london Travel Guide
Progress, we called it, when The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone got its website back in March, about a year after we first walked down Seymour Street to take pictures of the third Zetter hotel. It had us hopeful for a Spring opening, but alas: it will be summer – perhaps August – before the hotel opens.
Renovation of the double Georgian townhouse is advancing, with the front façade free of scaffolding. The biggest change is visible from Quebec Mews behind the hotel (below).
The hotel will have 21 rooms, 2 studio suites, and that rooftop apartment with terrace and outdoor roll top bath. Rates will start from £258 ($405) a night, with entry-level rooms being described as “compact”. That’s maybe a little more than we were hoping for, but in line with those over in Clerkenwell. We’ll report back when we have more details on square footage, amenities, and the like.
[Photos: JasonD for HotelChatter]
You know already that there are so many new hotels heading to Shoreditch, London’s hipster haven (or is that Dalston now?). Only a matter of time then before someone would try and capture that Shoreditch coolness and take it somewhere else: Stratford, for instance.
That is what a just-approved hotel scheme called The Penny Brook wants to achieve: bringing “a flavour of Shoreditch to Stratford” (Stratford East London, rather than Stratford-upon-Avon, btw). We don’t have to tell you what’s next in the press release: “We will seek to appeal to Millennials who embrace the ‘anti-brand’ experience”. Oh, those darn millennials.
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An all-party cocktail coalition
Royal Baby fever is over in the UK; it’s the General Election today, the most confusing and closely contested political battle in recent history. If you have any about being told how to vote (possibly more irritating: the “I don’t care who you vote for, just vote!!!” martyrs), we suggest you stay off Facebook today, and make instead for the Conrad London St James, where the Blue Boar bar (yes, the one that just gave champagne away in a fit of #royalbabyfever) is mixing up political cocktails all night long.
The Blue Boar is, of course, a popular bar with MPs, what with being right around the corner from the Houses of Parliament. Luckily, they’ll all be in their constituencies tonight, so it’s safe to go down for the election party.
It had to happen at some point. Having opened his much-anticipated Chiltern Firehouse in London, Andre Balazs seemed intent on keeping its website a blank landing page with a telephone number and email address; whether you wanted to have dinner or spend the night, calling or emailing and hoping to get a response was your only option, unless you had insider access. Even when we finally saw one of the suites, we had all of one photo that we could share from inside the Marylebone firehouse.
Not anymore. We’re not sure exactly when this happened, but there are now plenty of photos on the website, along with – wait for it – the ability to book a room. Yourself. Online. How novel! We suppose the desire/need to fill those rooms night after night, summer or winter, won out in the end.
Above a photo of the Loft Suite that we saw back in October last year, which we described as “Chateau Marmont, with a touch of vintage and a lived-in feel”. You can see the blue/grey banquets running along the wall and just a corner of the rust-colored, chintz-covered, fringe-bottomed armchairs we referred to.
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Could there be a more attractive phrase than “complimentary gin bar”? Possibly – but in lieu of “hunky private footman”, in-room gin bar will have to do.
The amenity is the idea of Flemings (no apostrophe), the redoubtable, family-owned Mayfair hotel that, until now, has paired super-stylish public areas with slightly less inspiring rooms. But that’s all set to change with a £14m refurbishment, designed to rejuvenate the 129 bedrooms and add a tea lounge, bar and restaurant helmed by a Michelin-starred chef.
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It’s not enough to provide a decent hotel room these days; you’ve got to give an “experience” as well. Recently we’ve seen unforgettable service, a house jet instead of a house car and excursions from private dinners on the Ponte Vecchio to naming your own star.
Now it’s the Landmark London’s turn to take “experience” literally with five Landmark London Experiences.
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Forget free champagne; here’s the real corker of a way to celebrate a #royalbaby.
Just in time for the arrival of mini Middleton, the Goring – which is swiftly becoming Kate’s favorite hotel – has introduced some footmen. And not any old footmen, either; an entire fleet of footmen, dressed in scarlet tails and gold-edged waistcoats. Five footmen – one for each of the hotel’s suites. Their job? To minister to your every need and cater to your every whim.
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.]