Luxury British fashion and home interiors brand Laura Ashley have launched their first luxury boutique hotel, The Manor Hotel Elstree.
The high Street chain is the latest to branch into the hotel industry, following in the footsteps of designers Missoni, Moschino and Armani.
Situated in a Victorian mock Tudor mansion that the company bought for £5.8m, the country retreat offers 49 individually designed rooms boasting the finest of furnishings, wallpaper and curtains in matching fabrics.
There are few signs of the floral prints that Laura Ashley is famous for – a deliberate move to change people's perceptions of the brand, said a spokeswoman for the British brand.
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"We wanted to showcase the modern Laura Ashley through creating a light and contemporary interior," she said.
Despite the modern front, nods to Laura Ashley's heritage throughout the hotel can take guests back in time. A framed picture of the first shop, a framed copy of the Pelham print, the first print Laura Ashley designed, while sat at her kitchen table, and a wall covered with images of Laura Ashley photo shoots over the years give a glimpse at the brand's roots and history.
Along with the height of elegance in its bedrooms and interior, the hotel also boasts the in-house Cavendish restaurant, offering fine dining in English and Malaysian cuisines, as well as the Terrace Bar, which serves lighter bites with panoramic views of London and the beautiful hotel gardens.
Located in Elstree, Hertfordshire, the charming hotel is just a stone's throw from the capital and is surrounded by 10 acres of sprawling natural woodland with landscaped gardens featuring quintessentially English countryside views.
Its chief operating officer, Seán Anglim, said the hotel would become a "brand showcase" for its products and interior design service, calling it "something special". Laura Ashley, characterised by Romantic English designs and often with a 19th-century rural feel, dates back to 1953 when Welsh-born Laura and her husband Bernard began printing fabric on their kitchen table in London. The couple invested £10 in wood for a screen, dyes and some linen, and printed their own fabrics.
Prices start from £150 for a standard room up to £500 per night for the most premium suite.