When we caught up with Alfred and Georgi Akirov last summer, the hoteliers behind Amsterdam's Conservatorium (W*157) were on the cusp of relaunching London's Café Royal as a hotel (W*159). Now we've revisited the site and most - though not all - of their restoration work is finally complete. The opening is phased, they say. First came the introduction of 160 guest rooms and some public spaces, such as all-day dining at the Ten Room, the Bar and the Grill Room. Following that, the hotel's street-front café, with its floor-to-ceiling Sienna marble, homemade pastries and ordered window display of Austrian gugelhupf, opened its doors quietly in March. The lower-level spa and five of six historic suites followed this summer. The final and grandest of the suites, the former clubroom of the County Fire Office, is about to welcome its first guests. Located on the sixth floor, the top corner of the hotel, the aptly named Dome Suite sits under a copper cupola, surrounded by two terraces with views of Big Ben and Piccadilly Circus. Inside, a circular, open-plan space designed by David Chipperfield Architects features a living room (complete with DJ booth), sumptuous bedroom and Ming-green marble bathroom showcasing a dramatic 1.2 tonne bath.
The Dome Suite at Hotel Café Royal, London, UK