Nestled on London’s Hyde Park Corner, the latest Peninsula hotel boasts a grand new location, a hop, skip and jump from Wellington Arch. The ambitious architectural undertaking is the work of Hopkins Architects (founded by RIBA Royal Gold Medal-winning architect, Sir Michael Hopkins CBE RA, who passed away in summer 2023), working in partnership with Peter Marino, who designed the interiors in what is his first British hotel project.
‘The beautiful design of the property is the result of years of creative effort by some of the most groundbreaking architects, designers, and creative partners in the industry,’ says Peter Borer, chief operating officer at The Peninsula Hotels group. ‘The hotel is a showpiece, not only for [the group], but for this storied part of London.’
The Peninsula: inviting nature in
Careful development meant that Hopkins Architects crafted a majestic property replete with a grand ballroom and private cinema. Of the 131 rooms and 59 suites, many enjoy views of the historic Wellington Arch. Meanwhile, the grand Peninsula Suite can be connected with as many as six other rooms to create an epic 16,000 sq ft apartment – one of the largest hotel living quarters in London. A further 25 privately owned residences complete the accommodation.
Bringing in natural light and encouraging connection with the property’s verdant surroundings – which include two royal parks as well as Buckingham Palace Garden – was a big inspiration behind design elements such as triple-height windows in the lobby, and vast windows in many of the bedrooms. Continuing with the theme of connecting to nature, landscape designer Enzo Enea – renowned for creating flow between inside and outdoor spaces – has cultivated a welcoming cobble-stoned courtyard entrance rich with wisteria and ivy, also home to two 120-year-old Japanese maples. The verdurous arrival continues inside with hand-painted de Gournay murals inspired by nearby Hyde Park.
Peter Marino’s first British hotel
The Peninsula group enlisted Peter Marino to design the interiors – making this project his debut in the hotel scene in the United Kingdom. His aim was to blend his own brand of modernity with English heritage, while reflecting The Peninsula’s Asian roots. The results carry Marino’s signature high-gloss execution, with refined, light-flooded guest rooms, where the natural materials, such as walnut wood and honey onyx (with painstakingly matched veining), are shown off to great effect.
Marino’s team sourced specialist glasswork from Turkey and, to complete the palette of soft blues and gold, commissioned custom carpets from Tai Ping Carpets, which has supplied rugs to Buckingham Palace, the White House and the Sultan of Brunei. Privacy is prioritised in the guest rooms, which all feature a mahogany-panelled dressing room and a valet cupboard, where deliveries and dry cleaning can be left without disturbing guests.
A raft of British collaborators
In her first hotel partnership, fashion designer Jenny Packham has created ensembles for the more than 500-person team. Her tailored designs are inspired by British style icons from the 1960s, along with traditional Asian garments. Meanwhile, London-based perfumer Timothy Han has created a bespoke fragrance for The Peninsula London’s collection of in-room bath products. And nearly 200 commissioned works by the King Charles-founded The Royal Drawing School (which offers an outstanding free or low-cost arts education to over 1,000 people each week) are hung throughout the hotel and guest rooms, depicting British landscapes in various mediums.
Therapies and treatments for full mind-body relaxation and restoration will be on offer at the Peninsula Spa and Wellness Centre, such as balancing Ayurvedic aromatherapy and massages. For those who prefer to stay active, there is the 25m indoor swimming pool and a fully equipped gym, plus an in-room digital Wellness Portal with 24-hour programming so guests can take classes, workshops and meditation sessions in the privacy of their own rooms.
Michelin-starred chef-director Claude Bosi (formerly of Hibiscus and Bibendum) is heading up rooftop Brooklands, the modern British restaurant that boasts an impressive outdoor terrace and decor inspired by Britain’s heritage of aviation and motoring. On the ground floor, Canton Blue blends Asian and British influences in its dishes, teas and cocktails under chef Dicky To, with its own distinctive interior designed by Hong Kong-based interior designer Henry Leung of CAP Atelier. Additionally, the hotel’s cigar-tasting lounge includes a walk-in humidor with private cigar lockers, while the Peninsula Boutique & Café will offer coffee to go for those on the run.
In a move to operate as responsibly as possible (by growing more using less space and carbon footprint), the hotel will be partnering with innovative AgTech firm Zero Carbon Farms, by taking a plot on its new working farm in Clapham. Salad greens and herbs will be cultivated in this below-ground disused air raid shelter. What’s more, the hotel’s luxury automotive fleet – available for guests to reserve – includes four bespoke hybrid Bentley Bentaygas and an electrified 1960 vintage Austin taxi.