The Prince Akatoki London The Prince Akatoki London
The Prince Akatoki

Hotel Alteration and Fit-Out

  • Client
    Staywell Holdings
  • Contract value
  • Location
    Marble Arch, London
  • Sector
  • Architect
    B3 Designers
  • Project Lead
    Danny McGowan
  • Project Manager
  • Contract Type
    JCT Intermediate with Contractors Design
The Prince Akatoki London

What did the project involve?

Phelan were approached by JLL to negotiate the rebranding of The Arch Hotel into Europe’s first Prince Akatoki Hotel on behalf of hotel operator Staywell Holdings. The project involved the refurbishment of the ground floor front of house areas and all 84 bedrooms. This included a newly refurbished restaurant, whiskey bar, reception, study and lobby as well as installing a new Japanese robata grill in the kitchen.


Working closely with B3 Designers we accelerated the pre-construction phase of the project by pricing the scheme as each aspect of the design was produced in order to facilitate a quick start.

The result was the transformation of the hotel into a stunning Japanese minimalist style offering in the heart of London’s Marble Arch.

What challenges did the project team face?

The main challenge with delivering this project was carrying out the works whilst the hotel remained live. Phelan achieved this by devising a detailed phasing plan in conjunction with the hotel. The key was to ensure that the check in desk, restaurant and bar offerings remained operational at all times. To accomplish this the front of house works were split into four phases; using the existing library as a temporary restaurant whilst the restaurant was refurbished; handing over the restaurant so that the existing library could be converted into the Malt Lounge whiskey bar; splitting the works to the main lobby into two phases to keep the two lifts and check in desks operational at all times. This complex phasing could not have been achieved without the teams constant communication with the hotel staff to plan the works ahead on a day to day basis. In order to refurbish the bedrooms we broke these down into phases of 10 rooms at a time, splitting each floor into 2 phases so that guest access to one of the two staircases was maintained at all times. Other challenges included managing the project logistics in this central London location, which meant that we had no site compound or delivery areas. We overcame this by using 3 bedrooms to form our site office/meeting room, storage area and canteen. At the end of the project we took occupancy of 3 finished rooms, which were protected, whilst we completed the last 3 rooms. The key to delivering this project successfully was understanding what the client wanted to achieve and communicating clearly with them on how it could be done. This included suggesting suitable alternatives for long lead items such as a bespoke timber wall feature and bespoke joinery furniture in order to achieve the demanding 12 week programme.

What stand-out features did the project boast?

The Prince Akatoki is a 5-star luxury brand that brings the peerless hospitality, design and culture synonymous with Japan, to the world. A joint venture between StayWell Holdings and Prince Hotels Inc., The Prince Akatoki was named after the Japanese word for dawn. A time of renewal, gratitude and peaceful contemplation, it reflects the experience the hotel creates for its guests. Prince Akatoki, Marble Arch is the first of its kind in Europe and boasts features such as a minimalist Japanese design including lots of natural timber and stone finishes. Among some of the specialist finishes, were a cast in situ concrete and basalt bar, a liquid metal feature wall complete with swimming fish in the restaurant, a liquid metal bar in the Malt Lounge, 2 new feature fireplaces and a hand-sculpted timber wall feature in the entrance to restaurant.

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