The Dorchester Hotel—a glamorous London landmark that’s favored by royalty and has strong connections to the “James Bond” series—debuted its new look this month. The first major renovation since the 1980’s, the hotel in Mayfair created a lavish 007-inspired cocktail lounge and added an Artists’ Bar where Liberace’s restored, mirrored grand piano is a dazzling attention-grabber.
Opened in 1931, the Dorchester is undergoing a head-to-toe renovation. The now complete first phase revealed by the Dorchester encompasses the forecourt, entrance, lobby, The Promenade and Artists’ Bar.
Plus, the hotel tapped acclaimed designer Martin Brudnizki to transform its The Bar at The Dorchester into the new James-Bond inspired Vesper Bar, a nod to the 1953 novel “Casino Royale,” and a sophisticated spot to pair martinis with oysters and lobster tempura.
The Vesper Bar is a tribute to The Dorchester’s many connections with James Bond throughout the years. Bond author Ian Fleming stayed and dined at The Dorchester throughout his life and when William Boyd continued the series with the novel “Solo,” Bond wakes up in a suite at The Dorchester on his 45th birthday. In the 1960s and 70s, EON, the production company for the “James Bond” films, even had an office at the hotel. Over the decades, The Dorchester has welcomed James Bond cast members.
The Hollywood-esque bar’s ornate design includes a 1930’s Palladium leaf ceiling and a cocktail menu that honors other famous hotel guests, including Elizabeth Taylor who stayed at the hotel 37 times and signed her contract for Cleopatra in a bath in the Harlequin Suite. The Bessie Mae (which was Taylor’s nickname) is a cocktail has “bubbles” on top.
Other overhauls include the forecourt, which features a green granite underfoot and a landscape garden area underneath the leafy plane tree. The open lobby is flooded with natural light and imposing artworks, like the cast and gilded overlapping honeycomb layers that artist Sophie Coryndon imagined for a hanging tapestry. A large-scale oil painting from artist Christian Furr hints at the neighboring Hyde Park and The Serpentine.
At the heart and soul of the hotel, The Promenade was re-imagined by award-winning luxury designer Pierre-Yves Rochon.
The space is flanked by pillars and feature delicate white and soft sage green ceilings finished with gold leaf accents. The Promenade hosts dining traditions, including the hotel’s afternoon tea and dinners finished with signature crêpes flambéed tableside.
The Artists’ Bar is an extension of The Promenade, and it shines from every angle with Liberace’s legendary piano that matches the mirrored ceiling. Cocktails are served on trolleys and the space doubles as an art gallery, with standout pieces including Ann Carrington’s work inspired by the Queen Elizabeth II postage stamp. The large-scale silhouette of the late Queen was created with mother of pearl buttons, individually sewn by hand.
More Dorchester renovations are in the pipeline.
Madeover rooms and suites are set to debut in March with soft Englishe-inspired color palettes (think: pale leaf green and rosy pinks as well as heather blue and lemon yellow). Also, a forthcoming Cake & Flower shoppable boutique will be stocked with the sweeter things in life: Pastries and bouquets.