RPW kicks off second phase of Scottish hotel interiors task

Luxury Scottish hotel Fairmont St Andrews is set to undergo the second phase of a £15m refurbishment, to be completed next year.

The next stage of work on the five-star hotel, part of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, which coowns The Savoy in London, has yet to be finalised. But it is expected to include an overhaul of public areas, such as the lobby bar, the reception area, Squires Restaurant and its spa, as well as guest rooms.

Fairmont awarded the work to interiors consultancy RPW in October 2006, following a fourway creative pitch against unnamed groups. A spokeswoman for the hotel explains that since it was sold in June this year by its former American owner Chateau Hotels and Resorts to real estate company Apollo European Real Estate, it has been managed by Fairmont. She adds that the existing American style of the hotel needed updating to bring it in line with the Fairmont brand proposition, and to reflect the character of its location. The spokeswoman says all Fairmont hotels focus on engaging service, presence and being ‘authentically local’. She adds that the St Andrews hotel, with its coastal path location and Scottish heritage, has the potential to fulfil all of these brand propositions, once it is refurbished.

RPW art co-ordinator Gillian Cuthill says that the greatest challenge facing the interiors project is the architecture of the building. Its American, functional style is unsympathetic to the location and lacks the character that Fairmont hotels are known for, she says. RPW wants to introduce a scheme that will incorporate materials such as wood and stone in a nod to the natural beauty of the hotel’s location. Cuthill adds that sculptures and artwork, based on the local landscape, will form focal points throughout the hotel. Such items already feature in the Rock and Spindle bar, the hotel’s ‘sports’ bar, which reopened last week. Along with the overhaul of the conference centre and three selected guest rooms, RPW has now completed phase one of the refurbishment programme.

The Rock and Spindle, now repositioned as a ‘more refined gentlemens’ club’, will serve those using the hotel’s two international golf courses. Edinburgh consultancy Studio LR has created the identity for the Rock and Spindle bar, which takes its cue from the Fife coastal path.

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