Claridge’s – London Art Deco Hotel | Building

Claridge’s Hotel London, English Art Deco Building, Architecture, Gordon Ramsey Restaurant

Claridge’s, London : Art Deco Hotel Architecture

Claridge’s London Hotel, England, UK

Claridge’s London

Art Deco pearl in the heart of Mayfair

Claridge’s earned its reputation as a Buckingham Palace’s extension around the World War II period. However the design hungry will be happy to explore it as a real Art Deco gem among London hotels. Founded in 1812 as a Mirvart’s Hotel, it gradually expanded into neighbouring terrace houses and was later bought by the Claridge family who owned a hotel next door. They eventually merged to form Claridge’s.

Claridge's Hotel Claridge's Hotel London
photos © Adrian Welch

The building was later taken over by Richard D’Oyly Carte, the founder of The Savoy, who decided to demolish and rebuild it to meet the increasing facility standards. D’Oyly Carte commissioned C.W. Stephens, the architect responsible for Harrod’s, to design the new Claridge’s and the hotel reopened in 1898. The 1920’s was the time when it gained its famous Art Deco features. As it played host to the partying socialites, Claridge’s needed an interior update and the owner made sure it was in the hands of the best world class designers. An added ballroom was decorated in Louis XV style by Marcel Boulanger and featured Watteau-esque paintings and Baguès lighting. Art Deco pioneer Basil Ionides was invited to breathe a new life into the restaurant and his engraved glass screens still grace it’s walls. The Roman stone facade and mirrored foyer, replacing an old carriage drive, were created by Oswald Milne. Milne later designed a cubic extension and gradually added two penthouses.

1999 saw the first major designer restoration since 1930‘s. David Collins created a cocktail bar and Thierry Despont, a New York based designer, was commissioned to update the Foyer. Basing his projects on the archive photographs of the Ballroom Extension, he gave the space a makeover in a dramatic, modern Art Deco style, with Dale Chihuly’s chandelier as the main showpiece. He also created the famous Gordon Ramsey at Claridge’s. Art Nouveau’s natural forms mixed with modern cubic clean lines define glamour and style both in dining and in interior design. Lynne Hunt converted the old staff quarters into a state of the art Olympus Suite – a luxury fitness facility. Bedrooms have been divided between many designers and probably the most prestigious is a collaboration with the fashion icon Diane Von Furstenberg. As a long term resident and a friend of the hotel, the fashion designer turned into an interior decorator and created a series of eclectic suites. The legendary Piano Suite launched her collection. She kept the original architectural features and centered her design around the marble fireplace, adding her statement bold prints and custom pieces inspired by her travels. As well as being home to one of the finest London restaurants run by the famous Gordon Ramsey with the most elegant of surroundings.

With the modern updates, Claridge’s remains a world of Art Deco fantasy in the heart of London’s Mayfair and still belongs to the group of The Leading Hotels of the World. With its glamorous design it certainly deserves Spencer Tracy’s praise: ‘Not that I intend to die. But when I do, I don’t want to go to heaven, I want to go to Claridge’s.’

Magda Wrzeszcz

London Hotels

Mayfair Buildings

Address: Claridge’s, 49 Brook Street, London W1K 4HR, UK

Contact Claridge’s London: 020 7629 8860


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