london Travel Guide

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The Dome Penthouse at Café Royal London Comes With Its Own Light Show

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  Site Where: Regent Street, London, United Kingdom
July 23, 2015 at 8:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

When we stood on its terrace back in November 2012, the Dome Penthouse at Hotel Café Royal London was still a raw space, waiting to be turned into one of the hotel’s top suites. That would take another year, along with the historic suites that we looked at and the very serene Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre buried underneath Regent Street.

With Paris Hilton having just checked out, we had a chance to see the finished suite with our own eyes the other week. Standing next to the statue of Britannia is still a very London moment, but inside we got a demo of some of the other unique features the suite has, which includes the ability to turn it into your own nightclub / movie theater. On the wall that separates living room and bedroom/bathroom, a rotating light installation brings the visual effects to go along with the music from a pretty serious sound system. If you need a suite where you can throw a party (Paris?), this is for you.

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A Tiny Bit More on The Peninsula London

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  Site Where: 1-5 Grosvenor Place, London, United Kingdom
July 22, 2015 at 9:05 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’re not going to lie: if our patience often gets tested when it comes to hotel openings, the wait for The Peninsula London will be the ultimate test. Two solid years after we heard the hotel was coming to Knightsbridge / Belgravia, we finally got a first look at its exterior, due to replace the office block currently occupying the 1-5 Grosvenor Place address. Along with that came a projected opening in 2021, also known as the next decade.

The community consultation process is in full swing, more details of which you can find on the dedicated project website. Luckily for us, the boards used during the consultation events are available online, and include a few more renderings to whet our appetite for the 190-room hotel. Above a view of the main entrance on Grosvenor Place, with the usual two lions standing guard, the green Rolls-Royce even making a digital appearance outside, and just on the right the Wellington Arch.

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The Price of Customer Loyalty? At The Mandeville, It's a Sandwich

July 22, 2015 at 8:21 AM | by | Comments (2)

Last summer when we had the customer service experience to end all customer service experiences at Claridge’s, we said that we couldn't imagine many other London hotels being so pro-customer and ultimately ensuring our repeat visits.

Well now it’s time to add another London hotel to the amazing, out-of-the-ordinary service list: The Mandeville.

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The Zetter Will Open Townhouse Marylebone mid-August

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  Site Where: 28-30 Seymour Street, London, United Kingdom, W1H 7JB
July 20, 2015 at 8:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

As predicted back in May, The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone will be just short of another month before it opens: reservations for the 24-room hotel on Seymour Street have kicked off from August 14.

On that Saturday, there are four room types available: Superior, Superior Four Poster, Super Deluxe, and Studio. Rates for a Superior Room start at £318 ($500) a night. We need to look further into the future for an entry-level Club Room to appear, which we can see for £240 ($375) a night. Above a slightly wider angle of the same room we’ve seen some shots of before. It is indeed quite quirky, distinctive design, with the modern bed standing out against the throwback décor.

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In Six Years From Now, This is What The Peninsula Hotel London Will Look Like

Where: 1-5 Grosvenor Place, London, United Kingdom
July 16, 2015 at 10:02 AM | by | Comments (0)

Two years ago, a formal announcement was made for a Peninsula Hotel in London at 1-5 Grosvenor Place. Today, we've finally got a few more details on the design and specs of the hotel, thanks to building plans recently submitted to the Westminster City Council.

Currently, the spot for Peninsula London is, as JasonD wrote in 2013--" a rather unattractive office block." Here's what it looked like two years ago:

Now, the owners of the Peninsula brand--The Hongkong and Shangai Hotels, Limited--along with joint venture partners, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland (Grosvenor), are proposing a new building that "responds to the heritage of its immediate neighbours", that being all the swank buildings of Belgravia. Here's a (far away) rendering of what the hotel will look like when its completed:

Designed by British-based Hopkins Architects, the hotel will have 190 hotel rooms, a spa, several bars and restaurants and a ballroom. The property will also have 24-28 residences with their own separate leisure and spa facility, along with an entrance and reception on Halkin Street. A pedestrian entrance is planned for Grosvenor Street which will be accessed from "a colonnade linking to an internal ‘Palazzo-style’ courtyard, approximately 30 x 30 metres, allowing vehicle access." No doubt, this is where Peninsula will line-up all their fancy cars and their Mini-Coopers, too.

We're already getting giddy about these plans, but we'll have to temper our excitement. Construction on the Peninsula won't even begin until summer 2017, with an opening expected sometime in 2021. In case you have forgotten simple math, that's SIX YEARS FROM NOW. Sigh.

[Rendering: Peninsula Hotels]

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New Suites, Library, and Garden at Firmdale Hotels in London

July 14, 2015 at 10:14 AM | by | Comments (0)

With Firmdale’s flagship Ham Yard Hotel a year old, the biggest news we’re waiting for from Tim and Kit Kemp will be anything definitive on their second hotel in New York. In progress on W. 56th Street, we’re hoping to walk by soon to see what we can find, but in the meantime, we’ll settle for updates at a number of London hotels: from new suites to a library and a refreshed garden space.

