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Will this be the Hudson London?
If you thought London would be taking a break when it comes to hotel openings after a rather frenetic Olympic year, think again: the next few years look to be filled with all sorts of exciting stuff to keep us happy. We’re listing the hotels we have our eyes on for you below, and stay tuned as we will be taking you inside when we can.
- A rebirth rather than a brand new hotel, the former St. John Hotel became One Leicester Street on May 1, including a refurbished restaurant and outdoor terrace
- Over in King’s Cross, the Great Northern Hotel also got a new a lease on life as part of the revitalization of the entire station, with sleeper compartment-inspired rooms called Couchettes
- South Kensington got a new boutique hotel contender this month in the form of the 99-room Xenia Hotel on Cromwell Road, not far from the Ampersand we showed you last year
- Affordable-chic brand base2stay is re-branding itself as Nadler Hotels, and its flagship The Nadler Soho will open on June 1, a stone’s throw from the likes of Dean Street Townhouse and Firmdale’s the Soho Hotel
- This isn't really a new hotel but it is newsworthy--The Waldorf-Astoria Syon Park has now been downgraded to just the Hilton London Syon Park. A Hilton Worldwide spokesperson told Business Insider that, "Having operated the property since March 2011, we've mutually agreed with our owner that the new positioning will be the best fit for the local market."
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We've started a series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What's Out: Trekking to the hotel gym
What's In: In-room workouts that rival a personal training session
The hotel gym. We know people use ‘em, but sometimes it’s hard to find that last bit of energy needed to drag yourself out of your room after a busy day of sightseeing or making deals. Or maybe you’re just jet-lagged and are up at 3 a.m. thinking, “Man – I could really go for a workout right now.” At these hotels, the gym comes to you.
Dorchester Collection’s new contemporary hotel 45 Park Lane in London offers you an exclusive in-room workout with fitness guru and trainer to the stars, Matt Roberts, through a bespoke and full-body in-room video program. The hotel committed to get fit during the London Olympics and got Matt to create five workouts, each video focusing on a different area of the body using the furniture at hand. (We’re not suggesting they’re copying us here at HC, but sort of like our Sweat-Worthy Hotel Room Exercises series we brought you about a month or so ago.)
When you leave you’ll also get a freebie Matt at 45 Park Lane Fitness Pack which includes step-by-step training techniques for beginners through pros, a healthy eating plan, and “in the know” tips from the trainer -- things only Matt Roberts and Naomi Campbell knew till now.
At Raffles Praslin Seychelles space is your friend if you want to have an in-room workout. In the privacy of your own 410 sq ft (minimum) villa, with a vast outdoor terrace looking out over the ocean, you can do as many Sun Salutations as you want without bumping into the furniture. All villas already include a yoga mat and, at your mere request, the resort will deliver a fitness kit consisting of a dumbbell set, skipping rope, stability ball, resistance band and a selection of exercise DVDs. If that’s not enough to get you going you can arrange for an in-room personal trainer to take you through your paces with a customized exercise program.
And don't forget, HotelChatter's Sweat-Worthy Workouts: Can't afford to hire a personal trainer to come to your room? Or more likely, are you staying in a property that doesn't have a gym or in-room fitness videos? We've got you covered with our five sweat-worthy workouts, all of which you can do in your hotel room. Watch the videos for instructions on the different body parts to work out. You're very welcome!
Two more fitness-crazed hotels below!
Last week, we had a general manager living in a bubble to promote his hotel. This week, a hotel manager has abseiled off the side of building to support a charity.
Sally Beck, who works as manager of the Lancaster London, joined 100 thrill-seeking volunteers today in plunging down the side of the hotel, which is one of London's tallest hotels. Of course, they were all safely strapped in and wearing helmets but still, that's quite a big commitment to make.
Yet the experience is worth it as all funds will go towards Springboard's “Kickstart Programme”, which supports young school and college leavers with their first step onto the career ladder.
A brave soul who abseiled off the hotel last year.
Want to glimpse the gorgeous views of London from the Lancaster without hurling yourself off the building? Rates this summer start at $200 a night.
Are you a general manager about to engage in a wacky stuff either to promote your hotel or to help out a charity? We wanna hear about it! So send us all the crazy details here.
[Photos: Lancaster London/Smile Photography]
It's a truth universally acknowledged that luxury hotel guests are extremely picky about their bath toiletries. After all, no one wants to pay top dollar for a hotel room only to find a mall-store brand of shampoo and conditioner waiting for them in the shower. We ourselves are especially partial to Kiehl's, Red Flower, Bulgari or Asprey when we're paying over $400 a night.
Fortunately, guests at the No. 11 Cadogan Gardens, a former private members club turned boutique hotel, won't have to worry about the in-room toiletry selection. That's because a Sloane Street perfumery, Ormonde Jayne, is now supplying the 54 guestrooms with a variety of amenities.
We love a room with a view, particularly when that room comes with a built-in window seat to enjoy it all. This combination can be found in the Executive rooms at the London Park Lane Hilton; located on floors 18 to 27 (this shot is from the 20th floor). You’ll take full advantage of being in one of the tallest buildings in the area.
Views range from the greenery of Hyde Park and Knightsbridge/South Kensington, like in the above photo, to city views of Mayfair and the West End. As appealing as they are, the trade-off comes with the hotel’s exterior, which sticks out like a sore thumb at the eastern edge of Hyde Park, but you won’t see that when inside, right? If you’re not staying the night, you can still sample the views in the bar, Galvin at Windows, on the 28th floor.
