london Travel Guide
Hotel Openings / Accor Hotels / Ibis Hotels / Ibis Style Hotels / London Hotels / Greenwich Hotels / Budget Hotels / → All Tags
Shoreditch may seem to be the destination of choice for hoteliers at the moment, but there are other parts of London that are ripe for an accommodation invasion – like Greenwich, for example, where Accor has just announced a forthcoming Ibis Styles property.
Ibis Styles, of course, are trendy Ibises – millennial-focused, one might even say, with the budget roomrates you’d expect from an ibis proper, but with a focus on swish, boutique-style interiors. And Greenwich – or, the Greenwich Peninsula, to be precise, is in the midst of a vast regeneration project, with £5b ($8b) investment being pummeled into the area, overseen by the Mayor of London. It’s where the O2 (Millennium Dome) events arena is based, and is well connected to central London, despite being out in the sticks. It’s also an easy 10-minute journey from London City Airport.
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / London Hotels / Mondrian Hotels / Hotel Hype / Morgans Hotel Group / → All Tags
We said on Monday that September was making its last two days count in London, and it did: following the opening of The Beaumont in tony Mayfair, we finally had a chance to see inside Mondrian at Sea Containers last night.
The references to the building’s history are everywhere: from the copper hull that cuts from the entrance past reception to the riverside restaurant in a sweeping curve to the actual containerships displayed in the lounge above.
Yesterday, we told you how to find Chicken Shop, the new underground restaurant at the Hoxton Holborn. Today, we’re talking what to order (apologies in advance for the photos, it's very, very dark underground).
In a way, there’s not much advice to give, because the menu at Chicken Shop is limited. Very limited – your options for your main course are:
· A quarter chicken (£4.50)
· A half chicken (£8.50)
· A whole chicken (£15)
To jazz it up, there are sides, which all cost £4. These are:
· Crinkle cut fries
· Corn on the cob
· Butter lettuce and avocado salad
There’s no wine list – your choices are “house”, “decent” or “good” – by the glass or jug. There are four beers on draught, and four (plus a cider) in bottles. Food is served on enamel plates, wine in battered jugs. The whole thing sounds overly simple, and it is. But it is one of the best overly simple meals you’ll have had in ages.
The chicken is free range, from a named farm (Banham’s) in Norfolk. It’s marinated overnight, steamed, then stuck on a rotisserie spit and cooked over charcoal. They chop it up with machetes at the open-plan kitchen, hurl on some extra seasoning as they plate up, and bam, it’s on the way to your table. This is very fast (almost too fast) restaurant food – ours arrived within a couple of minutes of ordering.
The bees of the Lancaster London
Uh huh honey! If Kim and Kanye are still in Europe next Monday, one place they may want to pop into is the Lancaster London which – already known for its resident bees – is now going one further by hosting the London Honey Show on 6 October from 6-9pm.
Your £1 entrance fee (to be donated to a bee charity) gets you access to tastings (including the Lancaster’s), a hive display, talks from bee experts and various stalls and exhibits. There will be food, drink and honey on sale, and it’ll also host an awards ceremony, in case you’ve always wanted to meet the London Beekeeper of the Year (oh, beehave!).
Hotel News / Hotel Hype / Hudson Hotels / Malmaison Hotels / Morgans Hotel Group / London Hotels / → All Tags
The week that Mondrian at Sea Containers will make its official London debut (in fact, opening is today, so stay tuned for the lowdown on that), some interesting news has come out on what was to be its sibling, Hudson London, on Great Scotland Yard, not even fifteen minutes’ walk across the river.
Earlier this year, following a lot of drama at Morgans Hotel Group, the Hudson listing disappeared from the group’s website, replaced with silence about the fate of the former Scotland Yard headquarters. The Telegraph reports that British chain (though now US-owned) Malmaison is set to purchase the building for around £200 million.
You might have heard of Chicken Shop, the ever so trendy (but tiny) restaurant chain owned by the people behind Soho House. You might have heard that its fourth London outpost opened this weekend in the Hoxton Holborn. You might pop along to the Hox, and stride confidently past the people flooding the open-plan bar and lobby area, towards the restaurant at the back.
“Is this the Chicken Shop?” you might ask the perfectly made up, beautifully dressed ladies looking you quizzically up and down at the restaurant entrance. And they will say: no.
You see, the restaurant in the lobby is Hubbard & Bell, “dishing up Brooklyn grill style grub”, as the website says. Chicken Shop, on the other hand, is an underground restaurant. As in, it’s actually underground. And unmarked. And the closest to a secret restaurant you will get in the London hotel scene.
