Regent Palace Hotel, Piccadilly, London
9 Floors (AGL) approx 100ft
The Regent Palace Hotel was built in 1914 for ‘T Lyons & Co. Ltd’ on Crown land and opened on Wednesday, May 16, 1915. At this time, it was the largest hotel in Europe with 1028 bedrooms. The hotel is situated opposite the statue of Eros, in Piccadilly Circus
The building is a steel-framed structure, faxed externally with glazed terra-cotta, the roof being covered with green slates. No less than 6000 tons of steelwork were required for the structure. There are nine floors above ground level, with a lower ground floor, basement and sub-basement
through the large swing doors, was the Rotunda Court. It had, over the centre, a large dome-light filled with stained and leaded glass and was seated with chairs and tables, which were chiefly occupied for afternoon tea. Opening out of the Rotunda Court was the Louis XVI Restaurant.
During the First World War, a considerable part of the hotel was requisitioned by the British Government and during the Second World War, 2 separate bombs caused minor damage
The Regent Palace Hotel also supplied meat in the form of pre-cut steaks to all the Strand Hotels and Lyons Cornerhouses including the famous “Grill and Cheese” restaurants. The carcasses were brought into the hotel and butchered on site in specially designed production kitchens in the basement of the hotel.
In the 1960’s, the hotel developed a less than favourable reputation as a place of ill repute. Located near Soho, it was an obvious meeting point for ladies of the night to ply their trade. Rumour has it that if you phoned the concierge desk and asked for an extra pillow a deal could be done.
(courtesy of Wikipedia)
The Regent Palace closed on the 31st of December 2006 after many years of trading. The Hotel became increasingly uneconomic to operate as a hotel to the standards required by a 21st century clientele. To modernise the hotel would have required a huge investment, the cost of which could hardly be justified given the limitations of its structure.
The building is owned by The Crown Estate, which plans to redevelop it.
The Regent Palace Hotel block will offer new retail, residential and office accommodation (Fucking yawn.....yet another one ? )... and a new cultural quarter, including a Visit London ‘tourist showcase’. The historic art-deco Atlantic Bar and Grill and Titanic Restaurant will be preserved
(courtesy of Wikipedia)
"Too little, too late"
Ive been past this Hotel many times before...it was always on the list of stuff to do,and a post by MarkR jogged my memory/interest...
I'd always thought this place would wait ....but I was wrong..
Last time I passed by, the scaffold was just going up ....an easy in. More recently the white 'shroud of death' and some pretty secure hoarding is hiding this old girl.
First visit a few days beforehand...it was clearly far too busy to give it a go, even in the early hours this place rarely quietens down...always someone passing, always someone watching ( whether from ground level or from the glut of CCTV covering the streets around here)
I figured I'd try again on a less 'pleasant' evening.....after the rain.
Well it was less busy....at 3am...but even so there were still the pishheads pulling out of the nearby clubs and pubs. I already had a nice entry point recce'd, but was just waiting for that moment( that I knew from the Swiss Centre Explore) would come.....that 1 min of silence and desertion amoungst the mayhem....
As I waited I stared across the street to some fancy club....doing the 'waiting paparazzi' skit...
Three pissed up fella's walked over....
'Whose in there mate ?? ...who are you waiting for ?'
Great....the 'disguise' worked , but these guys thought I was just being secreative , when I tried to tell them I didnt have any idea and Im just hanging around......they actually thought I was hiding something good...and continued to quiz me on who I was waiting to come out...
After a couple of mins....I tried the brutally honest approach..
'Actually I'm just interested in getting in 'that' building there <pointing to the Hotel> ...to have a look around and take some pictures..'
One confused guy sloshed his can of stella, side to side..looked down at it...frowned, looked back up and said
'Why? is that like a hobby or something ?'
'Yeah....it is....and you guys hanging around me are kinda stopping me...'
They all had a chuckle and with a pat on my back they left with a
'Good luck then mate...'
It wasnt long after that 'silent minute' came and I climbed up and in.
Well thats about as exciting as it got...as the title suggests....too little too late.
The Hotel is just about completely stripped out....all the hotel roomson the floors , the bar, restaurants .....are mostly down to the bare brick..there is very little left to see inside, thats obvious ...Damn !
I spent most of my time up on the upper levels ...with only a bit of time exploring the lower levels.
But.. the trip down to the basement and sub basement levels revealed a labyrinth of corridors, rooms, plant areas.....I'm sure there's more to see down on these levels....but a live in security guard and dawn approaching made it difficult to fully explore these levels.....so I'll be going back for a finer look at these levels.
I really hope there's still some nice stuff left here......but judging by the state of the rest of the building...I doubt it.
Down on the ground floor the Restaurant / Bar are all pretty much gone/demolished.
I didnt know there was an 'Arry here though !
Down in the Basement is the Atlantic Grill and some HUGE kitchen areas.
Even though there are LOADS of rooms, The accomodation floors are pretty bare and rank...dont believe me ??
Its a lovely 'old school' roof...lovely to be on...and climb around.
Some nice views of downtown from this point.....its great watching the city below.
And some good views of some other targets...erm..did I say targets? I meant ...erm..landmarks..
There are some lovely pics of the interior of this place in its heyday , here...
I hope there's still a little bit of that to see when I go back.. :)
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