Just a stroll away from the River Thames, between the power epicenter of the Houses of Parliament and Whitehall Place, Corinthia Hotel London represents the perfect marriage of Old World grandeur and 2lst-century design.
Steeped in history, the Corinthia is housed in a 125-year-old building that began as the prestigious Hôtel Métropole, a place where fashionable dinner parties and society balls were the order of the day. The building later became Sir Winston Churchill's Ministry of Defense during World II.
Recently renovated and relaunched, the original charm of the opulent Victorian architecture has been retained by the London-based design studio GA Design that decorated the lobby, ballroom, spa, 294 guest rooms, 36 luxury suites and seven penthouses. Inspired by the designs from stately grand English homes, the hotel's interiors were given a contemporary twist while staying true to the theme of a grand hotel.
Upon entering the hotel, visual senses are immediately heightened by the Lobby Lounge's showstopping focal point — the Full Moon crystal chandelier, a glistening celestial spectacle with light emitting from within each of the 1,001 crystal globes created by Parisian designer Chafik Gasmi and produced by Baccarat. Situated in the room's soaring dome, the chandelier is the largest and only one of its kind.
Stars like Oprah, Cameron Diaz, Colin Firth, Rihanna, and Kirsten Dunst (just to name a few) are drawn to the hotel's distinctive design elements where craftsmanship remains supreme. From the century-old printed leaves dotting the elevator doors, to the bathrooms ensconced in marble from the same quarry from which Michelangelo sourced his materials, it's all in the details. And as is popular in hospitality, 250 specially commissioned original artworks, predominately by British artists, grace the walls of the hotel.
At the forefront of the hotel's unique identity are the seven themed penthouse suites. Each two-story accommodation is tailored to the characters who might inhabit them — Explorer, Writer, Actor, Musician and Royal — and designed with its own internal elevator, private dining room, spectacular stairway and roof-top terrace with panoramic views of the city.
Themed touches abound — the Musician's suite features a classic Steinway piano and state-of-the-art record deck while the Explorer's site evokes the elegance of the Belle Époque with a chandelier of a mechanical model of the solar system. The sophisticated Actor's suite is a nod to Old Hollywood with dark parquet flooring, blue-painted raised and fielded paneling, a movie poster from Casablanca and a cocktail cabinet to complete the look. The Royal Penthouse boasts an oval 10-seating dining room with a highly polished Makassar ebony table and mirror-paneled walls. Goatskin bedside tables and a bedframe of walnut and leather are just further examples of the most intricate craftsmanship and attention to detail.
London designer David Collins designed the hotel's eateries and bars: Bassoon, Massimo Restaurant and Oyster. Bassoon's 23-foot-long piano forms the bar top surrounded by a Gatsby-era inspired Art Deco room with smoked glass doors. The walls, ceiling, and furniture all take their cues from the musical references to highlight the parallels between music and design as Collins notes, "Shagreen wrapped and musically referenced, this beautifully engaging room offers an experience which envelopes the senses."