IDRU: March – London Design Week, Olga Polizzi and Rocco Forte Hotels

Interior Design Round Up has been shortened to IDRU.

The highlight of this month was, of course, London Design Week! Although this took place on my doorstep, at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, I unfortunately wasn’t able to go. Trade dates were 8-10 March and the show opened to the public from 11-13 March. In this post, I’m going to be talking about hotelier Olga Polizzi, who gave a speech at London Design Week that inspired me to go and explore the Rocco Forte Hotels.

Olga Polizzi of Rocco Forte Hotels

I read that Olga Polizzi gave a speech about her process of hotel design. I would love design commercial settings like hotels, bars and restaurants, so this would have been a great talk for me! Hearing this, however, led me to go and explore the Rocco Forte Hotels website. And all I can say is, wow.

The hotels are honestly what dreams are made of! If you’re picturing yourself in a beautiful dress, wandering through the hallways of a very grand and decadent building, then The Balmoral, Edinburgh is perfect. Or, if you see yourself lounging in a king sized bed wearing a silk dressing gown (I often do), then the suites at Brown’s Hotel, London are ideal.

The interior at Brown’s Hotel was designed by Olga herself and effortlessly “harmonises stunning period features with contemporary flair.” As an English graduate, I can’t help but gush over the fact that Brown’s Hotel has its origins in Lord Byron’s history. It was his butler, James Brown, who acquired it in 1837 and expanded it to create Brown’s Hotel in 1838. The literary links continue, as the hotel has had George Orwell, Agatha Christie and Rudyard Kipling, who started The Jungle Book during one of his stays there. Agatha Christie is said to have based At Bertram’s Hotel on Brown’s and Stephen King supposedly started his novel Misery, whilst sat at Kipling’s desk there!

Deluxe Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London
Dover Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London
Dover Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London

The rooms are interesting because they’re a mix of traditional and contemporary design. The cornice and colour scheme in the Dover Suite above feel Georgian, yet the furniture and ornaments are very much contemporary.

Hotel de Russie in Rome, another Rocco Forte Hotel is the perfect luxury getaway. I love the Nijinksy Suite at this hotel. The patterns, fresh, light colour palette and gorgeous Italian views really make it the type of European getaway I picture when I close my eyes.

Nijinksy Suite at Hotel de Russie, Rome
Nikinksy Suite at Hotel de Russie, Rome
Nijinksy Suite at Hotel de Russie, Rome
Nijinksy Suite at Hotel de Russie, Rome

Finally, perhaps the dreamiest of all, is The Westbund Hotel, Shanghai. The luxury, futuristic feel of the hotel’s bars and restaurants is incredible. The rooftop bar sits on the 59th floor and offers panoramic views of the West Bund. There’s also n Italian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant and a British tea room.

The Westbund Hotel, Shanghai
The Westbund Hotel, Shanghai

Plus, the ceiling on this spa would honestly make me feel like I had left reality completely and entered heaven. It’s almost as if this whole room sits amongst the clouds…

The Westbund Hotel Spa, Shanghai
The Westbund Hotel Spa, Shanghai
The Westbund Hotel Suite, Shanghai
The Westbund Hotel Suite, Shanghai

I won’t pretend as if any of the rooms I’ve mentioned in this post aren’t wildly unattainable. All of this superior, considered design comes at a very high cost. The Kipling Suite at Brown’s Hotel starts at £4,200 a night – definitely not pocket change!

Kiping Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London
Kiping Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London

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