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André Fu Digs Five Floors Down to Put a Spa in Claridge’s – WWD

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Claridge’s, the legendary hotel on Brook Street that has been welcoming royal families and Hollywood stars for more than a century, has at last established a comprehensive wellness offering thanks to the Hong Kong-based interior architect André Fu.

Defying physical limitations, Fu and the team dug into the grounds underneath the hotel to construct a 7,000-square-foot spa and wellness area that includes seven treatment rooms, a relaxation pool, a hair salon, a gymnasium, and changing rooms. The space is also equipped with saunas and steam facilities.

Fu says he wanted to create a tranquil yet otherworldly experience for guests while respecting the hotel’s Art Deco roots and making sure to leave his distinctive Eastern mark on a project that’s built to stand the test of time.

“This is the first spa that has ever existed at the Claridge’s. For me, creating a spot like this is always about creating an experience that revolves around the emotions of being at ease and when one feels that they are in an environment that is authentic and genuine in spirit,” says Fu, who shot to fame in 2009 after designing the boutique hotel Upper House in Hong Kong.

“This particular one, I think it’s very much rooted in the idea of a journey. The sense of discovery and the feeling of escape is key,” he adds. “For many people when they think of the Claridge’s hotel, the Art Deco aesthetics permeate through the entire hotel, but when we did the spa here in the newly excavated basement, again a space that didn’t exist before, because it’s in this subterranean kind of environment, I think we can do something that really goes back to the word authenticity, and how to do something that truly juxtaposes with the hotel’s heritage.”

Fu says he wasn’t doing the juxtaposition purely for the sake of it. Instead, he wanted to question where the whole wellness idea and spa ritual came from.

“The thing that I questioned myself together with the hotel team is what truly differentiates this experience, and how can we create something that surprises the guest,” he recalls. “Rather than trying to mimic a spa of a certain era or a certain heritage, or purely just to mimic the aesthetics of the hotel, why don’t we go with something more authentically inspired? It’s really down to the soul and the heart of where the notion of spa and wellness comes from.

“For me, it is the East — the idea of meditation and all that is deeply rooted in the Asian sensibility. Tapping back at my personal experience of being in Kyoto in Japan, exploring the gardens, escaping and entering into a world that is tranquil, solid and honest, where you would suddenly embark on a self-discovery journey,” he says.

The project has been rewarding personally, Fu says, as many guests tell him how “genuine and cocooning they immediately felt as if they were in a world of its own” the moment they enter the spa he envisioned.

The pool at the Claridge’s Spa.

Courtesy of Claridge’s

Similar to how the hotel’s public areas and its rooms are filled with artwork, the Claridge’s Spa comes with several specially commissioned pieces and thoughtful details.

In the foyer stands a cast glass screen crafted by Irish artisan Eoin Turner, evoking the silhouette of bamboo groves. Decorating the dimly lit cylindrical rotunda following that is a suspended Japanese glass artwork by Victoire Bourgois.

Through a 12-meter-long slanted wall tunnel, guests see a linear glass opening that looks onto the indoor pool with sitting areas and private changing pods.

The treatment area, meanwhile, comes with an installation of interlocking oak posts at the entrance of the seven private treatment salons. The area itself was inspired by the silhouette of bamboo forestry. Bonsai trees are featured in the connecting passageway to accentuate the sense of a Japanese garden throughout the spa.

The treatment area at the Claridge’s Spa

The treatment area at the Claridge’s Spa.

Courtesy of Claridge’s

“Since its opening last year, Claridge’s Spa has offered our guests a haven of tranquillity in the heart of Mayfair,” says Paul Jackson, the hotel’s general manager. “Following a major renovation program which has doubled the footprint of the hotel — digging down five floors and going up three — Claridge’s Spa is one of the many wonderful new additions to the hotel, paving the way for the next 200 years of Claridge’s life,” he adds.

The spa also is one of many examples of how Fu is helping to define modern living through an Eastern gaze. His other projects with the Maybourne Hotel Group, the parent company of Claridge’s, include a spa at the Maybourne Riviera in the south of France, a bar for the Maybourne Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, and the Knightsbridge Pavilion Suite at the Berkeley Hotel. ​

This month he teamed with the Claridge’s once again to work on the interior of The Residence, a split-level, 3,000-square-foot suite with a fully equipped kitchen and private hydrotherapy pool overlooking London’s iconic skyline.

“I’m also helping with this particular group on a hotel launching probably early next year, called the Emory, which is next to the Berkeley facing Hyde Park. I’m involved in two levels of suites in this particular new address. It’s the fourth hotel of the group in London other than the Connaught, the Berkeley and the Claridge’s,” says Fu.


