london Travel Guide
It’s maybe not quite six months since we last looked at the Hilton Bankside, but it’s worth checking in on the hotel now rather than wait for our usual twice-a-year update on the long-running project. Why? Because not only does less scaffolding give us a better view of the hotel’s exterior, we also have proof that this indeed will be a Hilton: the logo is right there. What’s more, it seems Starwood is preparing to attach its Westin logo to a project nearby. Read on for details.
If you need a little refresh on the Hilton and why you should care, here we go: yes, it is one in a long list of Hiltons London has, but we have our eye on it for the “new brand design” it will supposedly showcase, which based on renderings we saw looks very interesting. There will be a leisure club with pool, and location is just a block or so behind Tate Modern and the Thames. Despite the logo being up, there is still no sign of the hotel on Hilton’s website; let’s assume that cannot be far off.
Qatar’s Constellation Hotels Group – which already owns the Intercontinental Park Lane – has snapped up a 64% stake in Coroin, which owns the Maybourne Hotel Group (and is mainly owned by the Barclay brothers, who also own the Telegraph newspaper and London’s Ritz).
Last September, we told you that amidst the big splash made by hotel openings such as The Hoxton Holborn and Mondrian at Sea Containers, London also welcomed a petite property in the form of Artist Residence Pimlico, just touching the double-digit room count with a total of ten accommodations.
We wandered down Pimlico’s “grid” (a range of blocks by planner Thomas Cubitt, now a conservation area) to get a better understanding of what being a resident (artist or otherwise) at Artist Residence would be like – here’s what we found.
London’s Connaught hotel has been busy recently. It opened a smashing new Champagne Room. Its chef, Hélène Darroze, was just named the Veuve Cliquot World’s Best Female Chef. No wonder it needs to calm down.
Hot on the heels of Trump SoHo launching meditation lessons, the Aman Spa at the Connaught is doing the same. However, it’s going one better than Trump – its daily classes are free.
Hotel room lighting is a serious matter. Sometimes it's too harsh (especially in the bathroom) and sometimes it's too dark to even read the room service menu. But even when you like the lighting, it can be hard to turn it off as the switches are either hidden, too complicated to understand, or worst of all, controlled by a tablet.
You will find none of that at The Goring in London. This is what the light switches look like in the room. And there are at least three of them. (We actually counted four in our room.) Now can you guess which was our favorite setting? Of course you can. We bet Kate Middleton likes that setting too.
Stay tuned tomorrow for more on the guest rooms at The Goring. For now, you can peruse the hotel's recent lobby transformation HERE.
[Disclosure: Juliana paid a media rate of 200 pounds at The Goring.]
Summer in London can mean only one thing: picnics in the parks. Hyde Park, specifically, for sarnies and champagne with Speaker’s Corner in the distance.
Every summer, hotels get together picnic packages and hampers, and the first to land of 2015 is from The Arch London, right by Hyde Park at Marble Arch. You could pick up your lunch at Pret a Manger, but it might be nicer to go with something like this – a Best of British-inspired selection from the hotels’ Hunter 486 restaurant.
We may be in ecstasy over the arrival of a Standard London, but the neighbors are not so keen. The Camden New Journal reports that the hotel will be a “blot” on the landscape, according to a rather well known local resident.
Lord Fink, fomer Tory party treasurer, who lives in the glorious conversion of St Pancras, is objecting to the rooftop extension to the
communist-style Brutalist former council offices. It was already ugly, he reckons, and locals were silently hoping it might be demolished; but the plans for the Standard have shocked him:
Hotel Reopenings / Hotel Renovations / London Hotels / Oetker Collection / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
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.
Hotel Packages / Hotel Art / London Hotels / Mayfair Hotels / Maybourne Hotel Group / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
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]