The Berkeley is Back

National Gallery Trafalgar Square London
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Collins Room, formerly the Caramel Room, is a dining spot that’s decorated with marble, chandeliers and chinoiserie wallpaper.

Collins Room, formerly the Caramel Room, is a dining spot that’s decorated with marble, chandeliers and chinoiserie wallpaper.

It’s not unusual to see photos from The Berkeley flash through your Instagram feed. After all, the Blue Bar — originally designed by David Collins — is famous for its bespoke cocktails, while Prêt-à-Portea — the fashion runway-inspired Afternoon Tea — is a London institution. But now there’s another reason the beau monde is talking about The Berkeley (and snapping pretty pics). This past summer, the Knightsbridge luxury hotel unveiled the results of a face-changing architectural renovation. Beyond the dramatic new façade — a cantilevered canopy made of glass, steel and carbon fiber beams — top designers have waved their wands over the interiors.

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Robert Angell, protégé of the late David Collins, conceived the makeover of the Blue Bar. This was not a project to be taken lightly; the iconic original design, incorporating 50 different shades of blue, had even inspired a new hue of “Lutyens Blue,” named for Sir Edwin Lutyens, the architect who had created the bar’s original wood paneling. In an enlarged space at the front of the hotel, the Blue Bar offers a new color-themed menu to go along with the handsome new look. Hint: Cocktails get more potent as you go along the rainbow spectrum. (Green = easygoing and low-alcohol, while red = potent.)

Angell also redesigned the former Caramel Room, which is now called the Collins Room in homage to the famous designer. Guests can enjoy Prêt-à-Portea in a light-filled, all-day dining spot that’s decorated with marble, chandeliers reminiscent of white leaves, and hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper by de Gournay.

Perhaps the most exciting news of all: The launch of a new suite collection by architect John Heah, whose portfolio includes the Four Seasons Bali at Sayan and select Aman resorts. The Grand Terrace Suites overlook a planted garden facing St. Paul’s Church on Wilton Street. Other buzzworthy new suites include the Apartment, the Park Suite (with views over Hyde Park) and the Gallery Suite, named for the carefully curated collection of artwork adorning the space.

Managed by the Maybourne Hotel Group, the Berkeley has been a fixture in Knightsbridge since the late 19th century. Top-notch facilities include the rooftop pool, the Bamford Hayburn organic spa, and the Michelin two-starred Marcus restaurant.

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