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MKV Redesigns Lausanne’s Royal Savoy Hotel

Will Speros • November 2, 2016

Photography by Robert Miller

London-based MKV Design has redesigned the historic Royal Savoy hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland. The seven-year reconstruction infused the Art Nouveau building with modern touches and also nearly doubled the preexisting hotel’s footprint with a new addition.

Connected to the new structure through a discreet glazed walkway, the existing six-floor property maintains its original character while integrating with the sleek addition. Guests are now welcomed to the grand chateau with a newly infilled porch that includes vaulted ceilings and inlaid mosaic flooring. The reception desk is set against an opaque glass screen, partitioning the lobby lounge at the heart of the building. The double-height venue now boasts updated plaster moldings and newly hand-stenciled details mimicking those from the original walls. Historic artwork and antiques complement original fixtures including stained glass windows overlooking the lounge.

Accented by azure blue touches, new sophisticated furniture reflects the lounge’s warm, neutral palette. A modern glass chandelier and illuminated ceiling coffers lined with gold leaf wallpaper enhance the drama of the space, while herringbone oak floors and a fireplace add warmth. The room is bookended by a bronze Art Nouveau-style glass screen.

The lounge leads into the light-filled bar area, enveloped by a new double-height glass conservatory that opens out to the landscaped terraces and garden. Featuring dark wood panels, a fireplace, and plush armchairs, a new cigar lounge spans its glazed wall, punctuated with modern abstract artwork and a collection of books. Restaurant Brasserie du Royal comprises four connected rooms of varying formal and more casual styles. The eatery includes an open kitchen offset by classic Swiss-embroidered furniture, mosaic floors, decorative lighting, and a historic wall mural capturing an idyllic rural setting.   

Each of the original property’s 101 guestrooms has been fully revamped with subtle tones of French gray and dark oak, modern Nouveau-style rugs, and herringbone oak floors. Most bathrooms include walk-in showers and bathtubs, with walls clad in Perlino Bianco marble, and some guestrooms include balconies nestled into the building’s eaves. The new structure features 96 contemporary guestrooms, outfitted with similar details and spacious terraces, gray leather-padded headboards, and dark timber cabinets. The building also houses a three-bedroom rooftop penthouse clad in wraparound glazing and a rooftop terrace with views of the city and lake on one side, and the historic hotel on the other. The penthouse also includes a gym and spa room. Guestroom corridors feature black and white photos of sporting history as the city is home to the International Olympic Committee’s headquarters.

Cream and royal blue tones mark the hotel’s ground-floor event and pre-function spaces, which include glass chandeliers and contemporary graphic carpeting, while lower-level meeting rooms are outfitted with distinctive ceiling features crafted from recessed shards of illuminated alabaster. The largest venue, the ballroom, opens to a terrace and can be divided into three rooms. The Royal Savoy also houses 16,145-square-foot spa, complete with a swimming pool, eight treatment rooms, vitality pools, a hair studio, and fitness center. The modern venue is outfitted in dark and silver-toned finishes, marble flooring, iroko and oak timber, and mosaic tiles, all softened by sheer curtains. 

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