United Kingdom Travel Guide
Hotel Openings / Manchester Hotels / Football Hotels / Soccer Hotels / Celebrity-Owned Hotels / → All Tags
Last time we heard about Hotel Football, the Manchester hotel being built by former Manchester United footballers Ryan ‘scumbag’ Giggs and Gary ‘the only nice guy in football’ Neville, we were transfixed (in a not altogether good way) by the renderings.
Today, we have an opening date: 8 December. We also have some more, equally transfixing renderings courtesy of the Manchester Evening News. We're being slightly mean - the room rendering looks like something we might have created in Paint circa 2003 – but, looking past that, the rooms themselves actually look pretty stylish and not fanatically ‘football’. In short, we could go here.
There will be a rooftop “pitch” and events space, all rooms will have 40-inch TVs and full Sky packages to watch matches on, the restaurant Café Football will serve sausage rolls and burgers as well as posher food, and there will even be betting facilities(!!!) on site.
No word on rates yet, but we’ll keep an eye out.
Bummed because Four Seasons got edged out by Pan Pacific for the hotel portion of the Heron Plaza development? We’re here to brighten up your day, because not even a month has passed since that announcement and Four Seasons is back on track for its third London hotel, miraculously enough also midway between its current Park Lane and Canary Wharf outposts.
How? The Canadian group will be managing the hotel portion of Ten Trinity Square, a development at Tower Hill we first looked at at the beginning of the year (it’s the conversion of the former Port of London Authority if you recall) and then over the summer together with its neighbor citizenM to see whether they’d be opening next year.
The Manchester Evening News is now adding to the list of departures with an update that a sale has been agreed for the city’s Lowry Hotel to Westmont Hospitality Group. While the management team on-site reportedly is staying on, it will mean a rebrand as well, but whether that’s InterContinental, Hilton, Marriott, or another brand Westmont works with is still to be confirmed.
We’re also happy to see mention of renovations to ‘further enhance the offer’; we stayed at the Lowry back in 2010 and still remember being a little underwhelmed by our room at what was meant to be “the” luxury hotel for Manchester, with a rather generic bathroom, a huge tear in the sheets on the bed, and ripped fabric on some of the furniture.
You can still book through the Rocco Forte website until well into next year, with a Deluxe Room starting around £149 ($243) a night. We’ll let you know what becomes of the Lowry when we find out.
Pop quiz: what does London need more of? Sometimes it seems the only answer is: more hotel rooms, more hotel rooms, more hotel rooms. Today we’re back at Leicester Square, where a new mixed-use complex is likely to go up at its southern end, and Accor Hotels is now throwing another 600+ rooms in the mix by 2017.
Right on the square will be the return of its MGallery brand (gone since the St. Ermin Hotel went Autograph Collection) in Victory House (above). We don’t know much more than that it will have just 80 rooms, that it will open at the end of 2016, and that unless you camp out among the crowds on the square, you couldn’t get any closer to the city’s tourist action.
Much larger will be the Ibis Styles, with 583 rooms in the Trocadero complex, midway between Leicester Square and the famous neon of Piccadilly Circus. Opening in 2017, it will have “a distinctly ‘London’ personality reflecting the colourful, bright and energetic brand persona of the ibis Styles brand, with a hint of humour perfectly matching the electric eccentricity of the Trocadero”.
In two days time, Scotland will go to the polls to decide whether it wants to become an independent state or remain part of the United Kingdom. Politicians and business people are tussling over what would be better for the country.
In the meantime, Scotland’s most expensive hotel ever – the first to charge £1000 a night – has quietly closed its doors.
The Atholl, in the West End of the city, opened in 2012 after a £5m conversion project. And now, according to owner Alison Davies (and the Daily Mail), it’s closed for good. No more Hermes wallpaper, no more Albert Roux restaurant, no more “award-winning garden”. The hotel will be converted into apartments.
And behind that black velvet curtain lies the fumed-oak interior of Antony Gormley’s ROOM, the sculpture-meets-bedroom inside The Beaumont, opening on London’s Brown Hart Gardens within the next month. With nothing but the bed inside and a single window with shutters, you are sleeping in pure darkness, with the walls and roof pieced together like a wooden puzzle around you. It’s certainly unlike anything we’ve seen recently.
