london Travel Guide
We’re getting close to the midway point of 2015, and so far we only have one confirmed opening from our list of five London hotels to watch this year (that’s the M by Montcalm Shoreditch). Things are looking up this week though, starting with online reservations going live for stays from August 15 at The Laslett Notting Hill, the new townhouse hotel we told you about late last year.
We can see rates starting from £155 ($244) on a Sunday night for a Spare Room Double, which range from 193-203 sq ft. That’s a prepaid rate, which goes up to £255 ($400) on a Saturday night. Largest rooms are Master Bedroom Suites at 313-360 sq ft, which on a Saturday in August is £350 ($550) a night when prepaid. Spare Room Singles are the entry-level category but as the name implies, sleep only one.
It’s been quite some time since we sleot in a race car bed, as socially it’s kind of frowned upon for an adult—and well, we don’t exactly fit in it anymore. Hilton has heard our dilemma, and they recently opened up the next best thing thanks to their F1 partnership with the folks over at McLaren-Honda.
At Hilton London Heathrow Airport Hotel within the airport’s Terminal 4 there’s now a great place to welcome race fans, and that’s especially the case with the racing series coming to the UK during the first weekend of July.
In yet another sign that SE1 Waterloo/Southbank/Southwark has become "a postcode you pay for", as we’ve been told on more than one occasion (London, raise your hand with us if you feel like you missed that memo), Hoxton Hotels is expanding to a triple-threat in the city’s hotel market with the announcement that their third hotel, The Hoxton Southwark, is in the works.
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Just when you thought the cult of selfie sticks had reached critical mass… not only is a hotel advocating a selfie stick package, but it’s stocking the bloody minibars with the things.
The hotel in question is the Conrad London St James, a place that is no stranger to well thought out marketing strategies. But this time it’s gone too far, placing hotel-branded selfie sticks in the minibar for when the ego strikes. The retail price? £12. At least it’s cheaper than getting a therapist to diagnose a severe case of narcissism.
When we took some photos of the former Port of London Authority last summer, the future Four Seasons London at Trinity Square was mostly covered in scaffolding, but even back then we commented on some of the beautiful architectural details of the 1920s Grade-II listed building.
Two cranes stood within its triangular core, damaged during WWII-bombings, but gone they are now, along with the scaffolding: you can clearly see the contemporary glass floors jut out just above the classic façade. That tells us things are progressing well towards a late 2016 opening of the third Four Seasons hotel in London – below a few more shots.
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Having just walked by, things are headed in the opposite direction, with a giant hole in the ground and the construction updates pinned to the plywood surrounding the site talking about the excavation of the new basement as well the installation of a crane on June 13 and site offices shortly after. If a first quarter 2016 opening is to be believed, the 156-room hotel needs to start rising quickly – we’d say it’s more likely end of the year if not 2017 before we’ll be sampling Nobu’s sushi here.
Not even a week after we said that citizenM needed to step it up in London to deliver its three additional hotels this year, did we find out that it would be at least 2016 for all of them. Six months on, we have some promising signs from Tower Hill, and none whatsoever over in Holborn.
Above a picture of citizenM Tower Hill, from the exact same spot we were at back in January and from which we saw the rendering well over a year ago. Covered up as it may be, things are clearly moving ahead for the 370-room group flagship – compare the below from early in the year, where all we had was the concrete lift shaft.
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If we’re talking hotel classes, May was all about mindfulness sessions. But mindfulness is already so over; June is for hula hooping. Specifically, hula hooping over the rooftops of London – or, more specifically, at The Berkeley.
The classes are being run in conjunction with HulaFit and promise to burn 600 calories in an hour-long session – all the better to reward yourself afterwards. And the reward comes swiftly – you’ll get access to the pool, and lunch beside it, as well as calorie-free views of Hyde Park and Knightsbridge.
London doesn’t have as many hotel rooftops as, say, New York, but the Marriott Park Lane is adding one to the short list of options – if only for this summer. Called Roofnic (and inspired by the idea of picnicking on the roof), the rooftop has taken over a formerly disused space at the hotel on the corner of Park Lane and Oxford Street.
The 100-seat pop-up is the result of an internal competition among hotel employees on what to do with the space. It’s first-come, first-serve and will run every day 10am-10pm until September, when a winter alternative should arrive. Meanwhile, remember that GM getting hands-on with the hotel’s renovations? They’re being wrapped up this month – a few renderings below.
Another week, another cultural hotel event. This time it’s The Stafford London, which is going down the literary route with The Stafford Saturday Salons – monthly “literary afternoon tea events”, to which authors will come along to discuss their latest works.
The events will be compered by London journalist Liz Hoggard, who’ll host an author Q&A, and then there will be the opportunity to buy signed copies of the books in question.
We’ve talked about London’s posh Sloane Square and its surrounding streets for their ability to bring on an acute case of real estate envy. Largely residential as the area may be, there are two new hotels arriving next year – one a rebirth, one a fresh arrival: Belmond Cadogan and Hôtel Costes. We strolled down Sloane Street and across the square to see where both are at.
Starting with Belmond Cadogan, it was only a few months after Orient-Express became Belmond that they announced the $48 million renovation – and full closure – of The Cadogan. We hate to start with some bad news, but if that summer 2016 reopening is happening, things better get going over on Sloane Street. Closed since last summer, the building is certainly empty, but it felt rather dormant to us.
W Hotels is already implementing their keyless entry technology which lets guests open the guest room doors using their smartphones, and their watches. But at the W London--Leicester Square technology has now invaded the hotel uniforms.
Staffers at the hotel's nightclub, Wyld, are now wearing these super cool Glofaster uniforms featuring LED technology that pulses to the beat of the club's music. (The hotel also changes its exterior colors on a whim too.)They were designed by Britain's rising fashion designer, Claire Barrow. Here's a bit more on what these uniforms are like:
[Barrow's] creations for Wyld feature reactive strip lighting, made by Glofaster, within a W screen-printed design that was influenced by the club’s glowing red neon lights. Both male and female uniforms also boast Barrow’s signature embroidered motifs, with designs that take inspiration from Wyld’s renowned oversized disco ball and London’s vibrant night scene. The bespoke garments combine Barrow’s chic ‘Do It Yourself’ approach to design with Wyld’s rock and roll aesthetic.
You can see these uniforms in action at Wyld from 10pm on Wednesday-Sunday. Rooms at the W currently start about 340 GBP next weekend.
[Photo: W London]