Anouska Hempel has just completed a multimillion-pound, eight-month refurbishment of Blakes, the London hotel she founded in 1978.
The former actress, now Lady Winberg, was brought in by new owners Meir Abutbul and Navid Mirtorabi as consultant creative director to refresh the 47-bedroom property, which is regarded as one of the world's first boutique hotels.
Vibrant colour schemes and an abundance of accessories collected by Hempel on her travels are scattered throughout the hotel, which provides an updated version of her original East-meets-West style.
Suite 007, the largest in the hotel, features original French art nouveau doors, hand-painted white floors and a large Victorian drawing room.
New to the property is the Courtyard, a green oasis which draws inspiration from a Japanese garden, and a gym.
Hempel sold the hotel to Atlan Holdings of Malaysia in 2004 for around £18m. It was later bought by GuestInvest, which collapsed into administration in 2008. Abutul, owner of the Apostrophe pâtisserie chain, and hotelier Mirtorabi bought the hotel last year for around £20m and have plans to replicate the brand in key European cities.
Blakes is now a member of Design Hotels, a marketing group of 200 hotels in 40 countries.
By Janet Harmer
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