The Peninsula London
It must have been frustrating for Peninsula Hotels not to have opened in London before now, when they have established hotels in so many of the world’s major cities.
They have been biding their time, waiting for the right central location to become available.
And now that it has, this newly-built property has comfortably settled into one of the most prestigious of London addresses.
Perfect, in fact, for housing such an exclusive brand.
The Peninsula London sits between Hyde Park and Green Park, just steps away from Buckingham Palace, Knightsbridge, Hyde Park Corner and Wellington Arch.
The hotel, impeccably designed by Hopkins Architects to harmonise with surrounding heritage architecture, embodies a sleek, spacious aesthetic that fills with natural light.
The hotel centres around an expansive, off-street courtyard, landscaped by celebrated designer Enzo Enea with climbing jasmine and wisteria vines, and two 120-year-old Japanese maples (the oldest trees of their kind in Europe).
This cobble-paved central forecourt, rare in bustling Belgravia, allows guests to arrive in discreet style – and to avail themselves of transport in the hotel’s luxury automotive fleet, which includes Rolls-Royces, a Bentley Bentayga, an electrified 1960 vintage Austin taxi, and a restored 1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom Sedanca de Ville.
As a group The Peninsula Hotels is known for its ties with automotive industries, it has long embraced automotive excellence, with each of its ten hotels maintaining a fleet of impeccable, customised vehicles for the convenience of its guests.
Most famous among these are the brand’s collection of sumptuous, bespoke Rolls-Royce motorcars, all finished in signature Peninsula Brewster Green.
Within the hotel, world-renowned architect and designer of interiors Peter Marino has created a calm and refined aesthetic, with light-filled spaces inspired by grand British houses and surrounding nature.
The Peninsula London’s 190 spacious guest rooms and suites start at 50 square metres in size and feature bespoke furnishings, textiles, and original artworks to evoke the feel of chic private residences.
All include mahogany-panelled dressing rooms, bathrooms of honey onyx stoneware, and customised fittings crafted by renowned British artisans; many have floor-to-ceiling windows with views over Wellington Arch.
This is Marino’s first hotel in the UK and his original design concept alluded to a martini glass, which, in his opinion, is the perfect cocktail.
Legend has it that during an early meeting with Peter Borer, COO of The Peninsula Hotels, he drew a sketch of a classic martini glass and outlined that the recipe is two-thirds “Peter Marino Modern”, one-third “English heritage” to celebrate the best of British culture with inspiration coming from the interiors of Apsley House, with the ceiling and coffering a nod to the Duke of Wellington‘s spectacular home across Hyde Park Corner, and lastly one olive, to reflect the exotic Asian flavour of Peninsula’s roots.
“My goal was to create something that felt like it could have always been there.
“I always think about what the guests perceive but especially how it makes them feel.
“I wanted to pull the landscape inside, to have a warm, friendly environment that makes you feel comfy.
“I wanted to create something with a bit of English style, with a touch of The Peninsula’s Asian world in there too”.
The Peninsula London is fortunate to be on the doorstep of the intense lush greenery of the two Royal Parks and Buckingham Palace Garden.
For Marino it felt very necessary to capture this, to bring ‘nature in’ and give London a hotel full of light.
The triple height Lobby has floor-to-ceiling windows, as do many of the guest rooms, which are flooded with natural light.
Canton Blue is The Peninsula London’s atmospheric destination for sophisticated Cantonese dining, which includes a main dining room, The Little Blue tea-room, the cocktail and dim sum bar, and two private dining salons, which can be connected to form a larger room for hosted events.
Canton Blue and The Little Blue are accessible from the street, with a dedicated entrance on Grosvenor Crescent, as well as internally via the hotel.
The design of Canton Blue has been masterminded by visionary designer Henry Leung from Hong Kong-based Interior Design agency, CAP Atelier, a long-term collaborator with The Peninsula Hotels.
Leung incorporates Chinese themes, symbols, designs and culture with a strong commitment to storytelling.
Canton Blue’s name originates from the Chinese gateway city of Canton and also references to the iconic cobalt blue (‘Blue Canton’) used to decorate Chinese porcelain.
Canton was a major port for the trade of porcelain, tea and silk.
It has a deep-rooted connection to the trade between China and the West that occurred throughout the 18th and 19th Century.
