‘To embrace heritage fully you have to stop talking about it – and carry the signals lightly,’ she explains further, noting that in 1931, The Dorchester was the equivalent of today’s boutique hotels catering for the era’s crazy young things. ‘We don’t want to return to a vision of the past but an attitude to the past that reverberates with the future.’
Considering the hotel as a platform into the city, placemaking has been essential to the rebranding, and to capturing the energy and spirit of London. ‘But it’s also about the sophistication and sensibility that reflect you; what really matters is the people.’
Fendley highlights the hotel’s new lobby and The Promenade, which now feels like the vibrant heart of the hotel with varied bars and restaurants, each offering, at a glance, many different and tempting experiences for both residents and non-residents. ‘It’s not just for guests staying at the hotel,’ insists Fendley. ‘It’s a place where you’re welcomed warmly, not judged, and where you can be yourself. An egalitarian experience doesn’t mean it can’t be special. It’s a place where you can suspend reality for an hour.’ This idea of comfortable, welcoming indulgence – offering the hotel’s target audience permission to embrace pleasure – echoes Fendley’s laudable belief that: ‘Life is very short. Here are the treats. Let’s enjoy them.’
Sign up to one of our subscribtion packages and get unlimited access to a hive of insights - from microtrends and macro trends to market reports, daily news, research across eight industry sectors and much more.