Living area of The King's Lodge with plush red sofas

Preserving Heritage: The King’s Lodge at The Connaught

17 May 2024

The Hand-Made Tale

Though its doors opened in 2024, the tale of The King’s Lodge is centuries old, a story spun through cultures and entwined with the rich artistic heritage of The Connaught. Here, its visionary designer Guy Oliver's interiors takes us on a trip back in time to (re)discover the custom craftsmanship and meticulous care that created this bespoke retreat – and the hand that His Majesty King Charles III had to play. Read along to find out more, or watch Guy Oliver take you through the artistic journey.

Guy Oliver in The King's Lodge at The Connaught.

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Perhaps for its service, and certainly for its artistic legacy, shortly after The Connaught opened its doors in 1897 it became known as the ‘tailor-made hotel’. A place created by specialist artisans, carpet weavers and furniture makers. Fast forward more than a hundred years, and this nickname remained in the mind of interior designer Guy Oliver, the man behind the hotel’s renovation in 2007.

At this time, Guy was also voluntary creative director of Turquoise Mountain, an initiative founded in Afghanistan by HM King Charles III, then HRH The Prince of Wales, to preserve ‘endangered’ craftsmanship. When Guy was introduced to an elderly master carver selling onions in a Kabul market, it became clear that time was running out to safeguard the fine skills that were once passed down through generations. He was swiftly enlisted, and the first chapter for the Foundation was to begin restoring 130 18th and early 19th century buildings in Kabul, returning each to its former glory.

When The Connaught commissioned Guy to create a duo of custom suites – first The Prince’s Lodge and, later, The King’s Lodge – he brought Turquoise Mountain along for the journey. It was to become a project that spanned continents, cultural heritage and crafts. Today, The King’s Lodge is a true statement piece, bearing the hallmark of 100 artisan carvers, textile and carpet weavers, furniture makers and miniature painters from Afghanistan, Myanmar, India, Jordan and Syria. It is creativity at its most collaborative.

True luxury has always been made to measure and, since it was built, The Connaught has been known as a handmade hotel, constructed by the finest artisan builders and cabinet makers. Now, working with Turquoise Mountain, we can support the highest level of craftsmanship at risk in communities around the world. It is a delight and an honour to bring them together to create such a remarkable and unique project.

Guy Oliver

Every Detail Tells A Story

Intricate walnut jali fretwork. Mughal Court-inspired marble with lily motifs and mirror insets from India. Stepping into The King’s Lodge is a little like embarking on a journey across time and place. When it comes to the fabrics, every element is interwoven with heritage craft from Turquoise Mountain’s makers – including the custom-made carpets, coloured by Guy, with zig-zag patterns and deep Mughal tones that echo those exhibited in Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art. Meanwhile, miniature paintings, set into the wooden geometric screens, are drawn from Afghan archival references and these pay homage to The Connaught’s own artistic legacy.

Mustard coloured armchair in the corner of living area in The King's Lodge
close up of Architectural carvings and refined details
View point of looking down the centre of The King's Lodge with intricately carved wooden separators
Close up of wooden detailing and hanging artwork


It's difficult to pinpoint a single detail, but perhaps the centrepiece of this singular one-bedroom suite is the regal four-poster bed. Beautifully engraved with hand-drawn patterns and finished with crisp linens, it reflects the character of the space beautifully – both majestic and intimate, where tradition and modernity are honoured and intertwined.

Thanks to commissions like this suite, and the vision and commitment of Guy Oliver and The Connaught, artisan communities and these important traditions continue to thrive today.

Dr. Thalia Kennedy, Creative Director at Turquoise Mountain

The Element of Surprise

Yet it’s the bathroom that Guy Oliver draws attention to. Or, rather, its grand entrance. “My favourite part of the room, I think, is the view to the bathroom, because it’s an unexpected surprise,” he says. “As you walk towards this beautiful wooden room, you can see this wonderful series of carved spaces in one go.”

Along with a sense of openness, The King’s Lodge also feels like a sanctuary for those in-the-know. Tucked under the eaves of the fifth floor of the hotel, guests have a fresh perspective on Mayfair from the plush window seats. While each archway reveals new details and little moments of delight.

A Stately Hotel Suite

Through the unveiling of The King’s Lodge, The Connaught remains the ‘tailor-made hotel’, more than a century after it was first dubbed so. And it also remains dedicated to the arts, celebrating creative partnerships and heritage craft in all its forms. A portion of the proceeds from each reservation is used to support artisan communities and cultures, in an effort to sustain their legacies for generations to come.

close up detail of Afghan carpet, with  striking zig-zag motifs which take their cue from chevroned Mughal columns, woven through with jewel-box tones inspired by the materials of Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art.
Bedroom of The King's Lodge with intricate carved wooden sections
The King's Lodge at The Connaught. A wooden table and chair with a mirror placed upon it, and a wooden panel behind in a star pattern.
The King's Lodge at The Connaught. Looking through the wooden architecture onto a seating area with a table and candle placed on it, with pillows on the sofa and a stain glass window behind


Discover more about this jewel in the crown of the hotel collection, and the rest of the original suites and rooms at The Connaught, at the heart of London’s social calendar.

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