You can’t beat the perfect Regent Street and Piccadilly location of the Hotel Café Royal. Mayfair is just a few blocks to the West; Soho just a skip and a jump to the East. It also helps that the property, a London landmark since 1865 but only renovated into a 160-room luxury hotel a decade or so ago, is a timeless, class act with impeccable and friendly service; robust, contemporary living spaces, a 13,000-square-foot spa and wellness center featuring an 18-meter lap pool, and the most glamorous guest elevators in town. The Set Collection of hotels also includes the Conservatorium in Amsterdam and Lutetia in Paris. Don’t miss tea at the adorably named Cakes & Bubbles. It’s chic and delightful, like everything else in the place.
DuJour spoke with Guillaume Marly, the managing director of Hotel Café Royal, to learn more about this special property.
What’s the most requested room at the property?
The Grand Regent Suite overlooking Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street. Particularly room 222 with its full-length windows and balcony. Incredible views to Parliament, Big Ben and beyond!
What makes it so special?
The Grand Regent suite is a magical space overlooking the heart of London and the beautiful façade of Regent Street. The suite is expansive, full of natural daylight and features a vast bathroom with a freestanding Carrara marble bathtub. The suite offers the flexibility of being turned into a two bedroom by connecting with the adjoining Westminster Suite.
What’s the nightly rate for this room?
The Grand Regent suites starts at £3,500
What’s an interesting tidbit about the hotel that speaks to its status as an icon?
We continue to attract the most fascinating, famous and interesting guests. We have seen the likes of Oscar Wilde, Virginia Wolf, Mohammed Ali, Princess Diana over the years.
What’s your personal favorite room? Why?
The Dome Penthouse, mainly because waking up to a nearly empty Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus and enjoying your breakfast and coffee on that outdoor terrace is simply unmatched. This is also perfect for families as you can extend it to three bedrooms giving everyone their own spaces while still having the option in the main suite to watch a film or have dinner.
What special perk or amenity do you offer that no one knows about?
For our regular guests, our fantastic and detailed oriented guest relations team builds strong relationships to make their stay as personal as possible. Regular guests are given personalized key card wallets with their initial embossed in gold and we will even stitch initials in the pillow cases which we always use whenever they stay.
What’s your favorite design element on property?
How we pay homage by restoring the historic elements of this iconic London institution while juxtaposing the design with contemporary elements. You find this all throughout the hotel, modern corridors converge at historic lift lobbies, while certain suites feature delicately restored living spaces that lead onto modern bedrooms and our expansive marble bathrooms.
How about one more fun fact about the property?
Hotel Café Royal is the heaviest hotel in London. When the hotel was undergoing refurbishment, the hotel used so much marble in every room that the quarry in Carrara had to be closed in order to supply the entire hotel. Meanwhile the structural engineers had the task to reinforce the foundations of these historic buildings to ensure that they can sustain the weight. According to calculations, the weight of the marble is equivalent to 250 adult elephants.