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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 | FF&E Procurement - K&J Solutions | Principal Designer - MDA Consulting | Fire Consultant - Bureau Veritas | Approved Inspector - Bureau Veritas

The former Red Lion Hotel, located in Henley-on-Thames, has undergone a comprehensive refurbishment to become The Relais Henley. The existing hotel is a Grade II listed multi-phase development whose current form dates to a major late eighteenth century redevelopment. Timber framing in the west wing of the hotel, has been dendro-dated to 1462 while a wall painting in one of the hotel bedrooms was dated to 1632. When we began work on the hotel, it became clear that the building had suffered considerable neglect and been subject to several unauthorised alterations.

Our refurbishment of the hotel reinstated 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. These changes restored the civic character of the building, which had 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 have been provided in a converted loft as well as several other spaces surrounding the hotel courtyard. Our refurbishment of the hotel increased the room count by 10% within the existing footprint. The hotel courtyard itself was converted from a neglected parking lot into an intimate courtyard with new landscaping, a timber pergola, covered walkway and new lighting. This provides a new hotel amenity and a vastly improved setting for both the hotel and the Grade I listed Chantry House which overlooks it.

This was 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


The Relais Cooden Beach
Cromwell Place
Royal Exchange
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