HOTEL CAFE ROYAL: Launch of Hotel

Hotel Cafe Royal

THE GOAL: 
Create anticipation for and launch London’s 160-room Hotel Café Royal following a period of extensive renovation. Introduce the property as an independent luxury hotel by the newly formed hotel brand, The Set.

STRATEGY:
The launch of the Hotel Café Royal was a challenging public relations task because little was known about this long-famed institution in the United States.  Although London’s intellectual, political and artistic literati – including Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, Cary Grant, Elizabeth Taylor, Winston Churchill and Mick Jagger – had frequented Café Royal, the iconic establishment needed an introduction in the U.S.

The mission was complicated by the fact that the building had a number of incarnations over the years and had never served as a hotel prior to this re-opening. In addition, the independent status of the hotel brand made the hotel launch more challenging.

The focus of the campaign was to position the reopening of the Café Royal as the rebirth of a London landmark by referencing the hotel’s rich cultural heritage. The strategy was to provide historical background and relevance of the property to the U.S. media thereby demonstrating the significance of the re-launch.

The media campaign also leveraged the building’s historical significance, David Chipperfield’s award-winning architectural design, and Donald Insall’s painstaking restoration to secure news and feature-length coverage in the months leading up to the re-launch.

RESULTS:
The launch of the Hotel Cafe Royal marked the return of a London institution that, throughout its 150-year history, had continually reinvented itself to define the moods, social mores and style of the capital.

The campaign successfully positioned the Hotel Café Royal as the rebirth of a landmark by educating U.S media on the Café Royal’s rich history, as well as showcasing the newsworthy historic restoration.

During a media road show within the U.S. market, Café Royal senior management attended 35 media appointments. As a result of pitches to top U.S. media outlets, extensive news and feature coverage was secured in key target media including Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Surface, The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Afar, Robb Report, Forbes, Billboard, T Magazine and more.