September may have only two days left, but when it comes to London hotels, it’s intent on making them count. Today, restaurateur duo Corbin and King can add ‘& hotelier’ to that oft-used description, with the opening of their Mayfair hotel The Beaumont.
Following sculpture-unveiling, interior renderings, room photos, and a peek inside, we now have a shot as well of the American Bar (above), found straight ahead as you walk across the black-and-white marble lobby floor. Behind it are the red-leather banquets of the Colony Grill Room, where we’ll be headed as soon as we can to sample its cross-Atlantic cuisine.
Are you ready to get busy with hotel openings, London? Before the month is out, we’ll have the Beaumont, Mondrian at Sea Containers, and, as first of the pack, you can now check out The Hoxton Holborn in all its east-meets-midtown glory.
We ran over to the hotel on opening day yesterday for a quick wander around its ground floor lobby and restaurants, which we last saw a month ago as raw spaces. Above the entrance, just this side of the divide between the two divergent buildings that make up the hotel. If you’re in the area, there’s a 50% off promotion running at the restaurants until tomorrow, Saturday the 27th. A few more shots below.
Millenial Hotels / Hotel News / Glh Hotels / Thistle Hotels / Amba Hotels / London Hotels / Guoman Hotels / Clermont Hotels / → All Tags
Tommie, Moxy, Venu, Graduate, Virgin, Red, AC – so many new hotel brands created to court the elusive Millenial. A hotbed of hotel activity like London can’t stay behind on this big a trend, so later this year another very Millenial-sounding hotel brand will arrive in the city: every Hotels.
Lower-case every is a “limited feature, four star product, targeted at the global quality-conscious business professional and the savvy city explorer”, according to parent group Glh., which with every is now up to three new brands in the last year (there was Clermont and Amba before).
Three words are key for every: connect, explore, and relax. That means “the fastest free Wi-Fi in the hotel sector” (the signal even shows up in the logo), “up-to-date, intuitive technology”, “knowledgeable hosts”, and “outstanding locations”.
Just like sibling Amba, there will be four hotels to start with: every Piccadilly, every Hyde Park, every Leicester Square, and every Bloomsbury. All are former Thistle Hotels, but by the time it’s 2020, there should be up to 50 every Hotels around the world.
Fall is around the corner for London: the air is crisp and leaves have started to color. Sofitel St. James is using the change of seasons to make sure you eat your vegetables (better be healthy for when temperatures inevitably drop), drink some of them (because anything goes into cocktails these days) and while you’re at it, look at some outsized, shiny sculpture versions by French artist Patrick Laroche too.
Above is a shot from the hotel’s lobby off of Waterloo Place, around which you’ll find a number of Laroche’s art displayed as part of an exhibit called, as expected, “Vegetables”. Brightly colored and very shiny, they are at the hotel until the end of October.
Bummed because Four Seasons got edged out by Pan Pacific for the hotel portion of the Heron Plaza development? We’re here to brighten up your day, because not even a month has passed since that announcement and Four Seasons is back on track for its third London hotel, miraculously enough also midway between its current Park Lane and Canary Wharf outposts.
How? The Canadian group will be managing the hotel portion of Ten Trinity Square, a development at Tower Hill we first looked at at the beginning of the year (it’s the conversion of the former Port of London Authority if you recall) and then over the summer together with its neighbor citizenM to see whether they’d be opening next year.
Pop quiz: what does London need more of? Sometimes it seems the only answer is: more hotel rooms, more hotel rooms, more hotel rooms. Today we’re back at Leicester Square, where a new mixed-use complex is likely to go up at its southern end, and Accor Hotels is now throwing another 600+ rooms in the mix by 2017.
Right on the square will be the return of its MGallery brand (gone since the St. Ermin Hotel went Autograph Collection) in Victory House (above). We don’t know much more than that it will have just 80 rooms, that it will open at the end of 2016, and that unless you camp out among the crowds on the square, you couldn’t get any closer to the city’s tourist action.
Much larger will be the Ibis Styles, with 583 rooms in the Trocadero complex, midway between Leicester Square and the famous neon of Piccadilly Circus. Opening in 2017, it will have “a distinctly ‘London’ personality reflecting the colourful, bright and energetic brand persona of the ibis Styles brand, with a hint of humour perfectly matching the electric eccentricity of the Trocadero”.