Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 71

perspectives

interview

stephen
alden

By Kathleen Kervin
Photography courtesy of
the Maybourne Hotel Group

THREE'S A CHARM

Maybourne's CEO perfects luxury in London

"I am a hotelier at heart," says Maybourne
Hotel Group's CEO Stephen Alden. When he
was young, Alden read his uncle's hotel school
notes left behind on his grandparents' kitchen
table. From that moment on, he was hooked
on hospitality. His illustrious career in the
hotel industry has spanned three continents
and included roles at St. Regis and the Luxury
Collection. The leader of three renowned luxury
hotels in London-Claridge's, the Connaught,
and the Berkeley-talks about new additions, the
effect design has on quality of life, and creating
spaces where people want to be.

Do you have a first memory of hotels?

I recall my first cappuccino at the Caffé Doney
at the Excelsior on the Via Veneto in Rome. I
treated myself and savored every moment-
trying to take in each detail, from the crisp
white-jacketed waiter to the ceramic cup and
silverware, wobbly tables, and the traffic that
went by. Even though I did not realize it at the
time, I was putting together the pieces that
created that almost magical and very special
ambiance.

You have now been with the Maybourne
Hotel Group for eight years after leaving
Starwood. Why did you want to go from
a large hotel company to a small one?

At Maybourne, we have created a hybrid business

1. A serene bedroom
in the Connaught's
Apartment suite,
designed by the late
David Collins.

model that takes in the best practices of a larger
company, yet at the same time, it allows us to
build out the individual personality of each hotel.
A mix of passion, discipline, and intuition is
probably the best way I can describe it.

Tell us about the new restaurant set to
open this spring at Claridge's.

This will be the biggest project at Maybourne
this year. It will be a modern British affair where
we expect chef Simon Rogan, the recipient
of two Michelin stars, to bring his passion for
British produce to London, demonstrating the
more progressive side of Maybourne. It is being
designed by Guy Oliver of Oliver Laws Ltd.,
whose design scheme will draw inspiration from
the 1930s, when Claridge's became one of the first
expressions of English Art Deco.

What does the Map Room fulfill for the
hotel?
The Map Room is Claridge's business lounge
where, together with David Linley [founder of
London design firm LINLEY], we created a

space for our guests to conduct their affairs in
what was originally the hotel's barbershop. As
the name suggests, one entire wall is made up
of a beautiful marquetry depicting a world map,
which defines the space and alludes to the notion
of the adventure inherent in travel.

What does the Opus suite create for
the Berkeley that the hotel hasn't had
before? How did you choose André Fu to
design it?
In the same way we introduced the Apartment
to the Connaught, we also felt that the Berkeley
needed a truly special suite. One of the
advantages of having three hotels in the same
city is that it allows them to be inspired by
each other. The Opus suite is André Fu's first
major European project. He has been working
with some of the biggest names in luxury for 13
years, and he caught our attention following a
stay at Upper House in Hong Kong, a project he
designed. The Opus suite is a very good example
of André's aesthetic-it is a glamorous space that
also feels like a home. The spatial qualities of the

hospitalitydesign.com March/April 2014

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Hospitality Design - March/April 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - March/April 2014

Contents
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - Intro
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - Cover1
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - Cover2
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 1
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 2
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 3
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 4
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 5
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Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 12
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 13
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 14
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - Contents
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 16
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 17
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 18
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Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - Cover3
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