The Athenauem Hotel

Location /  London, United Kingdom

People Involved / Kinnersley Kent Design

Bronze, oak and textural fabrics adorn an eclectic modern makeover for this boutique Mayfair hotel.

Back in the 1970s, if you were a Hollywood star on a working stopover in London, you simply had to stay at the Athenaeum, which was then owned by the Rank Organisation. Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Shirley Maclaine, Liz Taylor, Steven Spielberg . . . a swag of famous names made use of this iconic five-star hotel on Piccadilly, deep in the mink-lined bosom of Mayfair.

Today under different ownership, the Athenaeum Hotel still caters to the glitterati. But it also pitches itself as a family friendly establishment that even welcomes dogs, with Green Park nearby for walkies.

The 2016 makeover by Kinnersley Kent Design underscores the owners’ intent to position the Athenaeum as a boutique hotel, and celebrates its unique personality. KKD’s brief was to transform the public spaces, including the bronze façade, a gleaming new entrance, the spacious lobby and lounge, and a new bar.

KKD describe the aesthetic as ‘authentic deco’, with ‘brass details referencing the modernist style of the original 1930s building’. The reworked lobby is light-filled, airy, with an eclectic mix of classic modern and contemporary furnishings. ‘The materials palette is rich, understated, indulgent and luxurious, full of contrast and texture.’

The Galvin Brothers restaurant is unfussy and refined, while the new bar gleams welcomingly: metallic details throughout the bar are offset with comfortable seating, and the view through fullheight windows gives onto a bank of lush vegetation, insulating patrons from the clamour and fumes of Piccadilly.

Flooring in the lounge, restaurant and bar mixes elegance and practicality: Havwoods’ herringbone parquet of European oak in a range of tones to complement the décor, with neutral mats strategically placed for comfort and noise reduction; it’s all very sophisticated and stylish for discerning guests and a few, very fortunate, dogs.

Project courtesy of Havwoods international.