Client – Relais Retreats | Project Manager – Pillar | Cost Consultant – Savile Brown | Interior Designer – Pascal Allaman | Services Engineer – Hoare Lea | Structural Engineer – Simpson Associates | Landscape Designer – James Ogilvy | Heritage Consultant – Kathryn Davies
The Red Lion hotel in Henley-on-Thames is a Grade II listed multi-phase development whose current form dates to a major late eighteenth century redevelopment. It also contains timber framing which has been dendro-dated to 1462, a wall painting which has been accurately dated to 1632 and was subject to a comprehensive Victorian refurbishment in the late nineteenth century. Its recent history is a less happy one, where the building has suffered considerable neglect and unauthorised alterations.
Our refurbishment of the hotel to become The Relais Henley seeks to reinstate principal spaces lost to the hotel over recent decades including the reception, the double height main restaurant and a corridor that links the two spaces. This restores the civic character of the building, which evolved over centuries as an important part of the urban fabric of Henley-on-Thames. Other public areas within the building have been sensitively refurbished and redecorated to provide a bar, a deli and generous lounge areas.
All existing guestrooms have been fully refurbished with new services carefully integrated into the building’s historic fabric. Additional new guestrooms are being provided in a converted loft as well as several other spaces surrounding the hotel courtyard which previously accommodated other uses. The hotel courtyard itself is converted from a neglected parking lot into an intimate courtyard with new landscaping, a timber pergola and covered walkway and new lighting. This provides a new hotel amenity and vastly improved setting for both the hotel and the Grade I Listed Chantry House which overlooks it.
This has been a careful, focussed and at times forensic refurbishment process which will secure the building’s survival for the next generation of residents of and visitors to Henley-on-Thames, maintaining its graceful presence on the Henley riverside.
All project photographs © Gregoire Gardette
The Relais Henley