Aside from the one-bedroom suite ROOM is part of, we got a preview of some of the other accommodation as well as the public spaces in the 73-room hotel. We were impressed with how atmospheric restaurant the Colony Grill Room was – and this was on an early morning while the finishing touches were still being done. Perhaps not a surprise given the famous restaurateurs behind it, but we cannot wait to see the end result and try it out, along with the rest of London that will be filing through the doors as soon as reservations open up.
Last year, the erstwhile St. John’s Hotel just off of London’s Leicester Square got picked up by Singaporean hotelier Peng Loh, having gone into administration less than two years after its arrival in 2011.
Being part of Loh’s Unlisted Collection didn’t create the magic the renamed One Leicester Street was looking for, so it’s going for another reinvention as part of the Honky Tonk Group this fall. This is the first foray into the hotel world for Honky Tonk, which runs two “American-inspired” restaurants with live music in Chelsea and Clapham.
Amid some big openings in London this month (Hoxton, Mondrian), a small UK hotel brand is venturing into the capital with an equally petite property: Artist Residence, currently to be found in Brighton and Cornwall, is opening a 10-room townhouse in Pimlico today.
Inside are 8 individually designed bedrooms and 2 suites, ranging from “Small” to the “Grand Suite” and the above “Loft”, which brings on the quirky and artistic in its mixture of exposed brick, recycled headboard, and most appealing to us, the green velvet (we think?) armchair in the corner. The hotel’s website is still light on images, but on Instagram you can get a better impression of the brand.
For the Sake of Hotel Art / Rocco Forte Hotels / Hotel Art / London Hotels / Mayfair Hotels / Hotel Culture / → All Tags
What to do on a weekend in London? Some might say, quite a lot. But in case you’re tired of
life what’s on offer in the capital, Brown’s Hotel has something else up its sleeve for you: an art tour.
Brown’s premise is that Mayfair’s solid gallery scene is being laid siege to by the all the posh shops and fashion brands moving in; so it’s introducing the tours to remind us what Mayfair should be about.
Each week, a different director from a participating gallery will whisk guests off and around the area, showing off their favorite shows and spaces – not just the obvious ones, but hidden galleries that open by appointment only in private offices.
The hotel action in London’s Shoreditch is so crazy right now that in the hundred yards between Old Street roundabout and The Montcalm / Virgin Shoreditch, we passed another future hotel without knowing it at the time.
While Montcalm / Virgin is just north of Old Street, and Nobu is five minutes east, on the northwest corner The Z Hotels will open another one of its budget-chic hotels in mixed-use complex The Bower.
The 107-room hotel will sit together with office space, restaurants, and retail outlets. Rooms will be on lower ground (i.e. basement), ground, and three upper floors. Lead-in rooms (probably the ones in the basement) will be without windows. Further up there are Double, Queen, and Accessible rooms. All come with en-suite wet room, 40” flat screen TV, and free WiFi. Opening is at the moment listed as just “2015”; looking at construction status the second half of the year looks most likely to us.
Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel News / London Hotels / Conrad Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / → All Tags
It’s less than two years ago we welcomed a second InterContinental hotel to London, with the Westminster outpost setting up next to New Scotland Yard, a walk across St James’s and Green Park to its Park Lane sibling. It’s less than a year ago we talked about a third InterContinental coming to the city, this time much further east at the O2 arena.
Things have taken a very unexpected turn though this month, with the InterContinental Westminster going and now gone, becoming the surprise return of Conrad Hotels to the city. As of now, the hotel on Broadway is known as the Conrad London St. James, a major move up from the previous Conrad location in Chelsea Harbour (now a Millenium Monogram Collection if you recall). Still with us? It’s all in the hotel rebranding game.
The keys were handed back last week, but you can still make reservations through Kempinski until September 10. If you have a booking for a future date, don’t worry – all existing reservations will be honoured as made. All staff remains with the property as well.
The Stafford isn’t going at it completely alone; by September 10 it will join Preferred Hotels & Resorts. The addition of The Stafford will take the total number of Preferred hotels in London to nine; existing properties include the ME London as well as the upcoming Beaumont Hotel.