The opening of the new Cafe Royal hotel in central London has been delayed until October and will start taking bookings next month.
The historic property had originally hoped to open this month (see online news February 23) in time for the Olympics but the hotel’s general manager Louis Sailer confirmed that the opening would now be in the autumn.
“Initially we had hoped it would be this summer,” Sailer told Business Traveller‘s sister publication ABTN. “But we have put it back so that we can have as much of the hotel complete as possible. October is now the realistic date for opening.”
Cafe Royal on Regent Street will feature 159 rooms and suites. It will be part of The Set group of upmarket properties, which also includes the Conservatorium in Amsterdam, which opened in December 2011, and the forthcoming Hotel Lutetia in Paris.
Cafe Royal, which was famous for being the meeting place for the likes of Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Taylor, Winston Churchill and Princess Diana, closed in December 2008.
As part of the conversion into a hotel, many of the Cafe Royal’s original interiors and features which date from the 1860s have been restored including the Grill Room restaurant and Domino Room.
Sailer said that the hotel was currently taking enquires for both rooms and meetings, and would begin taking bookings from next month when it will launch its website. Rooms will lead in at £450 per room per night.
The property will feature five meeting rooms which can cater for sit-down dinners of up to 120 people and meetings for 200 delegates.
“We will have total capacity for 400 people throughout the five rooms,” said Sailer. “They will all be beautiful with views looking down to Regent Street. But the rooms are smaller than before and we would not be able to do the large banquets of 500-600 people that used to be held at the Cafe Royal.
“All markets are going to be important for us including both corporate and leisure markets.”
The new hotel includes the original Cafe Royal building and two adjoining properties, with the renovation being led by David Chipperfield Architects.
Sailer said that the hotel would “weave the old with the new” with the bedrooms featuring marble wall panels, oak floors and “copperlight” doors.
“We will be a 21st century luxury hotel but we also want to continue the history of the Cafe Royal for the next 100 years,” he added. “It’s all about quality and we think the new hotel will fill a gap by adding something new to the high-end luxury London market.
“I think most of the rooms are larger than usual for London – about 35 square metres, going up to 50 square metres.”
There will be 49 suites at the hotel – around 30 per cent of all rooms. Other public areas will include a private members club, spa and gym with an 18-metre lap pool.
For more information visit thesethotels.com.
Report by Rob Gill