The Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington surprised us by sticking to its opening date to the day, and then gave us a chance to check out its five themes (music, astronomy, ornithology, botany, and geometry) in the rooms. Shortly after, the South Place Hotel arrived on the edge of the City of London, with stylish rooms, lots of art, and rooftop seafood brasserie Angler.
ME by Mélia London
Next month should see two new hotels opening that we’ve been stalking for a long time: ME by Mélia and Café Royal. Go here for our update on ME's rooms, restaurants and lounges - including rooftop bar Radio - that will connect to your aura.
After nearly four years we got a first glimpse of Café Royal's interiors over the summer. We’ve roamed around the Whole Foods that opened in the office/retail complex just behind the hotel, and as construction finishes, our guess is the hotel’s main entrance will be in the alley off of Regent Street. The rest of the block’s ground floor is taken up by a giant Nespresso store and a Lotus outlet that has a Formula 1 car suspended from the ceiling.
Given news that its opening was pushed back to Spring 2013, the InterContinental Westminster didn’t make it on our 2012 list. Now, the latest word is that London's second InterContinental hotel will have a a November opening! Tucked in a little corner of St James’s, a short walk through the park from its Hyde Park Corner-located sibling the InterContinental Park Lane, the hotel will feature 256 rooms across four historic buildings and three streets. Having seen the construction site, it’s a little difficult to explain how that works, but we think this should be an interesting addition to the London hotel scene.
The Wellesley Hotel
The Wellesley should take the cigar trend to the next level once it opens, currently just a month later than initially planned, in December. We took a first construction shot back in 2010, so we’re set on seeing the end result.
If you thought 2012 was a peak year for hotels in London, 2013 is already looking like it’ll put up a good fight to be just as busy. There’s a little under-the-radar brand we like to call Edition, vertigo-inducing Shangri-La, more affordable high-style at citizenM, a Firmdale flagship, and of course André Balazs’ firestation turned possible Mercer hotel – and that’s just scratching the surface. We’re compiling our to-watch list for next year, so keep an eye out for an update in the future.
Have any tips on new London hotels? Send them our way!
[Images: South Place Hotel, ME by Mélia, The Wellesley]