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A First Glimpse Inside Café Royal, Opening in October [UPDATED]

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 68 Regent Street, London, United Kingdom, W1B 5EL
August 20, 2012 at 12:22 PM | by | ()

UPDATE: The hotel will actually open in October. A firm opening date is expected in a few weeks. We pulled the December 1st date from the LHW website.

We’ve been following the transformation of the venerable Café Royal in London from meeting place for artists and intellectuals (Oscar Wilde used to be a regular) into a hotel for the 21st century since way back in 2008.

We saw some of the construction progress earlier this year, with the hotel facing Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus, and an office/retail complex (including a giant Whole Foods) behind it. The site is in the middle of an area that is undergoing a little renaissance, with a chunk just to the south between Piccadilly and Jermyn Street being rebuilt (opposite the Le Méridien Piccadilly we talked about last week), the hotly-awaited Firmdale flagship a few steps east, and a planned 500-room pod hotel in the Trocadero complex just a bit further, right up to the shiny white spaceship that is the W Leicester Square.

With an expected pre-Olympics opening being missed and the website of parent group The Set Hotels having so few details available, we’ve eagerly awaited a first look at the hotel’s interiors. Imagine our surprise when we stumbled on a number of renderings over at The Leading Hotels of the World, where Café Royal is already listed.

There will be 104 rooms and 55 suites in total; with the pictures of a Junior Suite show a very restrained aesthetic, almost a little sparse, with mainly straight lines. We’re surprised to see what looks like the exposed grey brick of the façade coming clean through in the room, and not a painting or wall treatment in sight. We hope that there’s been investment in some triple-glazing and black-out curtains to keep the constant buzz and neon-light of Piccadilly Circus away when desired. Bathrooms continue the understated design, with pale white/grey marble throughout.

Chef Andrew Turner will overlook fine dining in the famous Grill and Domino rooms, with modern European cuisine in The Ten Room Lounge. There is also reference to a Private Members Club, but whether that is just by title or indeed members-only we will have to see. Like the future Firmdale next door, there will be a Screening Room on-site.

The Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre will offer an indoor pool, gym, spa, as well as yoga and meditation studios. The spa not only has a public hammam, but even a wet treatment room with its own private hammam.

Browsing around the reservation system, we saw only two regular room types: Portland and Mansard rooms. Both appear at £360 ($565) for a Saturday night early December, with Mansard rooms being on the 6th and 7th floors and 36m2 versus 37m2 for Portland rooms. Rates include a welcome seasonal fruit platter, free Wifi, a newspaper, and mineral water, but exclude another 20% in VAT. For the same rate, an opening offer throws in a bottle of champagne, concessions at Regent Street stores, and a late check-out.

No less than ten types of suite start at 52m2 for a Junior Suite, all the way through to the 212m2 Empire Suite, which will set you back £4,020 ($6,311). Special opening offers for suites include the same amenities as the rooms, but throw in dinner for two with a bottle of house wine.

[Images: Café Royal Hotel]

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