DIPLOMATIC CONCIERGE: Venetia van Kuffeler takes at look at The Doyle Collection’s latest design transformation
Venetia van Kuffeler takes at look at The Doyle Collection’s latest design transformation
LAST YEAR, THEDoyle Collection, the privately owned hotel group, unveiled its most recent transformation. The Bloomsbury is one of five luxury hotels within the group that the diplomatic community will be all too familiar with; the others being The Kensington and The Marylebone in London, The Westbury in Dublin and The Du Pont Circle in Washington, DC.
Just steps from the Barbados High Commission and a short walk from the Cuban Embassy, the transformation of The Bloomsbury has been a long-term focus for the brand, whose vision is to create a group of beautifully designed hotels that are deeply rooted to their local area.
Designed in 1928 by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the Grade II listed building on Great Russell Street was built as the YWCA’s Central Club for county ladies residing in London. Her Majesty Queen Mary laid the foundation stone in June 1929, and Lutyens modelled the exterior on Her Majesty’s doll’s house, which he himself designed for the monarch. The building became lauded as one of the finest club buildings in the world.
Today, the hotel sensitively continues that feel of a private club or home, which is apparent the moment guests stride up the original Portland Stone steps into the small reception area, with the Lutyens-inspired sitting room opposite. With a reputation for creating some of the world’s most celebrated interiors, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio has made no exception with The Bloomsbury. Décor is colourful and eye-catching, with vibrant wallpapers, and an electric mix of furnishings, artwork and lighting make the hotel’s public spaces one of the most shared London hotels on social media.
Rooms vary from ‘Cosy’ (at 16 square metres) to our Luxury Studio Suite (40 square metres), which came in rich shades of crimson and navy, complete with wooden-panelled walls and parquet flooring. Sliding wooden doors revealed an Italian marble bathroom, with heated floors and both a shower and roll-top bath. Stylish, comfortable and practical.
Downstairs, the award-winning Dalloway Terrace (named after the eponymous character created by Virginia Woolf), has become one of London’s most sought-after alfrescodining hotspots. Serving delightful British fayre such as Dorset crab on the hotel group’s famous Guinness bread, the food is as easy on the eye as the surroundings; the quintessentially English garden space is cleverly both an indoor and outdoor restaurant, offering peace and quiet despite the central location.
Found in a vast double height space at the front of the hotel, the magnificent Coral Room is dominated by a beautiful marble topped bar and bespoke Murano glass chandeliers. The menu serves food all day, from healthy breakfast options to light bites, and has an extensive list of English sparkling wines and cutting edge original cocktails.
On the lower ground floor, the atmosphere becomes moodier still; the Bloomsbury Club Bar is furnished with plush leather armchairs, dimmed lighting and rich mahogany panelling, and also has a cosy outdoor space. The drinks menu takes inspiration from the hedonistic Bloomsbury Set, with a selection of original cocktails named after literary icons and their libertine lifestyle, such as: ‘Virginia Woolf’, ‘Leonard Woolf’ and ‘Vanessa Bell’.
Coinciding with the refurbishment of the hotel, Bloomsbury as an area is experiencing a transformation of its own. Although there is currently a lot of construction, the arrival of Crossrail next year will make the journey to and from Heathrow even more accessible.
The informal yet luxurious Bloomsbury hotel is a welcoming haven in the heart of London’s West End, not only for its residents, but the Dalloway Terrace, Coral Room and Bloomsbury Club are great places to meet and socialise, ensuring the area will continue to be a meeting place for the glitterati for generations to come.
THE BLOOMSBURY, 16-22 GREAT RUSSELL STREET, LONDON WC1B 3NN