United Kingdom Travel Guide

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Hotel Holiday Cocktail Week 2014: Four Seasons London Canary Wharf’s Christmas Carol Cocktails

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  Site Where: 46 Westferry Circus, London, United Kingdom, E14 8RS
December 18, 2014 at 3:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

‘Tis the season to celebrate and there’s no better way than with a holiday-inspired beverage. And, as we all know, a holiday cocktail a day keeps the Grinch away. For Hotel Holiday Cocktail Week, we’ve scanned the globe for some delectably delicious cocktails that will leave you humming a merry tune that doesn’t include, “You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch.”

Four Seasons London at Canary Wharf has created a holiday cocktail collection based on Dickens’ classic tale, A Christmas Carol. The three ghosts, or spirits, in the story are brought to life through three enticing cocktails, the 1870 X.O, the Apple Pie Eggnog Martini and the Sparkling English Christmas.

Once upon a time there lived an "extra old" cognac that was first bottled in 1870 by Maurice Hennessy, and this is where our cocktail story begins. Representing the Ghost of Christmas Past, the 1870 X.O Cocktail hearkens back to the days of yore when dark liquors were all the rage.

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London's Hilton Bankside Is Starting to Come Together

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  Site Where: Great Suffolk Street, London, United Kingdom
December 16, 2014 at 9:05 AM | by | Comments (0)

It’s time for our six-monthly check in with the longstanding London hotel project that is the Hilton Bankside. A year ago, we thought the dormant site behind Tate Modern had finally picked up again, with construction reaching street level. Then, over the summer, we stumbled upon some much-improved renderings of the interiors, which were described as according to Hilton’s newly launched brand standards.

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Your Newest Hot Hotel Room Will Be a London Hospital Bed

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  Site Where: 24 Endell St, London, United Kingdom, WC2H 9HQ
December 15, 2014 at 9:25 AM | by | Comment (1)

Hospital (n)
An institution providing medical and surgical treatment and nursing care for sick or injured people

That’s not what the Hospital Club in London is, though. They will care for you, of course – care for you beautifully, in fact. You don’t have to be sick to go there, but you do have to be a member.

Or, at least, you did have to be a member. Because from January, the hospital is getting a hotel wing, and it’s open to us all. Just as you were starting to think Soho House was the only private members’ club that mattered!

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Character Cocktails at The Savoy's Theatrical Beaufort Bar

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  Site Where: Strand, London, United Kingdom, WC2R 0EU
December 11, 2014 at 4:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Savoy Hotel has had more than its share of legends stay at the hotel since its opening in 1889 – Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Humphrey Bogart are but a few. To honor these celebrities and captains of industry The Savoy’s deeply dramatic Beaufort Bar has created a series of Character Cocktails and, we gotta tell ya, this is cocktail theater.

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The Laslett London Is Opening In Notting Hill Next Summer

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  Site Where: 8 Pembridge Gardens, London, United Kingdom, W2 4DU
December 10, 2014 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

Notting Hill may have found a permanent place in the London visitor’s heart due to one minor Hugh Grant / Julia Roberts movie (by the way, are you ready to feel old? Yes? It was released fifteen years ago), but the number of (interesting) hotel choices in the area has always been limited.

The list of options will have a new addition by next summer though, with the planned opening of The Laslett on Pembridge Gardens, around the corner from Notting Hill Gate tube station and close to the bottom end of famous Portobello Road. Set within five Victorian mansions, The Laslett is named after Rhaune Laslett, a local community activist and organiser of the Notting Hill Festival, the predecessor of the current annual Notting Hill Carnival.

From the people behind Living Rooms, a small collection of apartments for short and long stays, The Laslett will have 51 rooms and suites, meant to give you the sense you’re staying in a friend’s stylish townhouse rather than in a hotel. The first image we have (above) does seem to strike that balance well, with a nice deep grey on the walls, carefully misaligned artwork, and the odd bit of color and pattern thrown in. The ground floor will be “part coffee shop, part bar-kitchen, part gallery, part concept store”.

We’ll have to wait to see more from inside The Laslett, but we can tell you that opening rates will start from £215 ($335) a night. Blame Hugh and Julia for Notting Hill having become so expensive.

[Photos: The Laslett]

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London's Newest Hotel is Exhibitionist by Name, Exhibitionist by Nature

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  Site Where: 8-10 Queensberry Place, London, United Kingdom, SW7 2EA
December 9, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | Comment (1)

Dat rose chandelier though...

Now that was a surprisingly discreet way to launch yourself on the world. Last time we checked in on The Exhibitionist Hotel in South Kensington, it was gearing up to launch without a proper website and by advertising on flash sale site Secret Escapes. We feared this meant it would be a bit woeful when launch came.

We were wrong (if you discount that rose-petal chandelier). Because now there are pictures. And it looks GOOD. Behold:

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Your Hot New Hotel Amenity: Welsh Language Lessons

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  Site Where: Beaumarais, Anglesey, Wales, United Kingdom
December 9, 2014 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

Welsh cakes. Welsh flags. Welsh rarebit. Welsh… lessons?

