Originally built in 1898 as Hotel Russell by English architect Charles Fitzroy Doll, this grand dame relaunched as The Principal London last April and rebranded as Kimpton Fitzroy London in October. Set in a restored Grade II- listed terracotta building, its ornate façade is embellished with Ionic-style columns, while its interiors are no less grandiose; for instance, taking centre stage in the quartzite-clad lobby is magnificent Zodiac floor mosaic. Upstairs, the 334 guestrooms have been given a more modern update. Splash out on a Corner Suite, which bears all the hallmarks of classic five-star luxury: a roomy lounge, a four-poster bed and a free-standing roll top bath you’ll want to spend all day in.
To create this dramatic new Aman resort, Kerry Hill Architects worked with Chinese entrepreneur Ma Dadong to painstakingly transport traditional Ming and Qing dynasty buildings plus an entire forest 700km away from Jiangxi to its current site.
Thousands of ancient camphor trees that were set to be felled by developers were rescued and delicately relocated to Amanyangun
The sense of history is palpable, from the towering 1,000-year-old Emperor Tree to the design of the 26 suites, pavilions and villas, some of which feature original stone carvings.
Looking for a hotel fit for royalty? Paris’ opulent Hôtel de Crillon, which reopened last year with 214 room and suites after a four-year renovation project helmed by architect Richard Martinet and artistic director Aline Asmar d’Amman, should be at the top of your list. The historic building – which has pride of place along the Place de la Concorde – dates back to 1758 and has functioned as a hotel since 1909. Its revamped aesthetic marries old and new, featuring plenty of marble and gold design touches, original chandeliers that have been updated with silver chain trimmings and a lavish underground swimming pool designed with 17,600 tiny gold scales. There’s also an in-house barber shop that’s been kitted out with chairs made from 1960s Aston Martin leather interiors and a lavish bar that features over 213 different types of Champagne.
SEE ALSO: The hotel hot list 2018: Urban retreats
This story originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine