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(see ad opposite). It is almost impossible to pass this statue without stopping to admire it, like so much of the art within the hotel. The far end of the bar is flanked by two

backlit glass encased wine rack walls, designed and precision built by the architects to keep the bottles at the correct temperature. Beyond the bar, separated by a central fireplace, is the restaurant. There is a rather classy rotund private dining room to one side, the walls are clad in panels of red silk and the large round polished table has an impressive, decorative chandelier directly overhead. I have no doubt that this room will be much in demand. As the restaurant nears the glass doors that lead to the patio garden, the formal becomes informal. Where the carpet ends, marble tile flooring begins and the plush red chairs make way for lighter cane furniture. You become aware that you are seated within a space that alludes to a grand conservatory and during the summer months, as the glass doors are pushed apart, this extends into the patio for al fresco dining within the walled garden. This end of the hotel is in fact an extension that continues on the floors above. Quite apart from providing more space to the hotel inside it provides a much needed cosmetic improvement to the exterior, which is further enhanced by the cleaned Portland stone cladding and a new Porte-cochère dressed in polished black granite with an overhead “constellation” fibre-optic ceiling; a fitting entrance to celebrate the grandest of events. At ground and first floor level, to the front of the

hotel, occasional planting areas have been created in purposely designed spaces within the outer and

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inner layers of glazing, liked contained window boxes. These are a visual delight and the space helps to separate the street from the hotel interior. Above, the first floor meeting rooms are a delight. Whilst it is evident that each of the seven function rooms is equipped with the most up to date AV technology, six of them are designed in keeping with the elegant 1930’s theme and the largest of these has a ocean liner feel to it; a look that is replicated in the

outer corridors and break out spaces. The upper floors contain 192 rooms and suites,

reconfigured from the original 217 rooms and 20 suites in order to provide more space. The hotel’s rooms come in one of two colour schemes, every room is spacious and well designed and the finishes are superb. Of particular note is the abundance of sycamore and polished walnut wood used to frame windows and corridors as well as for the built in


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