Andre Balasz re-invented the legendary Chateau Marmont, dated Uma Thurman, appeared in ads for Louis Vuitton, and launched the Mercer and Standard hotel brands as paragons of casual cool. Until now, however, he has never had a property outside the U.S. That’s set to change in late May when he opens The Chiltern Firehouse, a 26-suite boutique luxury hotel in central London’s chic Marylebone district. And it’s already on track to become the city’s coolest hangout.
Housed in a historic brick fire station built in 1889, it's regarded as one of the finest surviving examples of Gothic revival architecture in London. The super-stylish rooms, many with working fireplaces, are already said to be booked for an entire year. Like the Marmont, the Chiltern is an incredible, ornate building bristling with chimneys and architectural ornamentation.
The forecourt that once clanged with horse-drawn fire wagons has been transformed into an elegant garden, making the property even more alluring. The hotel’s restaurant, helmed by Michelin starred chef Nuno Mendes, who worked with Wolfgang Puck, is already open and the food is drawing rave reviews. Becoming an instant hotspot in its own right, celebs like Kate Moss, Lily Allen and Harry Styles have already put in an appearance. Balasz is giving the Chiltern Firehouse a very low-key launch, but he obviously doesn’t need any hype to make it a smashing success.