The Emory Edge

Maybourne has opened its first London property in 50 years. Beverly Hills Courier Travel takes a tour.

Have you noticed how fewer people are now wearing logos? The drop has been attributed to the hit TV series “Succession” as well as those following in the footsteps of its cashmere-clad, one-percenter cast by dressing head to toe in Brunello Cucinelli. But the idea goes back further, to the concept of “stealth wealth” that arrived in tandem with the onslaught of “bling,” enshrined in Old Money’s ability to achieve a level of preemptive privacy by avoiding the outward signs of success.

Now this movement—dubbed “quiet luxury” and prevalent in the staterooms of superyachts and private air terminals across the planet—has entered the hospitality industry with the unveiling of The Emory, a ground-breaking all-suite hotel opposite Hyde Park and the latest addition to Maybourne Hotel Group’s portfolio of London hotels. Rising sail-like in Knightsbridge, the only UK hotel to be designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour (whose Co-Founder Sir Richard Rogers passed in 2021) began life nearly a decade ago, during which time its edifice lay mysteriously clad behind a protective facade.

Those lucky enough to join its General Manager, Knut Wylde, on a private tour of the property will have discovered a new concept in hospitality that moves the dial sharply in a city not short of showy openings. With 60 suites arrayed across nine floors, topped off by a penthouse with 360-degree views and a residents-only rooftop bar, The Emory delivers the same feeling of intimacy and calm one associates with truly residential settings. The name comes from Middle English, first documented around 1068: it means “home strength” or “industrious leader.”

“We set out to create a modern London masterpiece with magnetic appeal,” recalled Wylde, as we surveyed Hyde Park and the hinterland of Belgravia that lies below it. “At one stage, we were looking to create a private member’s hotel. And even though we’re not doing that anymore, we have retained quite a few of those elements. The desire wasn’t to create something ostentatious or over the top, but something with more of a residential feel. Understated luxury, quiet hospitality.”

The emory rooftop bar and cigar lounge. Photos by Robin Forster

Reflecting this drive for human-scale sophistication, each guest floor is the work of a world-renowned design practice, including Champalimaud Design, André Fu, Rémi Tessier, Pierre-Yves Rochon, Patricia Urquiola and Rigby & Rigby, whose wraparound, floor-to-ceiling glass penthouse truly justifies the term sensational. “Richard Rogers was a visionary architect who approached architecture with an inside-outside perspective,” explains Rigby & Rigby’s  CEO, Iain Johnson. “When we saw the building, we were inspired by the huge amount of natural light that comes in and the beautiful views out across the city. Our concept therefore was inspired to be light, both in terms of colors and textures, but also creating a space that felt more minimal and did not feel crowded or cluttered.”

According to André Fu, achieving The Emory’s spirit of considered living relies on its sense of amity. “It’s no longer about a sense of formality, or the use of exuberant materials,” he says. “What’s essential is you feel that the space is intimate; that there’s a greater sense of you feeling easeful and relaxed. I’ve talked extensively about this spirit of relaxed luxury and The Emory is a very good amplification of that.”

For The Emory’s larger suites, Fu has set forth a welcoming palette of dusky salmon pinks and pistachio, combined with intricate marquetry, underlining the cohesive spirit of classically inspired, contemporary urban style that runs throughout the property.

Elsewhere, Champalimaud Design’s Principal Interior Designer, Elisabeth Rogoff, has drawn on Richard Rogers’ ability to “instill his vision of the future into the architecture” to demonstrate how elevated design ideals can coexist with streamlined ideas, emulated in sleek and highly functional guest rooms “designed to feel like an intimate yacht cabin, a haven away from the hustle and bustle of the capital.” Champalimaud Design’s overall vision? “Ease of living presented in a beautiful way.”

Bottling the sort of lightning that attracts the modern nomad—a breed of traveler in need of relaxation with the promise of a carefully curated cultural experience—is no mean feat. Thankfully, Maybourne specializes in the challenge. Wylde believes a little breathing space is a luxury in itself. “It’s all about discretion,” he says, referencing the protective veil provided by The Emory’s off-street entrance on Belgravia’s historic Old Barrack Yard.

Discretion also informs the public/private realms of the hotel. Only those dining at abc kitchen, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s acclaimed New York casual dining concept on The Emory’s ground floor, will likely notice the comings and goings of what will soon be recognized as London’s most culturally erudite clientele.

Rémi Tessier is responsible for the design of both abc kitchen on the ground floor and the residents-only rooftop bar and cigar lounge. The ground-floor space features artwork by Damien Hirst, an expansive vertical glass wine cellar, and the hotel’s bar made of solid green onyx, natural cedar and other rare materials. As for the rooftop bar and cigar lounge, two distinct glass boxes ensure extraordinary views over London and a rarified, members’ style atmosphere.

For Tessier every detail was meticulously constructed: all the furniture, lamps and fabrics are bespoke and designed by himself. “The execution has been realized by the best craftsmanship of the highest level of quality. Particular attention to the lighting design has taken place. The two rooftop spaces are irrigated by natural light to bring together a sense of peacefulness and timelessness.

“The space has to nurture the souls of the guests, to bring them happiness and joy,” explains Tessier, underscoring the idea that The Emory’s service will be anticipatory, intuitive and seamless.

And if Wylde is confident that The Emory represents something hitherto unseen in the capital, he’s even more excited about Vongerichten’s arrival into the new property. “One of the key things about having Jean-Georges back at this location is that he originally opened his first restaurant in London restaurant, Vong, here on Knightsbridge in 1995. So it’s great that Jean-Georges is coming back—it’s like a homecoming.”

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The expansive wine cellar. Photos by Robin Forster

Building The Emory


Best known for his work with superyachts, Dreamliner jets and extraordinary private residences, Paris-based Tessier is also responsible for The Penthouse at Claridge’s and Cédric Grolet at The Berkeley.


Award-winning Hong Kong-based designer Fu has worked on galleries, hotels and restaurants. He recently created Claridge’s spa and The Berkeley’s new suites.


Spanish design titan Urquiola has collaborated with Louis Vuitton and Missoni. This is her first project for Maybourne.


A French luxury specialist who has brought a chic sensibility to over 200 hotels, spas and restaurants around the globe. He recently created The Mayfair suite and The Octagon at Claridge’s.


World-leading luxury interior specialists, this London-based design collective recently created the AlphaTauri showroom in Knightsbridge. It is also responsible for suites at Claridge’s and The Maybourne Riviera.


Senior Partner at RSHP with Ivan Harbour and Graham Stirk, Rogers was one of the world’s foremost architects before his death in 2021. During his remarkable career he was also responsible for the entrance canopy of The Berkeley.


Founded by luminary Alexandra Champalimaud, this New York design agency is best known for Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in St. Moritz, Switzerland and The Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Champalimaud Design also created a Mayfair Suite at Claridge’s.

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