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The rebirth of a legendary hotel – Four Seasons London

Four Seasons London

The Four Seasons family is working hard on polishing one of the largest and most impressive jewels in the hotel chain’s crown, or better yet bringing a new ‘baby’ into the refined world luxury hospitality. The Four Seasons Hotel in London is undergoing a complex process of restoration, ‘reinvention’ and beautification, as fit one of the most renowned hotels in the world. It would be expected that more attention would be paid to this location in particular, as it has a special significance to the owner of the Four Seasons brand, the famous Mr. Isadore Sharp, an utter guru in the hospitality industry. Their London hotel was the first one to be opened outside the North American continent, thus the pressure on it being a huge success was even greater. But the worries proved to be in vain, as it has become one of the key locations worldwide for the chain. The Four Seasons London was considered to be the first step in ‘conquering’ Europe and then the entire world. And it appears that their strategy has worked like a charm, now Four Seasons owning 83 hotels in 35 countries across the globe.

The history behind this place is just as interesting. Given its unbeatable location, being set in the heart of London’s posh Mayfair, away from the hustle and bustle of Park Lane and just steps away from the green paradise of Hyde Park, it was initially called Inn On The Park. In 1970, Princess Alexandra opened this highly desirable location, which was to become under the Four Seasons brand one of the most sought after hotel in the British Isles.

What makes the reopening of the Four Seasons in London one of the most talked about events of the year is the fact that it is not undergoing just a few minor interior refurbishments, but a full remodeling process that will highlight the contemporary Four Seasons standards. This project is very close to John Stauss’ heart, and it comes as no surprise as he has been its general manager for the past 16 years and has managed to transform it into one of the most famous hotels in the world. According to him: ‘This is not merely a renovation. This is a brand new hotel. We stripped the building’s interior down to its bare structure, allowing us to reinvent the layout completely and incorporate state-of-the-art mechanical systems. We’re creating a new hotel at the forefront of today’s Four Seasons standards.’ As a fabulous new addition to the hotel, there will be an all-glass top floor, dedicated to a world-destination spa. After his widely acclaimed success in designing the interiors for the Four Seasons hotels in Paris, Florence, Geneva and many other top locations, Pierre-Yves Rochon has been appointed the task of creating the design for the 192 rooms, which are expected to be ready to receive their guests later this year.

The Four Seasons brand has managed to get ahead of many other international luxury chains by bringing forth innovative ideas vis-à-vis the high end hospitality sector. It was them who came up with the concept of ‘informal luxury’, thus offering the same kind of flawless services but in a more relaxed, cozy and intimate manner. Also they introduced the now widely used practice of luxury bath amenities. Apparently, step by step, all of their revolutionary perspectives on luxury accommodation have been copied by other international hotel chains.

For the past couple of years, we witnessed a very tight race between the two major players on the luxury hospitality market, namely Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental. Watching each other’s every step, they planned their expansion strategy to the last detail so that neither of them could really propel to number one. However, judging from the refreshingly reviving whiff that is blowing through the Four Seasons, the Canadian owned chain might get ahead by making use of the traditions that put it at the front of the race in the first place.

 

Mircea Filimon

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