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Saturday, August 1, 2009

From Kabul to Mayfair: The Connaught Presents The Prince’s Lodge


For more than a century, The Connaught in London has stood as an emblem of discreet and authentic elegance in the charming Mayfair village. The legendary hotel has recently completed a £70 million restoration, ushering the landmark into the 21st century while preserving with great care its distinctive personality and intuitive style of service. In July 2009, The Connaught is opening its most recent addition to their gleamingly-restored guest rooms and suites – The Prince's Lodge.

Renowned designer Guy Oliver, in collaboration with The Turquoise Mountain Foundation in Afghanistan, has created The Prince's Lodge at The Connaught in a style inspired by the 19th century Peacock Palace in the old city of Kabul. The Turquoise Mountain Foundation was formed in 2006 by HRH The Prince of Wales to support and restore the historic districts of Kabul which have endured more than thirty years of war. The Foundation now employs 350 people and has restored forty buildings in the once-shining city. Students of the Foundation are trained in traditional disciplines, including hand-carving, pottery, adobe architecture, jewelry and glass making. The Prince's Lodge at The Connaught represents the Foundation's first commercial endeavor.

Opening the doors of Guest Room 518 at The Connaught unveils a space unlike any other in the iconic hotel. While other rooms and suites, also designed by Guy Oliver, offer a discreet English ambiance balanced with contemporary design, The Prince's Lodge boasts a hand-crafted approach. Upon entering the guest room, visitors will immediately recognize the unique design and atmosphere in The Prince's Lodge. The soaring vaulted double height ceiling displays antique oak beams; detailed oak paneling runs all around the perimeter of the sumptuous space. Hand-carved solid walnut cabinetry and paneling demonstrates the remarkable skill of the artisans who train with The Turquoise Mountain Foundation. Their tremendous talents are also apparent in the beautiful suite of carved furniture including the plush four poster bed which was the first to be carved in Kabul over one hundred years ago. Two vaulted window seats with carved peacocks and basket weave panels create magical spaces to relax and enjoy the view of Mayfair.

A pair of faithful reproductions of early-carved 19th century cabinets conceals a bar and dressing table while secret doors in the intricate paneling open to reveal an intimate study filled with art and architectural reference books, board games and other objets d'arts. Original maps, photographs and oil paintings grace the walls of the Prince's Lodge, creating the atmosphere a private retreat rather than a hotel guest room. A pair of French doors open widely, boasting views of London and an intimate walnut lined study, behind secret doors, contains art books and provides a peaceful space to read and work.

The stunning bathroom has a large double bath, double vanity and a separate white marble shower and steam room complete with marble bench seat. The Prince's Lodge provides a classical environment, however, technology is pervasive. For those who must remain in-the-know, a subtly-placed flat screen television to the right of the vanity allows guests to stay up to date on the latest news as well as their favorite shows.

Reminiscent of a room in a grand English country house, The Prince's Lodge at The Connaught is a truly unique space in one of the world's most beloved hotels. Guy Oliver's stunning design in The Prince's Lodge ideally complements the other unparalleled design elements found throughout the hotel.

From The Coburg Bar and Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, both designed by India Mahdavi, to The Connaught Bar, designed by David Collins, the restoration of The Connaught brought together a team of celebrated designers to refresh and redesign one of the world's most distinguished addresses.

For more information on The Turquoise Mountain Foundation, please visit www.turquoisemountain.org.
For reservations, please visit www.maybourne.com or contact info@maybourne.com or phone +44 (0) 20 7107 8830

About Maybourne Hotel Group
Maybourne Hotel Group whose headquarters is in Mayfair, London, owns and manages, Claridges, The Connaught and The Berkeley three of the world's most renowned hotels. Maybourne hotels are committed to delivering authentic and unique guest experiences that reflect the individual nature of its hotels, its guests and its people whilst maintaining a timeless elegance and intuitive service style that are the hallmarks of its properties.

'Voted one of the UK's 50 Best Workplaces 2009 by the Great Places to Work Institute' – Financial Times
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