Discovering the new Dorchester Hotel

After what has been The Dorchester Hotel’s largest renovation since 1989, this Grande Dame of the London hotel industry has finally unveiled its new look earlier in January 2023. The result is a glorious throwback to the hotel’s intrinsic relationship with the capital’s art and culture, proving yet again its timelessness.

While guests will have to wait a little more (until March) to discover the new décor of the hotel’s 250 rooms and suites, they will nevertheless be treated to 3 splendid new common areas within the hotel, namely: the Vesper Bar, the Promenade and the Artists’ Bar which is in its continuity.

The Vesper Bar at the Dorchester

The Vesper Bar (a reference to the character of Vesper Lynd in the James Bond novel Casino Royale) is a nod to the hotel’s long-standing relationship with the film saga. Ian Fleming, the author, was a regular patron of The Dorchester (we owe him the Vesper Martini served at the bar, which he created himself).

Not only this, the hotel itself has often featured in the Bond novels, while the production company, EON, responsible for the cinematic adaptations of the novels in the 1960s and 70s, had an office in the hotel itself.

Over the years, the Dorchester has played host to many actors who have portrayed the James Bond hero on screen, most notably Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.

The palladium-leafed ceiling with its gold detailing combined with the emerald-green velvet sofas and stools arranged around the backlit bronze bar create the intimate and comfortable atmosphere of a club. Meanwhile, the chandeliers and light fixtures cast warm light upon the Cecil Beaton drawings and photographs adorning the walls of the bar, adding yet another element of art to the bar’s atmosphere.

The Dorchester called upon the talents of Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki to give the new Vesper Bar its Hollywood-esque look. His previous work achievements include The Ivy or the Scarfes bar and Hollborn Dining at the Rosewood London among many others. The atmospheric interiors, inspired by the elegance of the 30s, emanates warmth and a sense of restrained opulence.


Handling the bar itself is Scott Gavin (the new bar manager), while Lucia Montanelli is the head-bartender and drinks connoisseur. She is the one responsible for bringing to life the long list of signature cocktails that pays homage to the larger-than-life personalities who have stayed at the hotel, including the Bessie Mae cocktail for Hollywood Starlette Elizabeth Taylor.

The Promenade at the Dorchester

Arguably the pièce de résistance of the hotel’s renovation, the Promenade is the epicenter of what The Dorchester likes to call its village-like ambiance. The newly-renovated location is one of the reasons why the unveiling was so eagerly awaited. Just past the lobby, the Promenade presents itself as a separate world altogether.

Supported by Marquina pillars with gilded capitals, the Promenade is long. Embellished with fresh flowers, verdant potted plants and large floral paintings, a sage-green ceiling with white coffers and mouldings reminiscent of a clear sky, and a row of shaded chandeliers in place of the sun, the Promenade is reminiscent of a walk in a garden.

Signed by iconic Pierre-Yves Rochon (Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris and Four Seasons Hotel Florence, Shangri-La Paris, the St. Regis Rome, The Peninsula Shanghai amongst others), the Promenade is the heart and soul of the hotel, and The Dorchester knows it. Which is why the area is accessible at all times of the day, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And the Afternoon Tea, of course!

There, guests may relish a menu that features British classics alongside Dorchester’s eccentricities. Lobster casserole and buttermilk pancakes, truffled eclairs, quail egg tartlets, Delica pumpkin & sage risotto, and Crepes Suzette are just a taste of the delights of the Promenade.

The Artists’ Bar at the Dorchester

Located at the very end of The Promenade, the Artists’ Bar pays homage to the hotel’s British origins and its long history of hosting electric parties attended by the world’s biggest names and celebrities.

Indeed, one of the most impressive pieces in the Artists’ Bar and one that embodies the spirit of the place, is the large-scale profile portrait of the late Queen, made entirely of mother-of-pearl buttons, hand-sewn by Ann Carrington. The piece is inspired by the collection of Queen Elizabeth II postage stamps.

The Artists’ Bar has mirrored walls and ceiling and the Lalique glass countertop sparkles. These reflections give the place a fantastic and magical atmosphere. Designed by culinary director Martyn Nail, the bar’s menu features a selection of oysters, prawns, lobsters, fish and caviar to accompany its cocktails.

The centerpiece of the bar, however, has to be the fully restored mirrored piano that once belonged to legendary American pianist, Liberace.

Stay tuned to the Lartisien magazine, to discover more of The Dorchester’s unveiling in March.

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