YTL Hotels has appointed renowned New York-based designer Alexandra Champalimaud to oversee the multi-million-pound refurbishment of The Academy.
The hotel was an existing four-star property set within a collection of five Georgian townhouses and has been closed since the end of December for the renovation. When it opens in April, it will also become part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
YTL has hotels across Asia, notably Pangkor Laut, as well as owning the Eastern & Oriental Express luxury train. Other recent UK projects have included the launch of The Gainsborough Bath Spa, while the Monkey Island project is set to open imminently in Bray-on-Thames, Berkshire.
For The Academy, the group said Champalimaud Design will draw influence from The Bloomsbury Set, a group of influential writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists that included Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes and E.M. Forster.
The Academy will now have 50 rooms across the townhouses, while a redesign of public spaces will see The Alchemy Bar re-housed on the ground floor, leading through to a garden. The lower ground floor will house The Refectory, a small breakfast room and function space.
The garden will also be home to Mr. Ma’s Tea House Spa, offering Asian spa experiences, such as a hot medicinal herbal footbath followed by Zhi ya, Chinese reflexology, or Tuina an invigorating and rhythmical acupressure treatment.
The group also owns The Glasshouse Hotel in Edinburgh and Threadneedles Hotel in London which are currently marketed under Marriott’s Autograph Collection.
Other current YTL and Marriott projects include the Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui in Thailand and the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Japan, set to open within YTL’s masterplan for Niseko Village.