Matthew Curtis has built up his hair-styling empire at a fast and furious pace. His latest salon, opening this year in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, is guaranteed to find favour with the kind of women who team their effortless honey-coloured highlights with a pair of Le Chameau wellies and Stella Tennant’s latest idea for Holland & Holland while browsing the aisles at Daylesford.
Curtis’ skill is to suit the hair to its location, so while his look works perfectly on a Marc Jacobs or Dolce & Gabbana catwalk, it also feels right at home in the heart of the Cotswolds — and it also chimes with the early 20th-century glamour of Rosewood London hotel in Holborn, London.
Matthew Curtis Salon at Rosewood London CREDIT: KAREN HATCH
Formerly the imperially grand headquarters of the Pearl Assurance Company, the hotel boasts high ceilings, spectacular staircases, a rose-bronze lobby and acres of rare marbles. It could be cold and corporate, but manages by dint of the crowded intimacy of Scarfe’s Bar and the relaxed confidence of the Holborn Dining Room to keep just the right side of formal. It’s glamorous but not conventional.
Matthew Curtis’ bespoke vintage trunk for in-room styling at Rosewood London CREDIT: KAREN HATCH
Curtis’s offering here is, true to form, exactly right for the hotel: his small salon is designed to look like the Orient Express with buttoned leather seats in a bluebell hue, lots of brass trim, and wood-paneled walls to take customers back to an imaginary belle epoque of luxury travel.
The vintage trunk created by Matthew Curtis CREDIT: KAREN HATCH
Even better, he has fitted up a bespoke vintage trunk into a miniature hair salon all of its own. Why bother to travel down in the lift to get your hair seen to if a butler will deliver a large leather trunk to your room and Curtis, or one of his in-house team will then appear at your door and transform your bedroom into a private salon? (Curtis’ own services come rather steep, but he is worth it as much for the gossip as the expertise.)
The leather-handled drawers of the precious trunk spill open to reveal everything a hairdresser or barber needs to send you, brushed and pampered, downstairs for tea in the Mirror Room.
Matthew Curtis styling a guest at Rosewood London CREDIT: KAREN HATCH
It’s a huge cut above the services of mobile hair stylists you book online, who in my experience, turn up late to give your hair a lacklustre blast from a tepid hairdryer with the aid of a greasy brush.
Curtis’ offering is of another order altogether.
A cut and blow dry at the Matthew Curtis Hair Salon at Rosewood London starts at £70, plus a £250 call-out fee for guests choosing the in-room styling option. A one-night stay at Rosewood London starts at £450 for a standard double, rates may vary depending on the season. matthewcurtis.biz