After a three-year painstaking restoration, the historic Hotel Café Royal on Regent Street in London opened its doors this week. When I was in London in September, I passed this legendary building a few times and tried to get a peek inside but no luck. From what I can see in the photos, however, it looks like the long time taken for the remarkable transformation was well worth the wait.
The story goes that a French wine merchant by the name of Daniel Nicholas Thevénon arrived in London in 1863 with just £5 in his pocket. In a few years, he established Café Royal. By the end of the century, Café Royal was renowned as the center for fashionable London and frequented by legendaries in the likes of Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolf.
Now owned by The Set hotels(a contemporary hotel collection who also manages The Conservatorium in Amsterdam and up and coming Lutetia in Paris – more on these next week), the exquisitely restored 10-story hotel has 159 newly designed rooms and suites (including six historic suites) with modern amenities (including super size plush towels – thank you!) from which to choose from. I love the contrast of minimalist style rooms with the more historic public areas.
The historic areas have been restored to their old world elegance – The ornate Louis XVI-style Grill Room and more intimate Domino Room are stunning. For those with a sweet tooth, you have Café 1865 for a wide assortment of cakes and pastries. Last but not least is a screening room and very cool bar where you can enjoy an iconic Absinthe cocktail.
Next year, look out for the Akasha Wellbeing Center which will have a lap pool and another cafe.
This iconic, landmark building could not be in a better location. In the heart of Piccadilly on an elegant street, Café Royal is sandwiched between Mayfair and Soho.
There is a wonderful array of special offers on the hotel website. If you are looking for a last minute place to stay for the holidays, this is definitely worth the detour!
Images all courtesy of Hotel Cafe Royal and not for reproduction.
Hotel Cafe Royal
68 Regent Street,
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