In London, Marylebone has been one of the most fashionable neighborhoods since the 17th century. Many celebrities, then and now, have called it home: from Sherlock Holmes and Charles Dickens to the Beatles and Madonna.
Pulling from this history, The BoTree, a Place III Hotel realized in collaboration with EPR Architects and interior designers at Concrete, was “designed to capture the spirit of the city’s ‘village’ life and reflect the prestige of central London,” said Melanie Knüwer, project architect at Concrete, whose team is behind the elegant rooms, social spaces, restaurant and bar. “The hotel’s design evokes the luxurious but also neighborhood feeling that can be experienced by strolling around the farmers market or stopping at a little cafe on the weekend.”
The BoTree bookends a unique and prominent corner lot that straddles two fashionable downtown neighborhoods: Marylebone and Mayfair. How to settle into such a site?
The hotel is most recognizable due to its sinuous corner detailing. Organic metal striations ripple, parting ways at a dramatic corner entrance and intertwining up to the eighth and topmost floor concealing covetable balconies behind verdant climbing foliage. But flanking this architectural centerpiece, EPR Architects chose not one facade design but two. “Each chooses to evoke the character of both neighborhoods BoTree touches, embracing its unique context,” said Paul Gallacher, design lead from EPR Architects.
To the Marylebone Lane side, the hotel is faced in a powdery black brick, reflective of the historic character of the neighboring architecture and masonry expressions. By contrast, the facades facing Henrietta Place and Welbeck Street are lighter in color and metallic in their detailing, showcasing a more modern sensibility. The result is a pleasant asynchrony and playful use of light and shadow.
“In the evolving landscape of hotel rooms, sleep remains crucial, but today’s guests expect more. A hotel room is now a central hub in a guest’s city experience, not just a place to rest,” said Rob Wagemans, creative director and founder of Concrete.
Each room maximizes the space allocated, as this is a small urban lot. But clever architectural interventions make the spaces feel expansive and go against traditional hotel layout schemes. Rooms each boast a dedicated entryway with a coat rack, shoe brush, and horn—small details that make a big difference. (The forest green steamers and luxe hair dryers are also much appreciated.) This entryway opens dramatically into the room itself via brass and textured-glass French doors. The bathroom flows into the bedroom seamlessly with a luxuriously detailed wood-framed pocket door and hits all the right notes: heated marble floors, double sinks with deliciously thin porcelain fixtures, a wooden wardrobe, and even a vegan leather catchall for lipstick, room keys, and miscellaneous British Pounds.
The bedrooms continue the warm wooden theme with framing that extends all the way to a slightly protruding window bay—just enough so you can peek at the London skyline from your seat on the green suede loveseat, custom-made for BoTree by Norman Copenhagen. A favorite fixture is the reading lamp hanging conveniently above: Lampe de Marseille by Nemo Lighting. But each room is made unique with custom-made floral tapestries—a collaboration with Studio Stadig—installed behind each headboard. Soaring the full height of the room, these introduce a vibrant color palette that definitely combats the drab beiges and taupes of cookie-cutter hotel rooms elsewhere.
What sets The BoTree apart, though, are two factors: first the service and second, a holistic and enveloping commitment to sustainability. The service starts in the verdant lobby complete with site-specific artwork and a unique amber-colored curving class wall: it’s Apple Store-style, meaning staff meet you at your seat on one of the many sofas and armchairs rather than requiring the traditional check-in counter. “Each piece was chosen to evoke a more residential ambiance rather than a typical hotel setting,” said Knüwer.
But the hotel also boasts granular and unique sustainability codes throughout its spaces and services. Combatting single-use plastic, The BoTree’s official bath amenity partner is eco-conscious brand, Jo Loves, all bath products are vegan, natural, sulphate-, paraben-, and cruelty-free, as well as packaged using OceanBound Plastic. Cleaning products are also purchased in bulk and refilled per cart, which not only further cuts down on single-use plastic packaging, but allows BoTree’s maintenance to ensure that all cleaning products are non-toxic and use sustainable, clean ingredients in all aspects of hotel cleanliness. One of the most interesting details though? When guests leave the room, the room “shuts off,” meaning the lights, TV and AC automatically switch off. No more wasted energy while out and about in London.
These little details—from service to design sense to energy efficiencies—go a long way, and set The BoTree apart from other hotels in the luxury space. Knüwer noted that overall, “Our belief is that the more timeless our design, and our work with natural materials, the more stylish the outcome.”