The legendary Café Royal has reopened this week as London's latest luxury hotel, four years after it was closed for a multimillion-pound refurbishment.
Originally opened in 1865 and once the home of the National Sporting Club, the property was bought in 2008 on a 125-year lease from the Crown Estate by the Israeli company Alrov Properties, run by property and design entrepreneurs Alfred and Gerorgi Akirov.
The building has since been transformed into a five-star, 159-bedroom hotel under the direction of David Chipperfield Architects.
Alongside the opening of some of the bedrooms, this month will also see the launch of the Ten Room brasserie-style restaurant, the Grill and Donmino Rooms with Champagne bar, the main bar and contemporary café, under the direction of executive chef, Andrew Turner.
In the New Year, the Aksha Holistic Wellbeing Centre will be launched, together with six historic suites, the largest of which, the Empire, will measure 212sq m.
The Café Royal is the second hotel, alongside the Conservatorium in Amsterdam, to join The Set, the Akirov's new collection of hotels. A third hotel, the Lutetia, will open next year in Paris.
By Janet Harmer
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