ‘Roof Terrace’ is the ultimate retreat and an exclusive rendezvous,
from where to enjoy light meals and exquisite cocktails, overlooking
The Spa has a fully equipped gymnasium, which is separated from the
stunning wet areas by a glass wall. The wet areas comprise a hot tub,
large square swimming pool and London’s first Ice Room. There are two
aluminium treatment rooms with glass floors, one of which is suspended
over the pool (though swimmers please note, you cannot peep inside!).
The hotel has seven meeting rooms, catering for a maximum of 130 people
(theatre style) in the largest room. Release, the hotel’s extravagant
private screening room, seats up to 100 people and is the largest of its
kind in London. With aubergine walls and large apple green leather chairs,
the room can be used as a dramatic meeting room when not in cinematic use.
The Bentley Kempinski
The Bentley Kempinski, in Harrington Gardens, Kensington, is walking
distance from Sloane Square, Harrods and the Victoria & Albert Museum,
but, being nestled in a quiet residential area, it is also the perfect
retreat from which to explore Europe’s most fascinating metropolis.
This luxurious boutique hotel has 64 individually decorated suites, each
with butler service, Frette linen, silk panelled walls, hand-woven carpets
and a marble bathroom with walk-in shower and whirlpool bath. The
Imperial, Royal and Presidential Suites have separate dining rooms for up
to twelve people, baby grand piano, study, sitting room and pantry
kitchen. No suite is more than four doors from the lift and a butler’s
pantry is on each floor for slick service.
Andrew Turner is the acclaimed head chef of the fine dining restaurant
‘1880’, which takes its name from the date of the original building. Amid
the lavishly designed restaurant, Turner (formally of 1837 at Brown’s
Hotel) has created New York-inspired Grazing Menus, ranging from six
courses to eleven courses, starting at GBP40 per head.
‘Peridot’, overlooking the peaceful gardens, offers breakfast, light lunch
and traditional afternoon tea. The ‘Malachite Bar’ is the perfect meeting
point before going to the theatre or to relax after a long shopping tour
while the ‘Cigar Divan’ is a cosy hide-away. For private dining, there are
three distinguished banqueting rooms - the Alexander, the Daniel and the
Gilbert, accommodating up to 150 guests.
Unique in the UK is the authentic Turkish hamman at ‘Le Kalon Spa’, made
from one single piece of Marmara marble, brought over in its entirety from
Turkey. A team of experienced therapists offer a wide range of beauty
treatments and massages.