The overall design was inspired by the journey of one important ship, the historic three-masted 800-ton Fuzhou Chinese trading vessel, the Keying Junk, which set off from Canton to London via the Cape of Good Hope, New York and Boston.
This magnificent ship was seminal in establishing the trade route that brought Chinese culture to a wide audience in London in the 19th Century.
The design story is set around this ship bringing precious artefacts and materials over to the West.
Henry Leung references the porcelain, silk, tea and artefacts transported by the Keying Junk throughout the spaces, reinterpreting ancient craftsmanship with a contemporary and artistic approach.
Each space has a different focus of inspiration.
Coffered ceilings resemble a ship’s ancient timbers, some walls are panelled with traditional intricately carved, dark wood panelling; rich blue fabrics; dark red elements across hand-selected artwork and hand-made glass decorations.
The Little Blue bar is a destination in itself.
The intimate bar area is inspired by the Keying Junk’s wooden structure, with cosy seating areas and warm timber floors.
The Little Blue serves an impressive array of exotic and fascinating teas, brought alive by expertly hosted tea ceremonies, and tea-inspired cocktails.
Brooklands’ Restaurant & Bar
The group has a tradition for creating unique automotive-inspired destinations across its properties.
Brooklands racetrack was the world’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit.
Constructed in Surrey in 1907, it was the birthplace of British motorsport and aviation, home to the Concorde and the site of significant engineering achievements.
The Brooklands journey at this London hotel begins on the ground floor, in the dedicated lobby lined with timber and Bentley lights.
The space will display a rotating collection of rare memorabilia including the Napier Railton, the legendary racing car, and an original Concorde nose cone.
The elevator is a whimsical nod to a hot-air balloon ride, complete with a wicker-basket interior and red burner light to ‘power’ the ascent.
Guests arriving at the top floor will discover a host of spaces designed by British architect and design studio, Archer Humphryes.
To the east, Brooklands Bar offers unrivalled views over London’s skyline, including Buckingham Palace; and The Tasting Room, a cigar lounge and tabac.
To the west, the Trophy Room, an introduction to the legacy of the racetrack, leads to a light-flooded rooftop restaurant and expansive terrace.
The dramatically sleek, modern dining room pays full-sensory tribute to the Concorde. An arresting scale replica, designed for the restaurant by Archer Humphryes and created by manufacturer Discommon, spans the entire ceiling.
The aluminium model appears to soar above the dining tables, as projected light evokes movement and a floor-to-ceiling, digital artwork depicts abstract patterns to signify the journey through the atmosphere.
Underfoot, the carpet displays the constellations as they would have been seen from the plane.
Many pieces of furniture are replicas from the original Concorde lounge; whilst the chairs are designed by French designer Pierre Paulin.
Many of the bar’s distinctive design elements echo cutting-edge achievements in automotive and aviation design.
The geodetic ceiling is inspired by the work of Barnes Wallis, who was instrumental in the development of airframe structures in the early 20th century.
The carriage seating and leather-lined wall panelling recall those of the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost; the glass chandelier is inspired by the blades of its turbine engines.
Posters and pictures, along with a library cabinet stocked with books, maps and historic items, have been gifted from Brooklands museum.
The bar’s private space, The Napier Railton Room, is an ode to the world lap record holder and can seat up to 16.
The Tasting Room and The Tabac
Taking design inspiration from The Delage Car, the first car to win at Brooklands racetrack, The Tasting Room features dark-stained walnut panelling and a coffered ceiling above.
The leather walls are lined with extractors to ensure no fume strays into the restaurant and bar.
The Tabac, with its magnificent detail in mahogany, brass, and cedar, is inspired by the famous racing car designs of Hispano Suiza.
A humidor displays a collection of over 2,000 premier cigars from around the world: the highest quality collection in London.
The hotel also houses the largest public cigar locker room in the world, with 280 lockers hidden underground, humidity and temperature-controlled to exacting standards.
The Peninsula London is designed for the rich and super rich but this should not dissuade those who still rely on a monthly wage from paying an occasional visit.
In Canton Blue and Brooklands London has two new high-end destination restaurants and the top floor bar is an absolute delight.
The perfect place, in fact, to enjoy a martini or two.