|The Berkeley Hotel|
|Location||Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London, England, United Kingdom|
Located on the corner of Piccadilly and Berkeley Street, it was the base for the drivers of mail coaches travelling to the West Country, and hence named the Gloucester coffee house. As a result it started to expand, and became a hotel for travellers both to and from London who were travelling on the mail coach services.
In 1900 Richard D'Oyly Carte bought the hotel, and his family remained in control for the next century. In the 1920s The Berkeley became one of the first London hotels with air conditioning, and in the 1930s double glazing. Ferraro, the maitre d'hotel of the Berkeley, was a fixture of London nightlife in the 1930s, and appears in several novels of the period, such as Dennis Wheatley's 'Three Inquisitive People' (written 1932, but not published till 1940).
In 1972, the hotel moved to a new building designed by British architect Brian O'Rorke on Wilton Place, Knightsbridge. Incorporating restored features from the original building, it is also unique in that it boasts London's only rooftop swimming pool. Although the Savoy Hotel in the Strand also has pool open to the sky, that pool is located in an atrium on the third floor.
In the winter months Health Club & Spa transforms its roof-top terrace into a pine-filled forest cinema. Hotel guests and visitors alike are treated to winter classics on the big screen while nestling between warm down-feather Moncler blankets and hot water bottles.
In 2005, The Savoy Group, including The Berkeley, was sold to Quinlan Private. The sale of The Savoy Group, led to the Savoy Hotel and Savoy Theatre being sold off and renamed as the Maybourne Hotel Group.
Recently released plans for developments at The Berkeley show that the swimming pool on the roof will be closed and a new spa will be opened Bamford Hay Barn Spa, and additional rooms will be added to the roof area.
Restaurants and bars
In 1998, Pierre Koffmann moved his Michelin starred "La Tante Claire" from the area of Chelsea to the hotel, serving his signature dish of pig’s trotter stuffed with morel mushrooms. The original Chelsea site was taken over by Gordon Ramsay, who opened the sigature Restaurant Gordon Ramsay there. Replaced at the hotel in 2003 by the Gordon Ramsay-run "Boxwood Café", after its closure Koffmann returned in April 2010 to open the signature "Koffmann's" restaurant at the hotel.
The Caramel Room is home to the Pret a Portea, and serves afternoon tea.
The Blue Bar was designed by Dublin architect David Collins, and is decorated entirely in Lutyens Blue. In 2004, an album entitled The Blue Bar was released through Warner Dance, featuring a mix of ambient techno and electronica regularly played in the bar.
- "History". the Berkeley Hotel. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- "Winter Cinema at The Berkeley". The Handbook. Oct 16, 2012.
- Walsh, Dominic. "Savoy Group changes name after deal", The Times, 25 January 2005