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Amsterdam, New York, and Paris Are All Next For The Hoxton

August 27, 2014 at 8:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

Having just taken you inside The Hoxton Holborn, opening on September 25, we’re continuing as promised with an update on the international expansion of the brand, which will include Amsterdam, New York, and Paris within the next two years.

First up is The Hoxton Amsterdam, which as we looked at earlier this year will open in what was the Rembrandt Classic Hotel on the city’s Herengracht canal. While our January snap showed guests walking in and out, the hotel has been closed since April for its much-needed renovation to Hoxton standards. Opening should be in 2015.

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JW Marriott Grosvenor House London Opens New Executive Lounge

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  Site Where: 86-90 Park Lane, London, United Kingdom, W1K 7TN
August 26, 2014 at 8:28 AM | by | Comments (0)

When we think of the JW Marriott Grosvenor House, we mainly think of two things: its gigantic 60,000+ sq ft meeting facilities (a sit-down dinner for 1,200 people? No problem!), and its very Mayfair décor (think dark woods, deep reds, heavy drapes).

The latter made us take notice of the pictures of its new Executive Lounge, which goes in a very different direction design-wise, with a much lighter, more contemporary look. There’s even a ‘media wall’ near reception, which we assume is visible above on the far left with digital images of the greenery of Hyde Park. Located on the ground floor of the hotel, the revamped space was opened recently; check out a few more snaps below.

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One Aldwych Is Bringing Sell-Out West End Shows To Its Screening Room

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  Site Where: 1 Aldwych, London, United Kingdom, WC2B 4BZ
August 25, 2014 at 9:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

It used to be just the Jude Laws and the Benedict Cumberbatches that sold out London theaters, but these days, sell-out shows are all over the West End. But never fear if you wanted to see Gillian Anderson in the much-acclaimed Young Vic production of A Streetcar Named Desire, or can’t make it up to Stratford-upon-Avon to catch the latest RSC production, because you can see them in the distinctly civilized setting of One Aldwych’s screening room. Yeah for hotel culture!

The Live At One series, which starts 3 September, will feature live feeds from the most sought-after productions around the UK: The Two Gentlemen Of Verona from the RSC (3 September), Streetcar Named Desire from the Young Vic (16 September), Manon from the Royal Opera House (16 October) and so on. The program includes opera and ballet, as well as plays, and you’ll have a two-course meal before the show at Axis, a glass of champagne while you watch, and dessert and coffee served in the interval. Food is billed as the best of British, with Cornish mackerel, Kentish cob nuts and loganberries amongst the ingredients (not together).

Tickets cost £49.50 (they seem to be the same price, whatever the production), which is pricey (considering National Theatre tickets start at £10) but not horrendous, if you remember that three courses and booze are included - and it's a boon for those of us who can't organize our diaries six months ahead to buy tickets, or can't make it to Stratford. Dinner starts at 5.45pm, with the screenings from 7pm.

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Not Four Seasons, But Pan Pacific Is Opening at London's Heron Plaza

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  Site Where: Bishopsgate, London, United Kingdom
August 25, 2014 at 8:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

Here is some news that will shake you out of your summer lull faster than even London’s unseasonably frigid temperatures could have: Singapore-based UOL Group Limited has acquired the site for the future Heron Plaza development on Bishopsgate and plans to open a hotel under its Pan Pacific brand inside.

Not only will that be the first Pan Pacific for Europe, and only the fifth outside Asia-Pacific (there is Seattle, Vancouver, and Whistler times two currently), it is also the end for what everyone had long accepted would be the third Four Seasons hotel in the city.

UOL paid £97 million for the land, which currently has planning permission for a 43-story tower with 109 residences, 190-room hotel, and retail. The group will “review” that configuration, so we assume that will mean room count will change.

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Ayurveda Has Landed At The Intercontinental Park Lane

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  Site Where: 1 Hamilton Place, London, United Kingdom, W1J 7QY
August 22, 2014 at 9:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

There’s something about the Intercontinental Park Lane that makes a tiny part of us die inside with every visit. Yes, they’ve been renovating the rooms to de-drab them, and yes, the views can be awesome, but it always feels so… sterile.

Having said that, we’ve always given props to the spa for having good therapists and decently priced treatments, considering its surroundings.

And this summer, the treatments have got even more appealing, with the introduction of Ayurvedic-inspired Sundãri treatments.

There are lots available – see the menu here – but they’ve kicked the program off with special offers on two treatments: a “Facial, Massage and Floatation Bed Offer” (a 30 minute massage, 30 minute facial and 20 minutes lying on a floatation bed) for £65 instead of £112.50; and the signature Sama treatment for £90 instead of £135. This takes 90 minutes and packs in loads of stuff: a feet-in-hot-towels thing; a “cleansing back ritual”; an Ayurvedic massage; a hand and food massage to relieve “stress and negativity”; facial cleanse and exfoliation; a Marma massage; and a scalp massage.

