London Travel Guide
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Just shy of two years, that’s how long it will take between hearing about The Lanesborough London’s renovation plans (that was in August 2013) and seeing their result: reservations at the Hyde Park Corner hotel are open from July 1.
That isn’t to say that the official opening date will be July 1 though, as the hotel isn’t committing to that yet – who knows, it may be earlier. As always, with live reservations come a few more details, like room types among the total of 50 rooms and 43 suites. The 50 rooms are split between Deluxe and Executive; a Queen bed in either category gives you a shower and single vanity, while a King comes with shower, bath, and double vanity. Above a rendering of a Deluxe Room (we’re still a step away from actual photography); matching patterns between headboard / bedspread / curtains / chair / armchair / bench makes us a little nervous, but we’re hoping Alberto Pinto’s eye ensures it will work in real life. A Deluxe Room starts from £575 ($860) a night, but the first weekend of July seems to come at a premium, with rates starting at £750 ($1,050) a night.
Over on Jaunted, you can get our inside looks at some of the world’s best airline lounges, so we thought we’d do something similar here and start talking about some of the hotel lounges we’ve frequented for our series on Hotel Club Lounges. Today, we're having a look inside the Executive Club Lounge at the Conrad St James in London.
This hotel originally opened in 2012 as an InterContinental but Conrad Hotels, Hilton's luxury brand, took over management in September 2014.
Because the hotel is still rather new, not much has changed in the guest rooms since HotelChatter last looked at them in December 2012. (The cheeky Do Not Disturb signs, which depicted parliament snoozing, have been replaced.)
The beds are incredibly comfortable, there are showers and separate bathtubs in all rooms, free WiFi, a comprehensive plug panel at the desk and complimentary Nespresso coffee. We especially liked the futuristic screen that housed the TV. It looked like a giant tablet but the TV screen inside was normal-sized.
In short, the hotel checks off every box when you are looking for a modern luxury hotel--it's central (The St. James' tube stop is across the street), it's comfortable (we laid in bed for an entire day, not kidding), and there are several restaurant and bar options on-site (such as the Blue Boar Bar where they will celebrate Royal Baby #2 with free bubbly. But what puts Conrad over the top here is their Executive Lounge.
We liked The Nadler Soho so much we picked it as one of our HotelChatter-approved options for London's Soho ‘hood so we’re pleased to hear the affordable (though, rates in Soho can sometimes be alarmingly high – don’t forget your ethos, budget-chic options) brand is adding a third hotel in the city: The Nadler Victoria.
A group with more pretension would have called it The Nadler St. James seeing that its address is Palace Place, literally around the corner from Buckingham Palace. Above is what you’ll find today: lots of scaffolding mostly, but the signs noting the arrival of the 73-room hotel are up.
Hotel Giveaways / London Hotels / Royal Baby Hotels / Conrad Hotels / Westminster Hotels / → All Tags
Forget the beer, you'll be having the bubbly
Half of London (and all of America) seems to be on Royal Baby Alert currently, with mini Middleton #2 due in the second half of April. “I don’t care,” you may say. “What has the royal baby ever done for me?”
Well, nothing yet. But that may be about to change. Because if you’re in London the day it is born, it may just earn you a free glass of champagne.
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Whether before in New York, or now in London, the arrival of Savage Beauty, the Alexander McQueen exhibit, has been hard to miss, both for its rave reviews and the impossibility of getting tickets. The retrospective opened on March 14 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington, and while “tickets still available” is listed on the website (in all caps, for that matter), as we write this we cannot even get the “buy online” page to load.
The answer to getting inside in the near future may involve a stay in a hotel, one where McQueen spent a lot of his time: Claridge’s. From now until May 17, the hotel has a “Savage Beauty at Claridge’s” package available, which gets you an overnight stay at the hotel and tickets to the exhibit. When you check in, there will be a bottle of champagne waiting for you, as well as a copy of the specially commissioned book “Alexander McQueen”.
Savage Beauty is the largest McQueen retrospective to date, bringing together over 200 pieces of his work. If you’re going the Claridge’s route, you’re looking at a starting price from £560 ($835) a night. A full price ticket – if you can get hold of one – is £16 ($24) per adult. We’ll just hit refresh on the booking page yet again…
[Savage Beauty photo via Claridge's: Duck feather dress - The Horn of Plenty, A/W 2009-10 - Alexander McQueen. Butterfly headdress of hand-painted turkey feathers - La Dame Bleue,S/S 2008 - Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen. Tulle and lace dress with veil and antlers - Widows of Culloden, A/W 2006–07- Alexander McQueen. Room photo: Claridge's]
Available from May 6 (yes, that is exactly a year since we took you inside on opening day), the Shangri-La Suite is one of three “final and most spectacular suites” of the hotel, the other two being the Westminster and London Suites. We talked about these way back when, with their completion at the time projected for fall last year, but here they finally are.
