The recently re-defined hotel offers an immersive experience for each and every guest. We catch up with interior designer Tim Andreas to find out more about his unique design concept
In collaboration with interior designer Tim Andreas, Morgans Hotel Group have re-defined its iconic London hotels – Sanderson and St Martins Lane. Having visited St Martins Lane, after the launch of their newly re-designed rooms, its clear that high-concept designs and guest experience are key to the new aesthetic. In keeping with the original ethos of the hotels, Andreas has blurred the lines between baroque and minimalist, extravagance and simplicity, creating a unique immersive experience for each and every guest.
With an electrifying lobby featuring gold teeth-shaped stools, lavish throne like chairs and enough candles to light London in a power cut (well, almost), the hotel offers a luxurious sanctuary where quests can unwind; and featuring a sensuous high-octane art work adorned bar along with the renowned Asia de Cuba restaurant, there is plenty to see before you even step inside the video and sound enhanced elevator which transports you to your room.
Surrounding each guest in ever changing colour, you have the option to saturate the room with the full spectrum of the rainbow, or select one colour to elevate your mood within your softly decorated surroundings. With USB charging stations, a media hub and an extremely well equipped mini-bar – you will want for nothing at St Martins Lane. If you’re staying on business, be sure to indulge in one of the extensive cocktail options in the evening and catch breakfast before you leave (the eggs benny is a must). Or if you have the pleasure of staying longer, take a journey to a Cuban teahouse for the afternoon. Offering an alternative to the traditional afternoon tea, your utensils can be found in a handmade wooden cigar box and delecacies come in the shape of pulled pork pressed sandwiches, butterscotch-filled mini Mexican doughnuts and white chocolate and coconut ganache and key lime pie.
We caught up with Tim Andreas himself, to hear more about the design process…
Can you talk us through the inspiration behind the new design concept?
With such iconic, signature hotels the goal is evolution, not a wholly new concept. With each hotel we distill what we consider its essence and develop a new design from there, creating something new and fresh, yet somehow familiar. With Sanderson, the silver-leafed sleigh bed was the departure point. In many ways a hotel room is really all about the bed and Sanderson really celebrates that. We looked to the English Regency period, which inspired the original bed, to build a decorative tradition. Along with the sleigh bed, the painterly trophy style carpet, the panoramic English landscape blinds, and the subtle hound motifs reflect the sense of Sanderson being the ghost of an English manor house in central London.
With St Martins Lane we wanted to maintain the sense of effortlessness and expansiveness. Building on the ‘Color Your Mood’ cove lighting from the original, we updated the room lighting to be more intense and moody, and through the use of etched dichroic glass we created an ever-changing color effect as you move through the room. Minimalism can be a difficult motif for a hotel as by its very nature it fosters detachment. So while the architecture and furniture are very minimal, the color and lighting provide a sense of ‘aliveness’ and the floor-to-ceiling views of London add the decoration.
Why was the mix of new and old so important?
There is certainly a trend today in hotel design to relate to a given sense of place and in a modern, cosmopolitan city that can be a complex task. With Sanderson we wanted to reflect the particular tradition of English decoration and its relationship to the concept of the luxury hotel. But what is luxury in the 21st century world of brands? To me, it’s about quality of craftsmanship and design. So we wanted to impart a sense of the handmade tradition into the major decorative elements, which are created through modern technology. For the rugs and the scenic shades I commissioned Los Angeles-based artists to create original paintings. Linda Miller created the rug designs based on English wood and plaster carved trophy motifs and the painterly quality was enlarged and reproduced through the modern computer-aided technology of Axminster carpet. David Hargrove painted full-scale scenic panels in the style of hand-blocked wallpaper, representing a mythical English landscape. While the technology of digital printing allows us to print a photographic scene if we had wanted, we wanted instead to instill a real hand-painted sensibility as a mark of luxury, every stroke and patch of color was informed but the artist’s eye.
What is your favorite aspect of the hotel?
As a designer, you try with each project to instill an emotional response in the user. As you work through a project there are so many people with so many points of view and you fine tune the design so that it resonates on all these different frequencies, hopefully satisfying as many people as possible, ultimately by being true to itself. So for me, my favorite aspect is that first impression when you open the door and walk in the room, that feeling that is truly unique to both Sanderson and St Martins Lane.
St Martins Lane
45 St. Martin’s Lane