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Inside the Hoxton Holborn, Opening September 25

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  Site Where: 199-206 High Holborn, London, United Kingdom, WC1V 7BD
August 22, 2014 at 8:29 AM | by | Comment (1)

Having opened reservations earlier this summer, the Hoxton Holborn is now just a month away from opening, with the official date being September 25. Not only did we hear that directly from the hotel, we also had a chance to step inside and see for ourselves how the east London favorite travels to a midtown environment.

Above a snap from inside a Cosy Room, the third category out of four. While the 174 rooms differ in size (Shoebox, Snug, Cosy, Roomy), all share the same design and features, like the wood-and-leather headboard you see here.

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Keep Up With the Joneses With These Cocktail Trends 2014: Part 2

August 21, 2014 at 4:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

As Week 2 of HotelChatter Cocktail Week(s) wraps up, here's our second run-down of some of the things we see going on in the world of hotel bars and bevvies. What do you see goin’ on out there? Let us know in the comments below!

Roll Out the Barrel(aging) –
One trend that is growing stronger this year is in-house barrel-aged and private label spirits. We're envisioning cask-aged moonshine made in a mad scientist-type laboratory.


Jeff Josenhans at THE US GRANT in San Diego is producing an in-house barrel-aged Chartreuse with Wayne Geiselman, who has a PH D in Food Science. Using complex-sounding reverse engineering, food scientist Wayne created a proprietary blend of 25 local, organic ingredients including Southern California wildflower honey. Jeff then took this botanical blend and an un-aged bourbon to use as the spirit base (as opposed to traditional European brandy), and is now aging this noble experiment in 100% New Allier French Oak (never done before in the cocktail world). Six-month, 1-year, and 2-year-old bottlings will be ready to open on October 15. If you want to stay over for the big unveiling, you're looking at rates starting at $239.

The Dorchester has revived the historical recipe for Old Tom Gin to create a newer, bolder blend exclusive to the hotel. The City of London Distillery has the weight of distilling the gin under the watchful eye of the hotel’s bar manager and expert alchemist, Giuliano Morandin. This is the second time Giuliano has re-introduced Old Tom Gin to the UK drinks market, the first being in 2006 after a 30-year absence. To celebrate the re-launch, Giuliano has created the Old Tom Cobbler cocktail, made with coriander, fresh lemongrass, elderflower and, not surprisingly, Old Tom. A 700ml bottle of The Dorchester Old Tom Gin is priced at £65 ($109) and is available at The Bar at The Dorchester or by visiting shop.dorchestercollection.com. Signature cocktails including the Old Tom Cobbler start at £16 ($27). Stays start at £505 ($838).

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Bloody Marys: Your Go-To Cocktail Morning, Noon and Night

August 20, 2014 at 3:57 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's no secret that we love drinking in hotels here at HotelChatter. In fact, hotels might be our favorite "local." So all this week and next, we'll be pouring out some drinks for you during our second Hotel Cocktail Week(s) -- newly-expanded because there’s just so many drinks to share. We'll be posting quirky cocktails, boozy trends, unique menus and even recipes so you can recreate your favorite hotel drink at home. We expect everyone will be getting a bit tipsy over the next couple of weeks! But don't forget to tip your bartenders, in this case, us.

The Bloody Mary is a gregarious cocktail: it’s ready to party any time of the day and most people like it. Eggs, bacon and a Bloody Mary – yes. Burger and cheese? Prime rib and a baked potato? Yes and yes. Here, we thought we’d tell you about some of the goings-on in the Bloody Mary world so that you’re up-to-date when you fondly order your next one.

Omni Mount Washington’s Bretton Woods Bourbon Bloody Mary
Things are getting spicy at Omni Mount Washington Resort in New Hampshire with this twist on the classic Bloody Mary. Only available for a limited time due to a limited number of barrels used to make the resort’s signature Woodford Reserve bourbon, the cocktail also contains tomato juice, garden-fresh local tomatoes, cherry peppers, celery, olives and pickled cucumber creating a unique, veggie-bevvie with a smoky flavor.

1.5 oz Mount Washington Resort’s Signature Woodford Reserve Bourbon
8 large local grown red tomatoes
2 t grated Horseradish
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 lime wedges
2 T Cajun seasoning
1 cherry pepper
1, 2” celery stalk
1 Queen Olive
1 house-made cucumber pickle spear

Blend all ingredients together and garnish with the cucumber pickle spear. Drink it down.

Cost for the Bloody Mary: $13
Cost to stay the night, not including all of the Bloody Marys you drank: $369

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What Could Be Better Than Afternoon Tea? Afternoon G & Tea

August 20, 2014 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

If it aint broke, of course, there’s no need to fix it – unless the unbroken thing we’re talking about is afternoon tea, and the ‘fix’ is a gin injection.