Claridge’s, the legendary hotel on Brook Street that has been welcoming royal families and Hollywood stars for more than a century, has at last established a comprehensive wellness offering thanks to the Hong Kong-based interior architect André Fu.

Defying physical limitations, Fu and the team dug into the grounds underneath the hotel to construct a 7,000-square-foot spa and wellness area that includes seven treatment rooms, a relaxation pool, a hair salon, a gymnasium, and changing rooms. The space is also equipped with saunas and steam facilities.

Fu says he wanted to create a tranquil yet otherworldly experience for guests while respecting the hotel’s Art Deco roots and making sure to leave his distinctive Eastern mark on a project that’s built to stand the test of time.

“This is the first spa that has ever existed at the Claridge’s. For me, creating a spot like this is always about creating an experience that revolves around the emotions of being at ease and when one feels that they are in an environment that is authentic and genuine in spirit,” says Fu, who shot to fame in 2009 after designing the boutique hotel Upper House in Hong Kong.

“This particular one, I think it’s very much rooted in the idea of a journey. The sense of discovery and the feeling of escape is key,” he adds. “For many people when they think of the Claridge’s hotel, the Art Deco aesthetics permeate through the entire hotel, but when we did the spa here in the newly excavated basement, again a space that didn’t exist before, because it’s in this subterranean kind of environment, I think we can do something that really goes back to the word authenticity, and how to do something that truly juxtaposes with the hotel’s heritage.”

Fu says he wasn’t doing the juxtaposition purely for the sake of it. Instead, he wanted to question where the whole wellness idea and spa ritual came from.

“The thing that I questioned myself together with the hotel team is what truly differentiates this experience, and how can we create something that surprises the guest,” he recalls. “Rather than trying to mimic a spa of a certain era or a certain heritage, or purely just to mimic the aesthetics of the hotel, why don’t we go with something more authentically inspired? It’s really down to the soul and the heart of where the notion of spa and wellness comes from.

“For me, it is the East — the idea of meditation and all that is deeply rooted in the Asian sensibility. Tapping back at my personal experience of being in Kyoto in Japan, exploring the gardens, escaping and entering into a world that is tranquil, solid and honest, where you would suddenly embark on a self-discovery journey,” he says.

The project has been rewarding personally, Fu says, as many guests tell him how “genuine and cocooning they immediately felt as if they were in a world of its own” the moment they enter the spa he envisioned.

The pool at the Claridge’s Spa

The pool at the Claridge’s Spa.

Courtesy of Claridge’s

Similar to how the hotel’s public areas and its rooms are filled with artwork, the Claridge’s Spa comes with several specially commissioned pieces and thoughtful details.

In the foyer stands a cast glass screen crafted by Irish artisan Eoin Turner, evoking the silhouette of bamboo groves. Decorating the dimly lit cylindrical rotunda following that is a suspended Japanese glass artwork by Victoire Bourgois.

Through a 12-meter-long slanted wall tunnel, guests see a linear glass opening that looks onto the indoor pool with sitting areas and private changing pods.

The treatment area, meanwhile, comes with an installation of interlocking oak posts at the entrance of the seven private treatment salons. The area itself was inspired by the silhouette of bamboo forestry. Bonsai trees are featured in the connecting passageway to accentuate the sense of a Japanese garden throughout the spa.

The treatment area at the Claridge’s Spa

The treatment area at the Claridge’s Spa.

Courtesy of Claridge’s

“Since its opening last year, Claridge’s Spa has offered our guests a haven of tranquillity in the heart of Mayfair,” says Paul Jackson, the hotel’s general manager. “Following a major renovation program which has doubled the footprint of the hotel — digging down five floors and going up three — Claridge’s Spa is one of the many wonderful new additions to the hotel, paving the way for the next 200 years of Claridge’s life,” he adds.

The spa also is one of many examples of how Fu is helping to define modern living through an Eastern gaze. His other projects with the Maybourne Hotel Group, the parent company of Claridge’s, include a spa at the Maybourne Riviera in the south of France, a bar for the Maybourne Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, and the Knightsbridge Pavilion Suite at the Berkeley Hotel. ​

This month he teamed with the Claridge’s once again to work on the interior of The Residence, a split-level, 3,000-square-foot suite with a fully equipped kitchen and private hydrotherapy pool overlooking London’s iconic skyline.

“I’m also helping with this particular group on a hotel launching probably early next year, called the Emory, which is next to the Berkeley facing Hyde Park. I’m involved in two levels of suites in this particular new address. It’s the fourth hotel of the group in London other than the Connaught, the Berkeley and the Claridge’s,” says Fu.

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