The Berkeley poised to open new top suite

31 Jul 2013 by GrahamSmith

London hotel the Berkeley is putting the finishing touches to its new luxury suite, which is due to be launched in mid-August.

Created by Andre Fu – the Hong Kong-based designer behind the Fullerton Bay hotel in Singapore and the Upper House in Hong Kong – the 280 sqm suite will be among the largest in the capital and offer views of Hyde Park and Knightsbridge.

The two-bedroom space will occupy an area of the fourth floor that formerly housed five guestrooms and one suite. It will also have a living space, a dining room for up to ten people, a kitchen, and a bathroom with a free-standing tub, walk-in shower and twin sinks and toilets.

Rooftop pool at the Berkeley

The hotel's stunning rooftop pool

Fu told Business Traveller that the suite, which is yet to be named, would be "fresh, sensuous, lush and comfortable".

He said: "[The Berkeley] sees a niche market demand for a luxurious suite that is a slight antithesis to what the current London market is offering.

"I believe the London market has two spectrums of suite experience. One is the super-opulent, traditional suite which is very grand and slightly ornate, but is never about the person who lives in it, it’s always about the experience of being in something very grand.

"Or else there is something that is very modern, uber high-tech and generally quite cold. What I focus on a lot is how a guest should feel inside a space and how they should be indulged within the context of this vast 280 sqm suite."

The suite will feature a colour palette of tan, mocca and mineral grey, bespoke furniture and lighting from Asia, and two artworks apiece from Christian Cadelli, Cynthia Sah and Barnaby Gorton. Guests will be able to control the lights, curtains and air conditioning with an iPad.

Fu added: "We've used three main materials – bamboo, which for me is something quite Asian but at the same time very renewable and perpetuates that feeling of warmth; a Turkish grey marble which we have treated with a flame finish…that makes it slightly rustic; and antique brushed brass, which for me is something very English. So we're juxtaposing those three elements together."

Fu is also designing the top floor of the upcoming Shangri-La hotel in London's Shard. Located on level 52 of the building, one half will comprise a pool and "fitness lounge", and the other half a bar called Gong. He said the pool, which overlooks Big Ben, "will become an integral part of the bar at night".

The bar would have "a slight sense of theatre", Fu said. "It's about intimate spaces – we've made the space into small salons, or boudoirs. We are reinterpreting some of the traditional Chinese design motifs, juxtaposing classic elements against something quite modern – we've got a big wall of Chinese cabinets using galvanised bronze, for example."

The hotel is now expected to open in the final quarter of this year, having been delayed.

The new Berkeley suite follows this month's launch of the property's newly designed Bamford Haybarn spa.

Split across the seventh and rooftop levels, the facility features a fresh, airy design, five treatment rooms, men’s and women’s steam rooms and saunas, manicure and pedicure stations, a gym and an attractive rooftop pool with a garden and sunbeds.

Treatments include the Bamford body signature treatment, deep tissue massage, de-stress massage and full-body exfoliation, for which specially made organic products are used.

In the past year the Berkeley has also refurbished 40 of its guestrooms.

Michelle Mannion

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