Dukes St James in London is bringing together these two great British institutions with its G&Tea: basically afternoon tea, except with a tea-infused G&T instead of the hot stuff.

The gin in question is Beefeater infused with black tea leaves – either Earl Grey or Black Vanilla. It’s served Prohibition-style in a china teacup, either cold with ice and tonic, or as a hot punch on cold days like this week. Could it get more magnificent? Yes – you also get your normal food spread of finger sandwiches, scones and pastries. It costs £35, which is pretty great value for London, considering the alcohol.

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The One Where Claridge's Schooled London Hotels In Customer Service

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  Site Where: 49 Brook St, London, United Kingdom, W1K 4HR
August 18, 2014 at 10:34 AM | by | Comments (3)


Claridge's Juleps (£18 each)

There’s been a lot to depress us about the London hotel scene recently. Homophobes and boycotts. $127 drinks. Finding out that some of our favorite hotels have minimum spend policies. So when a luxury hotel in London steps up to the plate in terms of superb customer service, and reinforces our every hope about them, instead of dashing said hope into little pieces and then grinding it into the floor with a steel-capped heel, we should all rejoice. Put your hands together then, ladies and gents, for Claridge's.

Last Thursday, I went for drinks at Claridge’s with a friend. Drinks at Claridge’s has always seemed a little intimidating and out of budget for both of us, despite my having stayed there once, and both of us having watched the BBC documentary about Claridge’s more times than is good for us. It’s not your average after-work bar; it’s Claridge’s. Not only that, but there are two bars at Claridge’s: the normal one, and the tiny, sexy, marble-clad, gold-leafed, Lalique-glassed Fumoir that seats only 36, bans photos, and has a no reservations policy. That was the one we wanted.

I arrived first, and approached the Fumoir gingerly. Of course we have room, madam, said a man in a plum-colored velvet dinner jacket. Which table would you prefer? I picked the best table. He allowed me to do so. Score one to Claridge’s.

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Quirky Cocktails That (Can Make You) Go the Distance

August 14, 2014 at 7:13 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's no secret that we love drinking in hotels here at HotelChatter. In fact, hotels might be our favorite "local." So all this week and next, we'll be pouring out some drinks for you during our second Hotel Cocktail Week(s) -- newly-expanded because there’s just so many drinks to share. We'll be posting quirky cocktails, boozy trends, unique menus and even recipes so you can recreate your favorite hotel drink at home. We expect everyone will be getting a bit tipsy over the next couple of weeks! But don't forget to tip your bartenders, in this case, us.

There are some cocktails in this world that make you go, “Really?” Here are a few that fall into this category, proving that some things are best left for the experts to come up with.


This savory concoction comes from Shangri-La, At The Shard’s GŎNG. It contains Scotch – good; sherry – OK; blue cheese – what the?; and chocolate bitters. Really? All we can say is that we’re going to London soon and you can bet we’re making a pit stop here to see if it can actually be done.

Black and Blue Swizzle

Ingredients:
1.5 oz Talisker 10 Years
1/2 oz Pedro Ximinez Sherry
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz honey-blue cheese mix (method below)
1 drop Mozart Chocolate Bitter

Method:
To make the honey-blue cheese mix:
Add 2:1* honey syrup and 200g crumbled blue Stilton into a saucepan over medium heat and let the syrup simmer for a while (do not let it boil). Use a blender to make sure the cheese and honey are combined. It’s recommended to fine strain the syrup before usage.

Pour all of the ingredients into a copper mug and add crushed ice. Use a swizzle stick to blend the drink and crushed ice until the outside of the mug is frosted. A spoon can be used if you can't get hold of a swizzle stick.

Top up with fresh crushed ice and garnish with mint leaves, orange peel and cinnamon crumbles.

*A 2:1 (sugar/honey to water) is often referred to as rich simple syrup. The 2:1 ratio often gives the cocktail a better mouth feel and less is needed since it’s richer. It also lasts longer before spoiling.

Cost to imbibe at the hotel: £17 ($28)
Cost to stay at the hotel because you've imbibed too much: £500 ($834)

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Is that a Slice of Bacon in Your Cocktail? At the Milestone London It Is

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  Site Where: 1 Kensington Court, London, United Kingdom, W8 5DL
August 12, 2014 at 8:34 AM | by | Comments (0)

Flowers, fruits, and other sweets we see served a lot with hotel cocktails, but whither the options for those that prefer their treats to be savory?

The Milestone Hotel London seems to have wondered the same, with their “Shock Me” beer cocktail bringing some balance this month. The cocktail mixes 75ml of Brown Ale (Bishop Fingers), 50ml bourbon, 25ml of Southern Comfort, and one teaspoon of maple syrup. Stirring for 10 seconds with ice, it’s served in an Old Fashion glass over ice and finished with a slice of crispy maple-cured bacon. The “Shock Me” costs £15 ($25 and is served in Stables Bar or elsewhere in the public spaces.

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