Design insight: The Bailey’s Hotel London

Baileys Refurb

The Bailey’s Hotel in London was part of the first generation of purpose-built hotels in the capital. It opened its doors to the eagerly-awaiting public way back in 1876 and since then has continued to grow to cement its status as one of the top luxury hotels in the prestigious Kensington area.

A key part of this evolution process came in the form of an extensive £7.5m makeover that was completed earlier this year. In a bid to bring back to life its Victorian heritage, the new look was designed to highlight the personality of the hotel’s founder Sir James Bailey and reflect the character of its location.

Every area of the hotel was refreshed; the bedrooms kitted out with new fittings and fixtures, the public spaces including the reception and check-in desk redesigned and the restaurant and bar all given a new design.

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“The new look aims to bring together British style and contemporary character,” explains Michael Black, director of sales and marketing. “The refurbishment aims to ensure its current clientele continue visiting while enticing new business as well.”

The hotel hired design consultants ADS Design, who worked closely with The Bailey’s’ senior management team to develop the new townhouse concept. The five floors of the property have now been differentiated with four design motifs. Informally named, Kensington, Kew, Henley and City Gent, the names influence the colour palette, patterns, artwork and other decorative details to give a real ‘boutique’ feel.

Design nods to these different locations are peppered throughout each floor, such as framed pictures of the area in the Victorian era and brightly coloured images to match the room decor.

The public spaces have also been given a completely new look. A giant chandelier hangs from the ceiling in the reception area before your eyes are drawn to the grand staircase that winds up to the first floor. The grey base and dark blue accents complement the rich tones of the wallpaper and the reception desk is leather clad with a button back effect, matching the headboards within the bedrooms.

The restaurant has been completely overhauled too. Olives now enjoys a lot more trade from local residents and off-the-street diners, alongside hotel residents, which was a key focus for the hotel when setting out targets for the redesign.

There are also injections of humour throughout the building, paying tribute to the hotel’s founder Sir James Bailey. He appears in some way in every room, in characterful photographic form.

Now with the hotel back in full swing following the refurbishment, The Bailey’s is pushing itself to target new markets and boost business across the board.

“Right now we attract consumers from around the world and find the hotel is very popular with the UK and American market,” describes Black. “The hotel also appeals to a wide range of business based in London and those travelling to the capital for business, as they find our South Kensington location ideal.  Our US leisure guests will normally be travelling as a family or couple, and are here to sightsee and shop.”

The hotel remained open throughout the project, which meant transparency about the ongoing work to guests was key and detailed planning was crucial to ensure minimum disruption.

Black said: “Throughout the whole refurbishment the hotel stayed open; a huge testament to the staff that ensured the property continued to retain its high level of service and offering. Looking forward, 2016 presents numerous new opportunities for the hotel and we’re excited to continue growing our client base.”

“We expect to see growth and increased nights from both the local and corporate markets going forward, as well as association groups and the incentive market.” Black adds.

The hotel is part of Millennium Hotels and Resorts.


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