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It List: The Best New Hotels 2012

Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane

Richard Waite

Renovation: Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane

Opened in 1970 on a leafy corner in Mayfair, this property, formerly the Inn on the Park, was the first European entry from the Four Seasons brand. It offered a canny fusion of old-school opulence and cutting-edge service: your dad loved it, and your mom did, too. But, like many of us, it needed some work upon reaching middle age. Now, after a two-year closure, one of London’s best-loved hotels is back with a new name, a new layout, and a bold new look. Four Seasons is touting the property as a symbol of what’s next for the company—and, no question, Pierre Yves Rochon’s high-drama interiors (starting in the lobby lounge, with its bordello-red piano) are a departure for the typically subdued brand. Upstairs, guest rooms have been enlarged and given a crisper, more masculine design, but remain as soothing as ever, with walnut and sycamore paneling and walls the color of clotted cream. The biggest change: an entire floor was added to create the new rooftop spa, which provides a spectacular vantage over neighboring Hyde Park. $$$$

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