United Kingdom Travel Guide
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.
The view from Park Plaza Westminster Bridge
Summer. Remember that? You will if you’re in the UK right now, because it’s basking in heat, sunlight, all that good stuff that you normally wouldn’t expect
ever till August.
Now is the perfect time to take a staycation, but UK hotels are notoriously expensive. Step forward Park Plaza, which has produced a 30 percent discount code for their UK hotels.
Hotel Design / Hotel Renovations / Radisson Blu Hotels / Glasgow Hotels / Scottish Hotels / UK Hotels / → All Tags
The Radisson Blu Glasgow is in a modern glass and slate building that stands across from Glasgow’s more somber sandstone early 20th-century Central Station. It makes for an interesting contrast in time periods.
Opened in 2002 and then reno’ed in 2012, the Radisson Blu Glasgow is designed by the same folks who did the Blythswood Square hotel – Graven Images – and although the insides of both hotels are distinctly different, you can see the same deft hands at work albeit with a lesser budget, we suspect. Still, if you’re looking for a place to lay your hat for a few days at a reasonable cost, this will fit the bill nicely.
The 247 rooms on offer at the Radisson Blu come in three styles: You got yer Gallery rooms, your Modern rooms and the City rooms.
We have pics of all three so keep on going!
Ibis Styles Hotels / Liverpool Hotels / Millennial Hotels / Ibis Hotels / HotelChatter Reviews / → All Tags
We've already told you how Ibis Styles is the millennial hotel brand to end all millennial hotel brands, at least in Europe, but during a recent stay at the new-ish Ibis Styles in Liverpool, we were impressed by few other things than the hotel's functional, millennial-friendly room design (and its multiple design shout-outs for The Beatles, of course.)
Online Check-In: A few days before the stay, Ibis emailed to say that we could check-in online so that when we arrived all we needed to do was pick-up a key from the front desk. And, that's exactly what we did. It took a few minutes as the front desk needed to make sure our room was ready, but it was a very efficient check-in. Later, Ibis emailed us an express check-out, as well as the usual follow-up survey.
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.
Forget the Royal Baby – the big news in Britain over the weekend was the wedding of Andy “tennis champ” Murray to Kim “parental advisory” Sears in his hometown of Dunblane. They got married at the cathedral, but held the reception at Murray’s hotel, the Cromlix. So, what did they get?
The couple were unusually (and wonderfully) open and happy to be photographed for the ceremony, but the only squeak we’ve heard from the reception so far is Murray’s gran, who said it was fantastic, that they had a first dance (which Andy's amazing mother Judy did not crash), and that the families holed up in the hotel, and were only starting to leave Monday.
If you want to get married like Andy Murray, we can’t promise you Dunblane Cathedral, but you can actually get married at the Cromlix. Here’s what you get:
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 Design / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Scents / citizenM Hotels / Glasgow Hotels / UK Hotels / Scottish Hotels / → All Tags
CitizenM hotels are all about the social life of a hotel, and the citizenM Glasgow fits that bill perfectly. Reno’ed in September 2014 the property has a plethora of public lounging areas that take the place of large private rooms.
With seven floors in total, two of them are made up of the well-designed public spaces where you can eat, drink, computer (yes, we think that should be a verb, much like “hoteling” should be), chat, read, or watch TV – pretty much anything you choose to do has a spot for it.
The spaces are beautifully designed with Vitra furniture and distinctive artwork, and blend seamlessly as you stroll through the hotel. Although each area has its own feel it all fits together as a package.
Photo Gallery / Hotel Openings / Hotel Design / Sexy Hotels / Glasgow Hotels / Scotland Hotels / UK Hotels / Town House Hotels / TownHouse Hotels / → All Tags
When you walk into some hotels you immediately get a sense of place, as if the hotel “fits.” This is most impressive when it’s a contemporary hotel, and such is the case with The Town House Company’s Blythswood Square hotel.
Opened in November 2009 in the former Royal Scottish Automobile Club building from 1823, this 100-room hotel has an elegant, modern décor with plenty of shout-outs to its past.
Leading the interior design was Jim Hamilton of Glasgow-based Graven Images and, while many of the fancy architectural details have been preserved, modern bespoke furniture, lighting and textiles ensure the property is au courant.
We’re particularly fond of the lighting in the restaurant: dramatic black-shaded hanging lamps with vintage photo interiors of classic cars and drivers. And then there's the striking scarlet-red banquettes that you see as soon as you walk into the lobby that go with the scarlet lights that hang in the front windows, both features a hearkening back to the days of yore when Blythswood Square (the square, not the hotel) was Glasgow’s red light district.
Tons o' pics in the photo gallery!
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]
Things have been pretty quiet over at the Lowry, Manchester’s once fanciest hotel, since Rocco Forte sold it last year, while new, interesting ventures like Hotel Football and Hotel Gotham have been springing up around it.
So here’s some welcome news – the Lowry is getting a £4m renovation, with work expected to be completed by the end of the year. The ever so slightly blah rooms, hallways and the spa will be the focus of attention.