The Langham Hotel London is set to unveil its second hospitality area designed by David Collins Studio, with the opening of The Landau restaurant this autumn.
The standalone ‘destination’ restaurant is just one phase of a dramatic £50m overhaul of the Victorian hotel, which aims to position itself among the world’s top five-star hotels.
It will be followed by an extension of the lobby by Richmond International next year, as well as restoration of the Grade II-listed Grand Ball Room and the hotel’s Palm Court restaurant, which dates back to the founding of the hotel in the 1860s.
The refurbishment programme, set out by management company Langham Hotels International, has so far seen the opening of The Landau’s sister venue, The Artesian Bar, also designed by DCS, in January.
DCS was appointed two years ago to spearhead the refurbishment programme on the strength of its previous work with The Savoy, where Langham managing director Duncan Palmer was then general manager.
Palmer explains that the brief was to create interiors that would encompass the hotel’s brand values of ‘effortless elegance’, while acknowledging its English heritage and Asian ownership.
The concept – contemporary orientalism, used in The Artesian Bar – has been developed for the restaurant and features bespoke brushed, gilded timber wall panelling, antique brass lanterns, leather finishes and a wood floor.
DCS has restructured the architecture of the restaurant into a lozenge shape layout to accommodate seating for 100.
‘There are so many layers to the design, from the architectural features to the fittings, crockery and staff uniforms,’ says Palmer. ‘Customers at this level of the luxury market expect real depth to the interior,’ he adds.
Palmer says design, from interiors to branding, fixtures, fittings and artwork is crucial to the positioning of the hotel and accounts for over two thirds of the total programme budget.
DCS is expected to work with LHI on its other forthcoming interiors projects.
Keeping up appearances
• Langham parent company Great Eagle Holdings assumed management of the London hotel in 2004 from Hilton and made it the flagship for its Langham Hotels International portfolio
• Great Eagle has properties in its LHI portfolio across Hong Kong, Boston, Auckland and Melbourne
• The Langham Hotel London dates back to 1865, when it was opened by the Prince of Wales
• The hotel celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2005 with the launch of the Infinity Suite, designed by Jan Wilson of RPW Designs
• The transformation of the Langham Hotel London is expected to be completed by 2009