The hotel's ground floor, façade and entrances are being transformed. Huge, double-height floor-to-ceiling windows will offer spectacular views across to Green Park and create a generous south-facing front terrace for the hotel.
Kinnersley Kent Design, one of Britain’s most prestigious design consultancies, with a client roster that includes the Historic Royal Palaces, Heidi Klein, Fortnum & Mason, Marks & Spencer and Mercedes-Benz, is leading the project. 'The hotel has such a glamorous history,’ says partner Jill Higgins. ‘Our challenge was to retain the luxurious and friendly atmosphere that made this family-run hotel a London institution. The owners wanted the lobby to flow seamlessly into the bar and restaurant, encouraging guests to linger, enjoy, and feel at home.’
It was crucial for the interior transformation to strike the right balance between glamorous and approachable, classic and contemporary, as The Athenaeum building has been a permanent fixture in historical Mayfair since 1840. It is now one of the few family-run five-star hotels in London, and the update highlights the hotel’s independent spirit and offering for like-minded travellers. Which is why an illustrious new food and beverage partnership is also part of the big reveal…
London locals are abuzz about the relaunch, as the restaurant and bar will be steered by Michelin-starred chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin. Galvin at The Athenaeum promises a menu full of the kind of accomplished seasonal classics that the brothers are known for, this time with a fully British flavour.
Just as local produce is a key focus for the Galvin menus, and ‘delightfully English’ art and culture is a recurring theme in the hotel, British craftsmanship was sought for the new interiors. Bradford-based Abrahams & Carlisle created waiter stations, private-dining sideboards and bar tables. Oxfordshire’s Bampton Design built the conference and restaurant tables.Yorkshire’s Hill Cross Furniture put its upholsterers and seamstresses to the test for Galvin’s bespoke banquette seating.
As Higgins sourced furnishings for The Athenaeum as a modern reflection of its Art Deco heritage, she took care to also include a few standout furnishings from further afield: golden ‘Meshmatic’ chandeliers by Rick Tegelaar, ‘Paravento’ alloy partition screens by Dimore Studio, and the handsome ‘Valet’ mirrors and benches from Stellar Works.
Jeremy Hopkins, general manager of The Athenaeum, said: ‘We can’t wait to reveal the new Athenaeum. We’ve worked very hard to get every detail absolutely right. London may well have the most diverse hotel offering in the world, but luxury hotels now have to meet the demands of today’s guests. Our guests our confident, stylish and independent, and our recreation mirrors their character, enabling us to meet their expectations and provide a truly individual experience.’