On Our Radar: The Peninsula London

A short stroll from Buckingham Palace, the hotel is the culmination of a three-decade quest to find an ideal home for the brand’s British outpost.

The triple-height lobby at The Peninsula London. (All images courtesy of The Peninsula Hotels)

When it first opened its doors in 1928, The Peninsula Hong Kong quickly became the hotel of choice for well-heeled travelers disembarking from ocean liners at the nearby Kowloon wharves. Some were passengers aboard P&O’s Far East Service steamships, which took less than 30 days to connect London with this distant colony on the South China coast. Nearly a century on, The Peninsula is making its mark in the heart of the former empire with the upcoming debut of a newly built Belgravia property.

Overlooking the Wellington Arch from the southwest side of Hyde Park Corner, The Peninsula London has been done up in a classic-contemporary British style; Hopkins Architects gave the building a stone-and-glass exterior sympathetic to the surrounding heritage structures. The hotel is centered on a cobblestone courtyard landscaped by Swiss designer Enzo Enea, who adorned the space with cascading ivy and wisteria vines and two 120-year-old Japanese maples. Rolls Royce Phantoms are an integral part of the arrival experience at The Pen’s Hong Kong flagship, and the London outpost takes a similar approach: its automotive fleet includes four hybrid Bentley Bentaygas, an electrified 1960 vintage Austin taxi, and a restored 1935 Rolls Royce Phantom.

Upstairs, The Peninsula London’s 190 rooms and suites start from 51 square meters; some feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views over Buckingham Palace Gardens and Belgravia. Peter Marino — the go-to interior designer for luxury fashion houses like Chanel and Ermenegildo Zegna — layered the accommodations with bespoke furnishings, textiles, and commissioned pieces depicting British landscapes in various styles, the work of more than 40 artists from The Royal Drawing School. The guest quarters also feature mahogany-paneled dressing rooms and spacious honey onyx bathrooms stocked with sustainable, custom-fragranced bath products by perfumier Timothy Han.

An artist’s impression of The Peninsula London’s facade and Wellington Arch.

Inside a guest room at the soon-to-open hotel.

A honey onyx–clad bathroom at The Peninsula London.

Three of the four signature suites have their own private balconies and terraces. At the top of the line, The Peninsula Suite includes a screening room and gym, as well as access to a VIP drop-off and pick-up service at the underground car park. The Peninsula Suite can be combined with up to six other rooms and suites to create a nearly 1,490-square-meter private apartment.

There’s a strong but subtle emphasis on British craftsmanship throughout the hotel. Uniforms by sought-after fashion designer Jenny Packham take inspiration from both ’60s British style icons and traditional Asian designs; The Peninsula London’s custom-made line of porcelain dishware by designer Richard Brendon come embellished with an exclusive “concertina” pattern, while English sparkling wine makers Coates & Seely selected two special cuvées — a Brut Reserve NV and a Rosé NV — especially for the property.

Michelin-starred chef Claude Bosi has been recruited as chef director at the rooftop restaurant, Brooklands, which will serve contemporary European cuisine and top-flight libations and cigars in a succession of spaces inspired by British aviation and motorsport. London architects Archer Humphryes created a sleek main dining room with an overhead scale model of the Concorde and an outdoor terrace; an automotive-themed bar decorated with motoring memorabilia and a rotating display of original race cars from the Brooklands racetrack and museum; and a cigar tasting lounge featuring a walk-in humidor with private cigar lockers. All three spaces are accessed from the hotel lobby via dedicated wicker-lined lift cars recalling the baskets of hot-air balloons.

Staff uniforms at The Pen London are the work of British fashion designer Jenny Packham.

A mahogany-paneled dressing room in the hotel.

Inside the triple-height lobby’s namesake restaurant, visitors will enjoy The Pen’s signature afternoon tea experience with a backdrop of live music. Also on the ground floor is Canton Blue, where creative mod-Chinese dishes by chef Dicky To are washed down with cocktails and artisanal teas. The look of the space was directly inspired by the Keying, a three-masted trading junk that sailed from China to Britain between 1846 and 1848.

On the recreation front, guests will get to book pampering massages and facials in the seven treatment rooms, including one for couples, at The Peninsula Spa and Wellness Center; join exercise classes at the gym; and swim laps in the dramatically lit 25-meter indoor pool. Those who prefer to unwind in the comfort of their rooms can take advantage of a wellness portal offering round-the-clock access to guided strength-training routines, aromatherapy self-care rituals, and audio meditations.

Event spaces at the hotel are headlined by the St. George Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 450 banquet guests and has two elevators large enough for motorcars; conference rooms and a plush 15-seat private cinema are also part of the mix.

The Peninsula London is gearing up to welcome its first guests in early 2023, though a concrete opening date has not yet been announced.


An aerial view of The Peninsula London, Belgravia, and Hyde Park.

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