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Brief Published: 1 Feb 2012

Royal Revamp


London's Café Royal - a 157-year-old celebrity playground, where British icon Winston Churchill pondered his political future, and Irish writer Oscar Wilde hallucinated on absinthe - is being transformed into a hotel, slated to open this summer.

It joins the likes of London's historic Savoy Hotel and the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, which were both transformed in 2010 and 2011 respectively. These hotels were highlighted in the Age of Heritage, which investigated the wave of heritage appreciation sweeping the hospitality industry in Europe, and even further afield in India.

Part of Israeli real estate group Alrov - which opened the Conservatorium, another heritage hotel, in Amsterdam last year - the Café Royal will feature 160 rooms, an indoor pool, a spa and a gym. Restaurants will include the reworked Grill Room and Dominion Room, where British artists Augustus John and James McNeill Whistler used to dine.

Café Royal