That’s the new addition to the menu at Chateau Rhianfa, a French-inspired castle in Anglesey (Wales, if that wasn’t already clear). They’re not just any lessons, though – there’s a two-night package planned all around them, and it really is the best of Britain Wales.

You’ll arrive in time for a traditional Welsh afternoon tea, including Welsh cakes and Bara Brith as well as your standard sandwiches, scones and cakes. After that, you’ll get on a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) for a whip round the Menai Strait; then it’s back to the hotel to get changed and get dinner – three courses and wine is included.

The 90-minute Welsh lesson starts after dinner – just as well, since you'll have to be suitably lubricated to make your way around those vowels.

On day two, you’ll have a locally sourced breakfast, a tour of Snowdonia, and a second Welsh lesson in the afternoon, before dinner, a cocktail-making class and wine and local cheese tasting in the wine cave.

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Hyatt Regency London Remains Closed Until Further Notice

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  Site Where: Portland Square, London, United Kingdom
December 8, 2014 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’ll start with the good news first: of the twelve hotel employees that were injured after the gas blast at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, only one remains hospitalized, with non-life threatening injuries. Having walked by the hotel, we can also confirm that statements about part of the building having “collapsed” seem exaggerated: as you can see in the photos further below, the building is intact, and only at the rear of the building does there seem to be any damage.

Unfortunately, the official statement on the hotel website, and the notices we saw, do say that the hotel is “currently closed for the foreseeable future”.

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Fast, Free WiFi Is How UK Travelers Select Their Hotels, Says Amba

December 5, 2014 at 8:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

The main reason we go crazy for free WiFi in hotels? Checking social media, apparently. The second? Getting directions. How very dull.

The research has been done by Amba, the “contemporary” (ie millennial) arm of glh, formerly Guoman. Amba Charing Cross, which used to be a Guoman itself, opened this month with what it’s billing as “the world’s fastest, free unlimited WiFi” (how much would we love to test that out?). There will also be Smart TVs in every room, USB sockets by every bed, and iPads on every nightstand.

Handily for them (but also totally believably), Amba found that 67% of the 1000 UK travelers questioned said free WiFi would make them more likely to select a hotel – even higher than location,at 65%. Specifically fast WiFi with unlimited downloads came in at 34%.

WiFi also came out as the most important factor in rating a hotel post-stay, with 60% of those questioned saying that was the most crucial – even more than those who rated getting a good night’s sleep.

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Ham Yard Hotel's Christmas Offerings: Kit Kemp's Toiletries Or a New Body

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  Site Where: 1 Ham Yard, London, United Kingdom, W1D 7DT
December 5, 2014 at 8:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you thought London’s new Ham Yard Hotel was all about the pretty looks, you’d be wrong. Or rather, it’s now there to make you pretty as well as itself, with the opening of the Soholistic Nail Bar in Ham Yard Village, the shop-filled courtyard inside the hotel.

As well as manis and pedis, Soholistic will also sell Kit Kemp’s own bath and body line, Rik Rak, which was created to celebrate the opening of the hotel. From shampoo to body lotion and linen mist to candles, here’s where to stock up for Christmas.

And if you want to shape up as well as stock up, the gym is now open to non-guests, including the hypoxic chamber, which trains you at altitude. Personal training sessions cost £60 for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you could spend that on a Kit Kemp candle and just take it easy over Christmas. That’s what’s lovely about Ham Yard – the choice is yours.

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Rosewood London's Doormen Wear Designer Duds

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  Site Where: 252 High Holborn, London, United Kingdom, WC1V 7EN
December 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

We love a man in uniform, especially when they look as dapper as this. The doormen at Rosewood London look as stylish as the rest of the hotel in these Nicholas Oakwell Couture-designed duds.

When we pulled up to the hotel on a drizzly day these uniforms set the tone for the Rosewood: Thoroughly modern yet with a harkening back to the days of gents and ladies.

Oakwell is a UK designer with plenty of cred. Worn by celebs such as Hilary Swank, Gillian Anderson, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 actress Natalie Dormer, he was featured in a sold-out London Fashion Weekend runway show in September.

The Rosewood London uniforms are slim-fitting, with charcoal grey blazers, crisp white-checked shirts, dark tartan pants, camel-colored overcoats and shoes, and newsboy caps that really “cap” off the look. Very different from Oakwell’s usual flowy, showy gowns but no less impressive in a manly, “Let me assist you with that, Miss” way.

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The Men of Moxy Will Come to London Three Times

December 2, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Along with all the amenities that make it a perfectly millennial brand, Marriott’s Moxy throws in lots of men, shirtless or otherwise, as we saw – at length – in Milan.

There are more airport locations in the pipeline (Milan’s hotel is at Malpensa airport), and rumors about Moxy in New Orleans have already made their way to us, but we also know that London will get not one, not two, but three Moxy’s (Moxii?) over the next few years.

The first London – and UK – hotel will be at Heathrow Airport, on Bath Road. As much as that street name may seem of little significance, it puts Moxy not just next to the airfield, but also close to cousin Renaissance and competition like the Sheraton Skyline, on a strip of hotels that you may have seen out the window while waiting in the endless queue for take-off at LHR. Moxy Heathrow Airport will have 422 rooms.

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