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This iconic London hotel has had a makeover – and it’s as glamorous as you’d expect

After three decades, The Dorchester is sporting a new, elegant look 



Sitting gracefully on Mayfair’s Park Lane, The Dorchester is one of London’s best, most opulent hotels for many reasons. Perhaps it’s the royals, A-listers and socialites that have frequented the grande dame since it opened in 1931, or the supporting role it played in the Bond series. Nevertheless, the hotel is an iconic landmark in London's skyline and after a year of renovations, the transformation is as jaw-dropping as you might expect.


The Promenade


In January 2023, The Dorchester unveiled the head-to-toe revamp of the ground floor: the lobby, The Promenade restaurant and the Bond-inspired Vesper Bar, and a new addition – Artists’ Bar.


The redesign was headed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, whose other work includes The Savoy and Paris’ Four Seasons George V, and Martin Brudnizki, responsible for tasteful interiors in some of London’s most exclusive private members’ club.


Revealing only a glimpse of what’s to come inside, a manicured garden terrace stands by a new Jill Berelowitz bronze sculpture, ready to welcome Mercedes-AMGs, Bentleys and sports cars alike as they drive in.


The Dorchester


Upon entry, gone are the butter-yellow walls, refreshed with off-whites and gold splashings. Art Deco iron frames the floor-to-ceiling windows enough to still let natural light through, breathing new life into the previously dark space.


The ground floor, replete with bespoke artwork, more so resembles the city’s opulent galleries than a place to check-in and lounge. Paris-based art consultancy VISTO worked exclusively with British artists to curate a nature-themed series specifically for The Dorchester. From a gold-plated honeycomb to three-dimensional butterflies and a timeless take on The Serpentine lake nearby, the series pays homage to the hotel’s proximity to Hyde Park and the English landscape movement of the 18th century.


Lobby at The Dorchester


The ground floor, replete with bespoke artwork, more so resembles the city’s opulent galleries than a place to check-in and lounge. Paris-based art consultancy VISTO worked exclusively with British artists to curate a nature-themed series specifically for The Dorchester. From a gold-plated honeycomb to three-dimensional butterflies and a timeless take on The Serpentine lake nearby, the series pays homage to the hotel’s proximity to Hyde Park and the English landscape movement of the 18th century.


Lobby at The Dorchester


Past the concierge is where most of the glitz and glamour happens, with its pastel pink and blue plump velvet chairs and floral crown moulding. Formally christened The Promenade, and informally known as the ‘heart of The Dorchester’, this is where some of London’s best hotel restaurants pump life into the space – the doors to three-Michelin Alain Ducasse, Cantonese spot China Tang and Tom Booton’s The Grill connect here, alongside Vesper Bar.


The Promenade breakfast


But The Promenade is a dining destination in its own right. Culinary director Martyn Nail (ex-Claridges) continues to influence the capital’s restaurant scene, serving an all-day contemporary British menu for hotel guests and Londoners to enjoy. Eggs florentine is served over breakfast, veal viennoise during lunch and refined afternoon tea later on. Come dinner time, the dimmed lights create a more intimate setting to indulge in Dover sole and fluffy potatoes.


Stamp Duty cocktail at The Dorchester


The marbled tiles contrast with the floral carpet, and copper lanterns cast a warm glow that leads you to the Artists’ Bar at the far end of The Promenade. As the name suggests, it is only after stepping inside the space, and past the black and gold pillars, that one can truly appreciate the art collection plastered throughout. Pitched above one of the tables is Ann Carrington’s hand-sewn mother-of-pearl piece inspired by the Queen Elizabeth II postage stamp, while nearby hangs Ewan Eason’s gold-clad aerial view of west London with The Dorchester at its centre. But the pièce de résistance is the original Liberace mirrored piano, painstakingly restored for the resident pianist to play soothing tunes all day.


The Promenade


The food here is as glitzy as the setting: Beluga caviar with blinis, sea bass ceviche and lobster cocktails accompany the Cristal Champagne and Japanese spirits by the Lalique bar. 


The second bar, renamed Vesper Bar, is a culmination of The Dorchester’s long-standing relationship with the Bond films. From housing authors Ian Fleming and William Boyd to hosting all six James Bond actors, it was only fitting that the revamp included an ode to the series. Taking on a roaring thirties theme of vibrant shades and eclectic decor, the bar oozes a speakeasy vibe that's perfect for a nightcap. With a dedicated Park Lane entrance, it's on a fast track to becoming one of London’s best bars.  


Vesper Bar


The Palladium leaf ceiling and sage-coloured leather stools against the illuminating copper bar further nod to the hotel's history. And plush blue and green seats and silky pink lampshades add a cosy touch, while Cecil Beaton’s pieces add an elegant finish.


Vesper Bar


The DJ performs upbeat tunes long into the night and bartenders are eager to concoct house signatures and twists on classics – for the Vesper martini, dry vermouth is swapped for bespoke Dorchester gin (shaken not stirred, of course). Nibbles include bite-sized lamb wellingtons with rich hollandaise sauce and crispy crusts to shrimps and lobsters.


Artists' Bar


The new rooms and suites will be unveiled in March 2023.

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