The elegant lobby at Claridge’s sets the tone for what lies beyond.
We recently had a visit from Stephen Alden, CEO of Maybourne Hotel Group, who updated us on all that’s going on at Claridge’s, The Connaught, and The Berkeley, three iconic hotels in London.
Perhaps the biggest news is that British-born Simon Rogan, who has earned two Michelin stars at his restaurant L’Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria, will head up Claridge’s new restaurant, which will open next spring. The new establishment will replace Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, which closed in June. The Telegraph is reporting that Rogan “has signed a 10-year contract with the hotel…The name of the restaurant is yet to be decided, but it won’t be an eponymously titled venture.”
Alden says the move helps “protect the Britishness of the brand, yet moves it forward.” The hotel recently renovated one wing of rooms as well, and has added a new business lounge where two barber shops once sat, he tells us.
The Berkeley, which has the sole rooftop pool in London, as well as a “secret garden,” we hear, has opened a new spa up there as well. The Bamford Haybarn Spa & Treatments is the first urban facility that Lady Carole Bamford, founder of British luxury lifestyle brands Bamford and Daylesford, has opened. She is known for her spa in the Cotswolds.
The Berkeley has also just opened a new suite designed by Andre Fu, who is known for his work on The Upper House in Hong Kong. The 2,800-square-foot, two-bedroom suite replaces five hotel rooms that were removed to make way for the new project, which is being acclaimed as perhaps the largest accommodation in London.
Alden tells us that the three hotels are seeing more and more families coming to visit. To keep up with the trend, he says, Claridge’s, for example, now has more tables for six and eight set at the corners of its dining outlets to accommodate them, and the Opus Suite has three connecting bedrooms rather than the traditional two.
The hotels are also being kept up with the latest technology for guests and for its staff, so they have access to as much destination information as possible immediately, since the guest already knows so much about what is going on in London when they arrive. Maybourne Hotel Group is also working with a local company called Fox & Squirrel, which provides insider experiences for guests who want to go beyond the typical sightseeing.
The company is positioning its hotels as the venues for “the Modern British Social Season” since they are synonymous with many of the events that go on during London’s high seasons, such as Wimbledon.