A couple of years ago Kings Cross hotels had, shall we say, a very different reputation. The area has was a bizarre magnet for attracting the dodgy characters hanging about on street corners, clubbers (remember Bagleys warehouse!) and other creative talent. It was the last place you'd expect to find diamond in rough! The Rough Luxe Hotel is a very special quiet haven a listed building from the 1850s tucked away on the edge of central London. A Georgian terraced house conversion created by architect slash interior designer slash gallery curator Rabih Hage.
Period property conversion are notorious for throwing up not so nice surprises, at Rough Luxe you must set aside all thoughts of hotels with conventional air-conditioned constancy, marbled flooring, polished finishes and bland colours. Rough Luxe is the complete antithesis to all of that. As you can see from the wall treatment in these images Hage has coupled the rough with the refined. Gloriously opulent contemporary wallpaper and modern art plus top quality furnishings sit next to unfinished walls and exposed plaster, what would ordinarily be the preparation stage of decorating, stripping walls down to the plaster into stylistic focal features.
I'm imagining a few marmite grimaces .. you'll either love it or really not like..hate it! I'm loving it, I have zero expertise in this area but I'm prepared to trust the greater knowledge of the expert extending design out of conventional boundaries and a fearless approach to experimenting. Early on in the refurbishment, layers of wallpaper were peeled away to reveal decoration ideas from centuries ago. Rabih’s instinct was to keep this intriguing ‘archaeology’ of interior design rather than cover it up. There are nine rooms. Most have en suite bathrooms, some share and all small, intimate and comfortable. Original light fittings, cutlery, nik naks, door fixtures with their period charm and obvious wear and tear
According to Rabih Hage ‘Beauty is subjective. Perfection doesn’t mean beauty. It’s not important. What makes a place great to stay is the location, the welcome you get and how well you are looked after. The material side is irrelevant.’
The Rough Luxe Hotel London
1 Birkenhead street, London, WC1H 8BA.
Tel : 02078375338 Fax: 02078371615