Connaught re-opens on £70mn renovation
The Connaught, the legendary Mayfair hotel built in 1897, has gently opened its doors on Carlos Place after a £70 million restoration and renovation programme. The detailed work includes a magnificent redesign of the guest rooms, suites and interiors, and has brought together some of the world’s finest designers and craftsmen.
“As one of the world’s most distinguished addresses, The Connaught’s magnificent restoration will immediately establish the hotel as one of the world’s most coveted and luxurious destinations,” stated Stephen Alden, CEO of Maybourne Hotel Group. “We have appointed the most talented design teams to bring this Mayfair gem into the 21st century while preserving the authentic elegance and distinct personality so beloved by its guests, and the results are truly remarkable. Having taken the unprecedented step of keeping The Connaught staff during the restoration we are confident our guests will experience the personal, familiar welcome that has made the hotel so special.”
Guy Oliver, Mayfair based interior designer, is responsible for the design of the guest rooms and suites. Oliver’s illustrious portfolio consists largely of private residences, and he is renowned as an expert in creating a discreet English feel that is in balance with contemporary design. Oliver’s approach was uncompromising in ensuring that the original features were not only preserved but enhanced, resulting is an opulent feel without losing the sense of relaxed residential apartments. Many of the antiques and works of art that had previously been in the hotel have been meticulously restored and special attention has been paid to every detail of the room; Oliver has chosen light fixtures that are reminiscent of the original sconces, remade every door in solid mahogany and skilfully inter-mingled soft leathers and plush fabrics to create warm and inviting spaces.
Acclaimed New York interior designer team Sills Huniford, have overseen the redesign of some of the hotel’s public spaces. Most notably the newly created Gallery, an informal yet elegant dining venue with sweeping views over Carlos Place and the ever fashionable Mount Street. Their designs emphasise elegant, modern luxury with a rich, residential feel. Taking a modern approach to traditional sensibility, they have created clean, tailored and luxurious spaces with custom designed furniture and fabrics.
Designed by renowned Parisian designer India Mahdavi and honouring the original name of the hotel, the Coburg Bar has been created to evoke the spirit of the old Connaught, but with a contemporary twist. It offers chic comfort, luxury and warmth in an intimate setting framed by two elegant fireplaces at either end of the room. Mahdavi’s signature furniture pieces are complimented by contemporary artwork by artists such as Julian Opie and Michael Kukri and ensure the bar is very much of the moment.
The Connaught has also announced Michelin-starred French chef Hélène Darroze, as the Chef at the helm of the landmark hotel. One of France’s most distinguished chefs, she currently holds two Michelin stars at her restaurant ‘Hélène Darroze’ on the Left Bank in Paris. At The Connaught in June 2008 she will initially launch a signature restaurant to be known as ‘Hélène Darroze at The Connaught’ and it will be designed by Parisian based India Mahdavi. In addition to this restaurant, Hélène will also oversee all culinary aspects of the hotel including The Gallery, an informal yet elegant dining venue with sweeping views over Carlos Place and the ever fashionable Mount Street, and private dining. She will also be responsible for the revival of the famed Connaught Grill which will be returning in the Autumn.
In its time honoured tradition, The Connaught will continue to make its mark on the world’s stage with its legendary service standards, as it moves into a new era and prepares for the next 100 years of its history.
In addition to welcoming back all of its original employees, the hotel has also re-invented the role of the famed Connaught Butler for the 21st century. Working with great names such as John Lobb, Kilgour, Bentley & Skinner, Blackberry and Apple, Connaught Butlers will be masters of style and technology. “The Connaught Butler service will be enjoyed by all guests in residence, spearheading our continued commitment to offer uncompromising and intuitive service throughout the hotel, which have long been hallmarks of The Connaught,” stated Anthony Lee, The Connaught’s General Manager. Anthony Lee has been in The Connaught for nearly three decades and serves at its 7th general manager, a remarkable achievement given its history.
Early June will see the opening of The Connaught’s much anticipated Connaught Bar being created by renowned designer David Collins.
The Connaught is located on Mount Street in the heart of Mayfair, an area experiencing a recent renaissance, with some of London’s hippest shopping and restaurants, including the much talked about Marc Jacobs shop, and the newly opened Balenciaga and Christian Loubotain boutiques.