The team behind St John, the London restaurant famous for its offal dishes, is creating and designing a new hotel, with architect and interior design consultancy GMW.
The St John Hotel, just off Leicester Square, London W1, will have 16 bedrooms, including a two-bedroom suite.
‘The hotel will be in the St John vernacular, but it may be a bit more uptown because it is in Theatreland,’ says St John co-founder Trevor Gulliver, who describes the hotel as inspired by the ‘traditional coach house, in which you would say, “I shall take a room above”, instead of stumbling home late’.
Gulliver says he and St John chef Fergus Henderson, who originally trained as an architect at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, are taking an active role in the design of the hotel.
St John is working with architect and interior group GMW Architects on the project.
Gulliver observes that, ‘Build professionals can forget that it is not their project, but we are very stubborn and need various people to execute our plans.’
He adds that ‘the lead architect on the project, Sue Jackson, has raised her eyebrows at some of our ideas’, but believes that they ‘will make people smile’.
GMW declined to comment on the project.
The hotel will be arranged over several floors, retaining its original façade but ‘being gutted from roof to cellar’, according to Gulliver.
The ground floor will feature an entrance hall with reception desk and a restaurant. Lifts and a free-standing, bespoke staircase will also occupy the floor. The first floor will contain a bar, with the bedrooms arranged on the floors above.
St John Hotel will be close to the new, 200-odd-room W Hotel, designed by architect Jestico & Whiles on the site of the former Swiss Centre in Leicester Square.
‘Our hotel will not be a home from home – if you are in a hotel you want to know you are in a hotel,’ says Gulliver.
St John Hotel will open next summer ‘at the earliest’, according to Gulliver.