LUX July 2017

LUX - July 2017 41 London’s Most Literary Neighbourhood The Principal London occupies the eastern flank of Russell Square in Bloomsbury, London’s most literary neighbourhood. Currently closed for multi-million- pound restoration, The Principal London is due to open in Autumn 2017. Paula McColgan introduces the architectural influences upon the magnificent hotel building, as the interview commences. “Overlooking London’s Russell Square, The Frederick Hotel Company’s Hotel Russell was completed in 1898. Based on the design of the 16th-century Château de Madrid in Paris, the exterior of the hotel is decorated with distinctive thé-au-lait (‘tea with milk’) terracotta. The hotel design was very well received in articles of the day, and it went on to have a great influence on the future appearance of the square’s other properties - when their leases came up for review, they were extensively renovated with terracotta to bring one consistent style to the square. “The Frederick Hotel Company commissioned prominent architect of the day, Charles Fitzroy Doll, to bring this ambitious project to life. After an illustrious design career, he went on to become the Major of Holborn for two terms, as well as a being a Justice of the Peace in his home town of Much Hadham in Hertfordshire. “Partly in response to the success of the Hotel Russell, Doll received what would become his most famous commission: the RMS Titanic. The ship’s grand dining room was based on the hotel’s restaurant, and the Titanic also had an exact replica of ‘Lucky George’ - the hotel’s bronze dragon, which can be found on the landing of the main staircase.” “The sculptor Henry Charles Fehr also designed life-size statues of four British Queens to sit above the main entrance: Elizabeth I, Mary II, Anne and Victoria. The four suites in the hotel were named after them. Lavishly appointed, the hotel was always intended to be a home to glamour and luxury. We are currently restoring this grande dame to her original glory, ready for many more guests to enjoy.” Paula is eager to explain the range of rooms and suites on offer, including the city single, guest, superior and deluxe rooms. “Firstly, city single rooms have custom-designed beds with a cocooning, wrap-around headboard and hand-made, pocket-sprung mattresses. The rooms have been meticulously designed to maximise the available space, and offer clever storage and beautiful bathrooms; finishing touches include custom-designed carpet, monogrammed cushions and specially commissioned artwork. This calls of room is ideal for the business traveller or perhaps for a short break in London. “Our guest rooms offer a double bed, custom-made for Principal. The attractive bedrooms have been thoughtfully laid out to provide a practical work desk and accent lighting alongside touches of luxury, from the rich colour palette and 300 thread-count bed linen, to a unique collaboration with The Perfumer’s Story for the bathroom amenities. “Our superior rooms provide additional space to our guest rooms and are ideal for longer stays or as an affordable upgrade. Tara Bernerd & Partners have designed the interiors to reflect the heritage of the building, and to make the most of period details. Features include specially commissioned artwork, a curated selection of books, as well as beautiful bed linen and big fluffy bathrobes. Most rooms have king- size beds, but some have two double beds instead. “The hotel’s deluxe rooms all overlook the gardens in Russell Square and are some of the best rooms in the house, with a real sense of place and a lovely attention to detail. Guests enjoy all the design features they would find in a Superior room, along with an enhanced list of amenities. Deluxe double doubles have two double beds and make ideal family rooms, with bags of space and beds so comfortable that even the kids might want a lie-in.” Finally, Paula draws our attention to the generous nature of the hotel’s suites in terms of the space available, as well as other facilities available there. “The hotel’s suites are generous rooms with sofas and space to stretch out and relax. They include hand-made, pocket-sprung super-king mattresses made in the UK especially for Principal and thoughtful touches such as fresh flowers daily, Dualit coffee maker, a selection of London ales in the mini bar and a luxury tuck box of treats to which guests can help themselves. The ceramic-and-marble bathrooms offer a mix of walk-in shower stalls and roll-top baths.” “When it comes to eating and drinking, at the heart of The Principal London is the magnificently restored Palm Court. For something more casual, try Burr & Co., and for glamorous nights out head to Fitz’s bar. Watch out for news of our talented restaurant partners. “We also cater for meetings and events, indeed the magnificent ballroom at The Principal London holds up to 450 people and has the wow factor you’d expect of a grande dame hotel. Eight additional meeting and event spaces combine elegant good looks with smart AV and IT.” The Principal Hotel Company owns and operates over 40 landmark buildings across the length and breadth of the U.K, comprising of Principal in city centres and De Vere, modern, country estate hotels with mansion houses at their heart, both of which are currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment project, the result of a £250 million investment. We interviewed Director of Sales and Marketing at The Principal London, Paula McColgan to learn more about their marvellous hotel, located in central London. Company: The Principal London Name: Paula McColgan Director of Sales and Marketing Email: [email protected] Web Address: Address: 1-8 Russell Square, London WC1B 5BE, UK Telephone: +44 (0)844 854 2910