Dorsett Shepherds Bush, London
A beautiful marriage between East and West is seen in the stylish design of Dorsett Shepherds Bush in London – Tonje Odegard from SPACE visited to have a closer look…
Dorsett Hospitality International is soon to open its second Dorsett hotel in London – Dorsett City in Aldgate, which demonstrates the brand’s success in the UK. It all started with the opening of Dorsett Shepherds Bush in 2014 though – since then the hotel’s spa has received new management and a light facelift to go with it, and the hotel has established itself as one of the most elegant hotels in West London.
Housing 317 bedrooms (24 of them suites) across eight storeys, facilities include three meeting rooms, a Dorsett Lounge, two restaurants, a destination bar, and a spa.
Heritage meets contemporary elegance at Dorsett Shepherds Bush with design that landed the hotel the prestigious International Architecture Award in 2016. Awarded by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, the winning projects for 2016 were selected in Milan during the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale last year.
Behind the building’s original historic façade, the hotel boasts modern architecture and design inspired by Dorsett’s very own in-house design team. Dorsett Hospitality International is an Asia-based hotel group listed and headquartered in Hong Kong – hence the nods to Asian design.
Lead by Wendy Chiu, Senior Vice President of Interior Design, the design team used simple and elegant aesthetics to capture the special Dorsett Hotels & Resorts brand essence, where Asia’s heritage of hospitality excellence meets British traditions of classic grandeur with a modern edge.
The Asian-British fusion is continued throughout the hotel, creating unity between its lively and inviting private and communal areas, resulting in dynamic spaces that provide a more energised business and leisure travel experience.
Behind the Grade II-listed façade is a striking black, gold and white lobby with two outstanding features that grab your attention. Upon entering, you are met with a tall half-cut ceiling dome covered in gold, making you crane your neck to take it all in. Immediately after, you see an immersive golden circle in the ceiling in a lined pattern. These two elements match the strong, golden reception desk.
The light, glossy travertine floors brighten up the place and work as a contrast to the black wall cladding that curves around the lobby. Stylish metallic, tripod, theatre-like floor lamps counter the traditional British country-home furniture that works as seating in the lobby.
Carrying on to the right off the lobby and continuing the golden theme is the atrium and destination bar Jin (see further down in article).
All 317 bedrooms are designed by Dorsett’s in-house design team and reflect the unique Dorsett brand concept of modern, innovative and comfortable. Celebrating the two vibrant cultures of China and Britain, the uniquely decorated rooms have been thoughtfully designed to combine traditional Asian warmth with British charm. Each room and suite feature hints of 1930’s Shanghai with embossed and framed mirrors and cabinet doors, detailed ceiling decors, crystal lighting, stylish wallpapers and light colours.
The suites, mainly located on the upper floors, offer spectacular views of the surrounding area through curved or angled windows. Overall the rooms are light and breezy with shades of white, cream and beige. Accents of silver and pastel hint to the Art Deco period too.
There are two types of room decors, one is more Asian-inspired and one is more European. The wallpapers help to distinguish this as the Asian rooms have a Chinese temple theme with golden touches, whereas the European rooms have wallpapers that reflect a more British countryside scenario of fishing by the lake and playing music.
Furniture in the suites is in metallic velvet in shades of white, silver and bronze, giving an immediate luxurious feel. The same goes for the heavy drapes that all have a metallic shine to them.
Little touches such as a branch with a tiny bird sitting on it in on the doors to the guestrooms or the turquoise lamp foots on the bedside tables make you realise the effort and detail that has gone into the design.
Bathrooms are light, yet grand, with white marble throughout, silver bathroom finishes and lots of natural light coming through the large windows.
Drinking and dining
The hotel houses two dining options as well as a destination bar. Pictures, an all-day dining restaurant also functions as breakfast room and has a private dining option. It offers a contemporary brassiere-style menu complimented by a selection of handpicked Asian-inspired dishes.
The hotel’s building has been home to a number of different things throughout its time, among them a cinema, hence the restaurant’s name. The walls of the private dining area are covered in pictures of movie stars, giving a gentle nod to the building’s history. In contrast to the bright public area of the restaurant where abundance of natural light is let through ceiling windows, the private dining area is a lot more intimate and atmospheric with red walls and golden drapes. The communal area furnishing is made up of square velvet chairs in silver tones, matching perfectly with the grey walls and numerous hanging mirrors.
Shikumen, the second restaurant, is a high-end Chinese speciality restaurant with sophisticated Chinese décor. A theme of black, white and red runs through the space with elegant wall partitions, Mandarin symbols on the walls and tiled floors. The area is trendy, comfortable and inviting.
Jin, the destination bar, is located in the hotel’s memorable atrium, which is clad in cold from top to toe, matching the bar’s name which means ‘gold’ in Mandarin. Jin offers an innovative cocktail menu while also serving freshly ground coffee and a delightful Afternoon Tea.
The atrium, which is one of the hotel’s signature features, almost functions as a courtyard as guestrooms on several floors have windows facing down to the bar. The curved balcony spreads over seven floors, creating a dramatic view.
Jin bar’s décor and interior follow the theme of the rest of the hotel and furniture in metallic and blue velvet and sophisticated bar stools make the area welcoming and stylish. The lit bar and lit wall panels on each floor help provide a beautiful effect after dark and the natural light streaming in continuously during the day make sure the bar is stunning at any hour of the day.
The Dorsett Lounge, accessible only for members, is a more private area to enjoy a drink, a snack or meet to play board games in luxurious surroundings.
SpaMika, the hotel’s spa that has seen a new management team been taken on board, is located on the top floor of the building overlooking the Shepherd’s Bush Green below. Dorsett Shepherds Bush had partnered with SpaMika to launch an enhanced spa and wellness offering at the hotel.
The four treatment suites offer a variety of holistic treatments to choose from, as well as a sauna, aroma steam room and infra-red cabin. In keeping with Dorsett’s underlying ethos of blending the best of the East with the West, SpaMika’s therapies have been inspired by the orient and western philosophies.
With a minor facelift and some updated décor touches, SpaMika is prettier than ever. Light, creamy tones are consistent throughout with natural materials such as wood and stone being used. Breezy drapes and stylish wallpaper provide a safe and relaxing space.
Dorsett Shepherds Bush is an accomplished hotel with a strong design story and a lovely atmosphere. It will be interesting to see how the new Dorsett City in Aldgate, London will match. The 13-storey Dorsett City will encompass 267 beautifully designed guestrooms and suites, a spectacular rooftop bar with skyline views, meeting spaces and two restaurants. Look out for a review in SPACE’s issue 4|17.