Another design tour de force from Ian Schrager.
Ian Schrager’s second hip London hotel in the former Sanderson building (just off Oxford Street) aims to create the feel of a lavish urban spa. With over-the-top interiors designed by Philippe Starck, the property features some pretty extraordinary touches: in the lobby, a Salvador Dalì sofa in the shape of red lips welcomes you into a surreal, eclectic landscape of pale draperies, large-screen video monitors, '60s murals and mosaics, a Louis XV armoire and etched Venetian mirrors. The Courtyard Garden is a wonderful landscaped park open to the sky; surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass walls, it's visible from anywhere in the lobby. Everything is designed to heighten the sense of theatricality. Festooned with electronically controlled silk curtains used in place of walls to define spaces, bedrooms follow the same fantastic inspiration. Furniture is also radically different: a silver-leafed nineteenth-century sleigh bed, or perhaps an egg-shaped stone as a footrest. Dressing rooms/bathrooms are clear glass boxes with privacy areas behind mirrors and with sink areas designed like boudoirs. Even the independently columned taps are designed by Starck. All the modern touches are found in-room, from DVD libraries to cutting-edge telecommunications, portable computers and mobile phones available on request. The Agua Spa is situated on two levels and stresses the elements of spiritual and physical well-being. There’s a 24-hour state-of-the-art gymnasium, steam rooms and a whole slew of top treatments from Eve Lom facials to Reiki.