Given that it’s summer, let’s start outdoors at Number Sixteen, a small townhouse hotel with 41 rooms in South Kensington. Accessed through the Conservatory, the updated garden is an all-day venue for eating and drinking. Private gardens like this are real estate gold in this part of town, so on a warm July day it should be perfect for a lazy breakfast. Everything inside the hotel is in signature Kit Kemp style, but be aware that entry-level single rooms are a teensy 8 sq m (86 sq ft).

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Hilton Finally Lists Bankside Hotel, Opens Reservations from October

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  Site Where: 2-8 Great Suffolk Street, London, United Kingdom, SE1 0UG
July 14, 2015 at 8:15 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’ve been talking it about for over three years now, but Hilton Hotels has finally given the Hilton London Bankside its own website, only a few months after putting its name on the building itself. Above a King Guest Room, indeed very similar to the renderings we saw a year ago. If this is that “new brand design”, what say ye? Reservations for the 292 rooms, all with free WiFi, are being accepted from October 29, so an autumn opening seems feasible.

Restaurant OXBO Bankside will be a “fresh and contemporary grill”, and The Distillery Bar will have as a unique feature “pipette aromatics, infusions and onsite made bitters with which to accent drinks inspired by the building’s heritage as a distillery” (we presume that refers to whatever was here before, the Hilton itself is brand new). We’re curious to see the fitness center with lap pool.

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Inside Nicky Hilton's Claridge's Wedding, By Paris

July 13, 2015 at 9:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

On Friday, two noble houses, both alike in dignity, came together in holy matrimony… but we don’t care about the Hiltons or the Rothschilds – we care about Claridge’s, where Nicky Hilton stayed when she married James Rothschild in a Kate Middletonesque dress at Kensington Palace.

Luckily for us, Paris shared some photos on Instagram:

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The Only Hotel in London for Anglophiles and Royal-Watchers: The Goring Hotel

July 9, 2015 at 10:13 AM | by | Comments (0)

The other month we teased you a bit with some sexy lighting from inside The Goring Hotel in London. Today, we're showing off the rest of the "Splendid" room and elsewhere around the hotel.

*Assumes posh British accent*

If you're looking for a properly British hotel, you must not look any further. Aside from having a Royal Warrant and from being the host of the Middleton family during the Royal Wedding, The Goring has the largest private garden in London (after the Queen's nearby at Buckingham Palace) which makes for a wonderful retreat from the bustling city. If you know how to play croquet (The lovely Pippa recently gave a tutorial in Vanity Fair), all the better.

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Shangri-La London Fixes Its Design Fault with Another Design Fault

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  Site Where: 31 St Thomas St, London, United Kingdom, SE1 9QU
July 6, 2015 at 10:26 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Premier City View should have looked like this

The best thing about Shangri-La at the Shard London was, indisputably, the view. As part of the tallest building in the UK – nay, Europe – those glass walls overlooked everything you could possibly want to see in London.

Which brings us to the worst thing about the hotel: the unimpeded views – thanks to all that glass, the shape of the building and some seriously unfortunate reflection – of other rooms and their occupants.

Well, according to the Daily Mail, the hotel has hit on a genius way to avoid the reflection issue – privacy stripes down the windows. This means guests in other rooms will be unable to see you.

Unfortunately, it also means that if you can’t see in, you can’t see out. Those beautiful views that you paid so much to see? Ruined.

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The Only London Hotel with a Thameside Pier Is... A Doubletree

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  Site Where: 265 Rotherhithe St, London, United Kingdom, SE16 5HW
July 2, 2015 at 9:51 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you find a room in London – the most expensive city in Europe – for around £150, you tend to run the risk of it coming with added extras like bedbugs or in-a-bad-way floral décor. Not so at the new Doubletree by Hilton London Docklands Riverside – the 11th Doubletree in London – which has just opened in the Docklands area (after an extensive renovation of what was the Hilton London Docklands Riverside).

Or, to be precise, south of Docklands, south of the river to the Isle of Dogs and Canary Wharf, and way out east compared to everywhere else. That’ll explain the affordable prices, but don’t write it off. Even if you’re not in town for meetings, Docklands is exceptionally well connected to the rest of the city. The downside is that it’s probably too expensive for a taxi so you’d have to rely on public transport, and although there are restaurants and bars, it’s creepily empty at night.

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The Lanesborough London Reopens Today

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  Site Where: Hyde Park Corner, London, United Kingdom
July 1, 2015 at 8:35 AM | by | Comments (4)

The day is here: The Lanesborough London is open again. Nearly two years after we found out about its closure and renovation, the 93-room luxury pile on Hyde Park Corner is back. Back in April we showed you a first few renderings of the Alberto Pinto-designed interiors, and here we are now with some actual photography.

Above the bright yellow Deluxe Room we led with then as well – what do you think? Don’t let the traditional surroundings fool you; the in-room technology will be very much of the future. Today is soft opening, and reservations are live from mid-month, with a Deluxe Room still beginning from £575 (now $905) a night. A Buckingham Suite, the highest suite category before you get to the Lanesborough and Royal Suites, takes that right up to £3,395 ($5,345) a night.

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