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The Lanesborough: London’s most expensive hotel

Following an 18-month closure for an extensive renovation, The Lanesborough is ready to reclaim its grande-dame status. With its 93 rooms and suites available for booking this week, The Lanesborough will reclaim its position as one of the most expensive hotels in the UK capital.

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The Knightsbridge hotel – which was built as St Georges Hospital to architect William Wilkins’ design in 1827 – has been stripped back and totally refurbished by Paris’ Alberto Pinto interior design studio and London-based ReardonSmith Architects.

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The hotel, which overlooks Hyde Park, was stripped to its shell and overhauled by renowned interior design studio Alberto Pinto.

In a statement, the hotel said guest rooms will be the ‘epitome of elegance, reminiscent of a grand residence’, with the seven-bedroom Royal Suite being The Lanesborough’s largest.

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Respecting the building’s status as one of London’s best examples of Regency architecture, the team employed a host of British artists and craftsmen, who drew upon time-honoured techniques to restore plasterwork and ornate ceilings, and to apply hand-painted details throughout the 93 guest rooms and public areas.

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The furniture, fabrics and wall coverings were sourced exclusively from British suppliers to reflect the building’s heritage, while advanced technology keeps guests in control with in-room Sony tablets. The personal touches for which the hotel is known survive, notably in the form of a 24-hour butler.

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The prices – roughly equivalent to the average annual wage in the UK – tend to serve as status symbols for not only the hotels, but also for the city. The availability of such suites helps to create an aura of exclusivity and heightens the reputation of the hotel among the wealthiest guests.

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Dining at The Lanesborough in the shape of the Céleste restaurant was always one of the greatest gastronomic pleasures London had to offer. And this experience should now get even better following the multi-million pound refurbishment. Céleste has unveiled an elegant new design, returned to the Regency architecture style in keeping with the rest of the hotel.

The new setting for Céleste is pretty sensational: a richly decorated, Venetian-style dining room naturally illuminated during daylight hours by a domed glass roof and in the evening by spectacular hanging chandeliers. Bas-relief friezes and fluted columns underline the classical grandeur.

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Time will only tell if the lavish refurbishment proves a successful one but judging on what we have seen, the Lanesborough Hotel has a great chance to reclaim its position as the most luxurious and most expensive hotel London has to offer.


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