Wed, Feb 7, 2024

Hotels & Resorts
The Connaught in London unveils King’s Lodge

The Connaught, a legendary Mayfair hotel built on Carlos Place in London, will unveil a one-of-a-kind suite – The King’s Lodge - this month.

The Connaught, part of Maybourne, has stood as an emblem of discreet and authentic elegance since 1897. It blends contemporary style, classic English character and impeccable service to create the ultimate in sophistication.

The new King's Lodge suite is a collaboration between Guy Oliver, The Connaught’s renowned legacy interior designer, and Turquoise Mountain, a charity supporting artisans across the Levant, Afghanistan, Myanmar and India,

Founded in 2006 by His Majesty King Charles III – then the Prince of Wales – Turquoise Mountain supports artisans with everything they need to thrive and revitalise their heritage. The charity works in Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Middle East, combining crafts practice, training and heritage buildings.

The King’s Lodge is the second collaboration between Oliver, Turquoise Mountain and The Connaught, joining The Prince’s Lodge which opened in 2010. The Prince’s Lodge was created in a style inspired by the 19th century Peacock Palace in the old city of Kabul.

Guy Oliver comments: “True luxury has always been made to measure and since it was built, The Connaught has been known as the handmade hotel, constructed by the finest artisan builders and cabinet makers. Now, working with Turquoise Mountain, we can support the highest level of craftsmanship in communities at risk around the world. It is a delight and an honour to bring them together to create such a remarkable and unique project.”

The history between The Connaught and Turquoise Mountain spans nearly as long as the organisation’s existence; in 2006 Oliver was volunteer Creative Director for the Turquoise Mountain that he was appointed lead designer for the restoration of The Connaught in 2007, and he was keen to bring the two together. The result was The Prince’s Lodge. It was the first major project for Turquoise Mountain and The Connaught is continuing this special collaboration with the introduction of The King’s Lodge.

The King’s Lodge is a singular space, located on the fifth floor of The Connaught designed to showcase the highest level of craftsmanship from the Levant, Afghanistan, Myanmar and India. Artisans from these far-reaching destinations have been commissioned to create every element of the suite, from the intricate architectural woodwork made in Jordan by Syrian artisans, to handwoven carpets and miniature paintings from Afghanistan, fabrics from Myamar, as well as carved marble panels and mirrored glass insets from India.

Dr Thalia Kennedy, Creative Director at Turquoise Mountain, added: “The King’s Lodge has brought together over 100 master artisans and team members from across Afghanistan, Jordan, Syria, Myanmar and India, to create and celebrate the finest craftsmanship and heritage design. Thanks to commissions like this suite, and the vision and commitment of Guy Oliver and The Connaught, artisan communities and these important traditions continue to thrive today.”

Guests entering the suite are immediately transported, enveloped in a space that showcases the authentic traditions from each destination. The one-bedroom suite, conceived in the historic Mughal style and nestled in the eaves on the fifth floor of The Connaught, welcomes guests into a richly appointed seating area, featuring deep window seats overlooking the intersection of Carlos Place and Mount Street, at the very centre of Mayfair.

The four-poster bed, a work of art into itself, is one-of-a-kind, with motifs carefully hand-drawn and crafted for this particular suite. The fabrics featuring a zigzag motif were inspired by chevrons that come from Mughal columns while specific carpets from Lahore and the Mughal textiles from the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) in Doha inspired the use of colour. Turquoise Mountain worked with fine woodworkers to create walnut jali fretwork, a craft found across Afghanistan that intricately joins pieces of wood, which feature in the arches of the bedframe as well as the screens throughout the suite. The marble carvers from Makrana – people descended from the Mughal court who have created panels with stunning lily floral motifs - are considered some of the finest stone carvers in the world.

Throughout every element of the suite, guests are not only transported to these various corners of the world, they are enveloped in a celebration of the craft from each destination. The King’s Lodge suite is an homage to artisans and very much in keeping with The Connaught’s larger support of artists which has always been integral to the hotel. A portion of the proceeds of every booking from both The Prince’s Lodge and The King’s Lodge goes directly to Turquoise Mountain and their programming to support artisans.

The Connaught’s General Manager Sandeep Bhalla comments: “It is an honour to once again welcome the master artisans from Turquoise Mountain to The Connaught in their creation of this truly remarkable suite, The King’s Lodge. Our strong commitment to design and celebration of art has helped establish The Connaught as one of the world’s most coveted hotels and it gives us great pleasure to reveal The King’s Lodge.”

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