Above a rendering of the Shangri-La suite’s living room, which comes in at 188 sq m (2,023 sq ft) and comes with 180-degree views of the city from floor 39. Creams and golds dominate (or for the more refined: “champagne, citrine, and bronze), with all furniture custom designed for the suite. Access is through a private elevator, there is a 24-hour butler, and you will have a private chauffeur, too.
Hotel Anniversaries / Hotel Renovations / London Hotels / Langham Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Nothing like a big anniversary to think about doing something new for the future, right? The Langham London is hitting the big 1-5-0 this year (the hotel opened in 1865), and as part of its celebration it’s not only a doing a round of renovations, it has revamped and renamed the former Club Wing into the Regent Wing.
The wing, with its own private entrance, has 43 Grand Executive Rooms, two Studio Suites, a Regent Suite, and a Wedgwood Suite. The Regent Suite goes up to four bedrooms, while the Wedgwood Suite of course has “artefacts and bespoke items of English heritage chinaware”. First impression is a lot of subdued light grey, a pop of purple in the two chairs and the headboard, and contrasting dark wood in the dressoir and desk.
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Right around this time last year, we saw first-hand what happens when two famous hotel bartenders spend a week mixing cocktails in the same London hotel bar: a double feature of Confessions of a Hotel Bartender and six specially-selected cocktails to drink your way through.
The bar at The Connaught, where all of this went down, was packed during Colin Field’s week long residence in Agostino Perrone’s home, but it almost always is. Luckily, there is now this: the Champagne Room at the Connaught Bar – a small, secluded drinking spot accessible either through an internal passageway from the main bar or through a set of heavy curtains off of a quiet corridor behind the lobby.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Z Hotels / Affordable Hotels / London Hotels / Shoreditch Hotels / → All Tags
How about that: when we first learned about The Z Hotels heading out to Shoreditch (like everyone else), we thought the opening of its hotel in The Bower complex wouldn’t happen until second half of the year. Wrong – The Z Shoreditch opened on March 9.
But before we get to that, the budget-chic group is throwing a sixth London hotel in the mix on Fleet Street, right across from the Royal Courts of Justice. That will be the building above, a former office that will have 110 rooms between the lower ground, ground, and three upper floors. Behind the hotel is a beautiful courtyard with the Temple Church, built by the Knights Templar and famous from the Dan Brown novel. A few more shots below.
Hotel Openings / Hoetl Opening Rates / Hotel News / London Hotels / Private Members Club Hotels / → All Tags
First The Hospital, now The Arts. London has its share of private members clubs, and here is the second one this year that is not just adding hotel rooms to its facilities,
but allowing non-members to stay the night, too. [UPDATE: Turns out, our understanding of how the hotel rooms at The Arts Club are going to work, along with what is reported elsewhere, was not correct. Speaking again to the reps of The Arts Club, hotel rooms will only be available to members or guests of members. So if you want to check into The Arts Club, better sign up for membership or start cultivating an inside contact...
The Arts Club on Dover Street (just off of Piccadilly in Mayfair, a minute walk from Green Park) will be adding 16 rooms and suites by the summer. Guests will have access to all of the Club’s facilities, which includes three restaurants, a garden, and a nightclub. In contrast to The Hospital Club (further east just around the corner from Covent Garden), the rooms here will be much bigger, with suites going up to over 1,000 square feet.
Above a rendering of one of the rooms: high-gloss hardwood floors, some subtle greys and blues, and a touch of Art Deco to its design. Its feel reminds us a little of what we’ve seen at The Beaumont, don’t you think?
Hotel Reopenings / Hotel Woes / Hyatt Hotels / Hyatt Regency Hotels / London Hotels / Grand Hyatt Hotels / Marriott Hotels / JW Marriott Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / → All Tags
Back in November, we told you about the gas explosion that occurred at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, which led to the evacuation, and subsequent closure, of the hotel. The “foreseeable future” time frame that was attached to that closure was sad to see, but we can tell you that things are looking up: after four months, the hotel is open again.
We can find a King Room this coming Friday for £290 ($433) a night, which goes up £40 ($60) if you include breakfast. An additional bit of good news is that the hotel has taken the closure to not only do the repairs necessary after the incident, but kick off a multi-million pound renovation of the rooms and suites as well. That renovation should be complete by the summer; we don’t have any visuals of the changes yet, but will share them when we have more details.
Easter is on its way, and that means chocolate. And while not every hotel can have a chocolate store inside, they can at least do things like commission their own bespoke Easter eggs. At least, if they’re Claridge’s, they can.
The 2015 Claridge’s Easter Egg, which has officially been “unveiled” by pastry chef Ross Sneddon, is on sale in the hotel shop, McQueens, now. It’s an Art Deco egg, inspired by the checkerboard lobby. There are 100 limited edition eggs up for grabs – made of dark, milk and white Valrhona chocolate. Inside each is a stuffing of chocolate mini eggs (“quail eggs”, as Claridge’s calls them). It’s wrapped in monochrome Art Deco foil and put in an eau de nil box – so you will at least have those remains once you’ve massacred the egg.