The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences

British design studio Kinnersley Kent Design has completed a multi-million pound refurbishment of one of the most iconic hotels in London, The Athenaeum Hotel and Residences. In the heart of Mayfair, this five star hotel has been remodelled to reflect its great history, particularly celebrating its association with the world of film.

Kinnersley Kent Design’s Brand Director Lindie Kramers said of the agency’s approach: ‘Our thinking was based on the brand’s core strengths – its heritage, attitude and location. Located in the heart of Mayfair, the brand is delightfully English, independently-owned, with an art deco spirit. And they’ve always done things differently.’

‘Our repositioning strategy was based on celebrating this individuality. This one-of-a-kind hotel offers a refreshing alternative for guests seeking a more personalized experience and our aim was to ensure the customer was at the heart of that proposition.’


The modernised Athenaeum now offers a seamless welcome which flows from lobby to lounge, bar and offers a personal and barrier free check-in experience via iPad and concierge service.

Once you step inside, London’s busy Piccadilly thoroughfare feels a million miles away and there’s a sense of being in a secret, subterranean destination. Guests are offered a spectacular leafy view out across Royal Green Park through new floor to ceiling windows and stunning open, metal screens create privacy between the open plan lobby and the restaurant.

A centerpiece chandelier in the restaurant was retained as it fitted perfectly with the style of the new furnishings but also echoed the hotel’s art-deco roots. At the rear of the space, a screen plays a bespoke film sequence of passionate embraces from the movies, in a reference to the hotel’s long history of links with Hollywood greats, including former guests Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Shirley Maclaine, Cary Grant, John Wayne and Russell Crowe.


The hotel has used an eclectic mix of classic British furniture items, to reflect the hotel’s strong British heritage, mixed with contemporary and mid-century-modern European pieces.

We think of it as ‘mismatching’ with an educated, curated eye’, Kinnersley Kent Design Partner Jill Higgins said, adding that the chosen materials palette was ‘Rich, understated, high quality, indulgent and luxurious.’


Jeremy Hopkins, General Manager at The Athenaeum, concluded ‘We have thoroughly enjoyed revealing the new Athenaeum to guests. We’ve worked very hard with Kinnersley Kent Design to get every detail absolutely right and we knew almost immediately that they were able to share our vision for the hotel. London may well have the most diverse hotel offering in the world, but luxury hotels now have to meet the demands of today’s guests. Our guests are confident, stylish and independent and our reception mirrors their character, enabling us to meet their expectations and provide a truly individual experience.’

Contact Kinnersley Kent Design.


About Alys Bryan

Alys' experience as a furniture designer, along with her in-depth marketing knowledge, makes her uniquely placed to work with the BCFA as the Editor of Design Insider and run her marketing business, Method Communications.
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