Since it opened in 1931, The Dorchester has stood proudly on Park Lane as one of London’s most renowned hotels. It has always been a magnet for the rich and famous, hosting a string of royals and celebrities over the years: Elizabeth Taylor brought various husbands there, King Charles had his stag do in one of its suites back in the day, and recent A-list guests have ranged from the Kardashians to Kate Moss.
The essence of the hotel is the same as when it first launched – but, of course, it’s always evolving too. Most recently, there has been a big revamp of the ground floor, with the new design revealed today, complete with two new bars and a new look for The Promenade. So what can visitors expect?
First up: a brand-new cocktail destination, The Artists’ Bar. Designed as a space to enjoy champagne, seafood and entertainment, Artists’ Bar features glamorous interiors, complete with Lalique crystal designs and Liberace’s legendary mirrored piano. Original artworks by artists working in Britain line the walls, celebrating the city of London and reflecting The Dorchester’s history, with nods to famous figures associated with the hotel.
On the menu you’ll find luxurious dishes like Irish rock oysters, caviar, ceviche, sashimi and sushi, plus an extensive menu of wine and champagne. Cocktails, too, will be a key focus, paying tribute to the art and served tableside on bespoke trolleys.
Alongside this sits Vesper Bar, found in the space which formerly housed The Bar at The Dorchester. With interiors by industry maverick Martin Brudnizki (the man behind Annabel’s), the bar is inspired by the 1930s – think ornate decor and Cecil Beaton artworks – with a dedicated entrance on Park Lane, plus an outside terrace overlooking Hyde Park.
The name, meanwhile, is a nod to the hotel’s long-standing connection with James Bond. Ian Fleming – the author who created Bond – stayed and dined there on multiple occasions during his lifetime, and the hotel is mentioned in his books. Numerous press junkets for films have taken place there too, and all six James Bonds, 14 Bond girls, four M’s and nine villains have rested their heads within its luxurious rooms. Fleming invented the Vesper Cocktail in the Casino Royale novel, hence the bar name.
That means, naturally, martinis are the star of the show. Enjoy these alongside small plates, such as yellowfin tuna, lobster tempura, truffle pizzette, steak sandwiches and more.
The Dorchester’s famous lobby, known as The Promenade, has also undergone a makeover, spearheaded by designer Pierre-Yves Rochon. Its yellow walls have been replaced, with the new design featuring colours inspired by the British landscape: white and sage green ceilings are finished with gold leaf accents.
The Promenade is a pathway to the hotel’s restaurants, like The Grill at The Dorchester and China Tang – but it’s a dining destination in its own right too. Guests will still be able to enjoy everything from breakfast to dinner in the revamped space – plus enjoy its world-famous afternoon tea.
In March 2023, The Dorchester will unveil the next stage of its transformation: renovated rooms and suites. Watch this space.