Best Renovation of 2012: The Reincarnation Of Café Royal London
It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Between last Friday and today, we're showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to..
Between the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, 2012 was a big year for London. Everything went off—thankfully—without a hitch, and in the aftermath of the festivities, we got loads of shiny new hotels to gawk at. To say the least, it's been a tough job just trying to keep up with it all.
Most hotels aimed for a pre-Olympics opening, and most inevitably failed (but does a hotel delay really surprise us at this point?). Our winner for Best Renovation of 2012 falls in this category, having recently re-opened its doors after four years of renovation work: we're talking, of course, about Café Royal.
What took so long? This wasn’t just a simple renovation. The hotel is actually part of the complete overhaul of a formerly grubby area north of Piccadilly Circus, which next year will also give us that Firmdale flagship.
The project restored the classic spaces that Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolf used to hang out in, and added 159 thoroughly modern rooms, with bathrooms so lovely we’ll take one for our own home thank you very much.
Only a limited number of rooms are open at this time, so we’re still waiting to see what the suite that will give its lucky guests this view will look like, and the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre (with lap pool) is not due until March. That takes us straight into 2013, a year we hope will bring as much or more for the London hotel scene as the last twelve months. Until then, congrats to our winner!
[Photos: Café Royal / JasonD for HotelChatter]