We found an Executive room on a Saturday in early June for £419 ($650) a night, but special offers can be a much better value from time to time.
[Photo: JasonD for HotelChatter]
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Places like The Goring, The Stafford and Park Plaza Hotels were all quick to join in the royal wedding mania that took place two summers ago, but here's one hotel that seems to be starting a new trend: royal baby mania.
London's Grosvenor House has chosen to re-decorate one of its Premium Park suites in anticipation of Kate Middleton and Prince William's firstborn. Not that, like, the baby is actually planning to stay there (at this moment, it can't even digest its own food, so we don't see how it could be making hotel reservations…), but, you know, just in case.
"Suite Dreams" is a fully-equipped nursery, with a luxurious four-poster crib, hand-painted furniture, Beatrix Potter-inspired designs, and a children's play area with a London-themed toy cupboard.
The whole thing is pretty impressive, actually, though no surprise there, as Daily Mail tells us the suite was actually designed by Dragons of Walton Street, a studio that's created nurseries for the Royal Family in the past.
Back in early 2011, London’s West End welcomed the white spaceship that is the W Leicester Square in a whirlwind of celebs and experimental theater. The hotel made such a big splash that it was bound to overshadow the opening shortly after, of its small neighbor, the St. John Hotel.
Having struggled through several delays due to the unforeseen reconstruction needed to prepare the building for its new lease on life, the St. John unfortunately went into administration less than two years after opening. Following an acquisition by Singaporean hotelier Peng Loh, the man behind the Unlisted Collection, the hotel will officially become part of this group today under the new name One Leicester Street Hotel.
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As summer nears, hotels are going to start up with the usual warm-weather offerings: rooftop bars, poolside cabanas, and those awkward tanning concierges. But as far as we're concerned, it all boils down to one question: where can we ride a bike for free?
Unless otherwise noted, all of the below hotels offer free bike rentals on a first-come, first-served basis (that means no reserving the night before!), and all bikes come with a helmet and a lock.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on the public bikes at Public Chicago, and we recommend you do the same! Guests can grab a Trek Bicycle and take out for a spin down to Lake Shore and cruise along the beach's bike path—which are just three blocks from the hotel. Oh, and did we mention it's free?
In time for the first shoots of spring in London, £1-favorite Hoxton Hotel is now offering guests four custom UK-made Mango Bikes in the hotel’s colors to tool around town in. Both Sanderson and St. Martin’s Lane counter with equipment from the home of cycling, with Dutch bikes by Public J7.
Santa Barbara's El Encanto Resort has something special for adventuresome guests: electric bikes! The electric component can be turned on or off, so if you don't feel like cheating, you can pump all the way to the beach and back. But when it comes time to head back to the hotel (which sits in the Santa Barbara hills), that motor is going to come in pretty handy.
Sofitel So Bangkok offers three bikes for rent—a number suitable for the cast of Three's Company, but hey, free is free! Head across the road and pedal your heart out around Lumpini Park, the city's answer to Central Park, where you can ride along the Komodo Dragons basking in the sun on the banks of the lake.
For 12 more hotels (and hotel brands) with free bike rentals, read on!
Hotel News / Hotel Rebranding / Hotel Rebrandings / Hotel Renovations / Autograph Collection / Marriott Hotels / London Hotels / UK Hotels / Edinburgh Hotels / Scottish Hotels / → All Tags
The raison d’être of Marriott’s Autograph Collection is to provide not just a place to lay your weary head, but to give you an experience based on different themes like Culinary Delight, Artistic Getaway, Urban Excitement or Sporting Adventure. (For added fun, you can visit their Facebook page and have your autograph analysed to see which theme suits you best. It was shockingly accurate.)
Now they’re bringing that concept to the UK for the first time with the addition of two upscale hotels: Threadneedles in London and The Glasshouse in Edinburgh.
Threadneedles is set in the heart of the Square Mile, the original site of the Roman settlement that started it all. Being in The City, you’re close to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Borough Market and the Tower of London.
The hotel is in a former Victorian bank and blends the traditional with the contemporary. The lobby is dominated by an elaborate stained-glass dome from 1856 and the hotel has a see-and-be-seen restaurant and bar for the business crowd, Bonds. For those of you who have really latched on to the theme idea, you’re looking at Urban Excitement, Culinary Delight, Wedding Celebrations and Historic Explorations at this boutique hotel.
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We've started a series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What’s Out: Seaweed facials
What's In: Facials with gold, diamonds and other sparkly things
Diamonds and other precious metals and gems are sparkly and luminous; why shouldn’t your skin be the same? See what the hotel spas below are doing to make your skin radiate with good health.
The Dorchester Hotel in London offers the Carol Joy London Diamond Facial. Following ten years of research and three years of development, Carol Joy London products are created with some of the most precious beauty ingredients around (who knew that Golden Millet Oil was like pure gold?).
This intensive facial includes exfoliation with a diamond-head contraption that is said to be gentler than the traditional crystal ablater (we just like that word –- it sounds kind of bad-ass). While that’s going on, you’re being blasted with an Oxyjet machine that produces 95% pure oxygen to cool and soothe your skin and stimulate collagen production. The result? A firmer, clearer and more glowing you. The price for beauty, in this case, is £205 ($279).
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We might have talked about Morgans Hotel Group most recently given the drama surrounding The Delano South Beach, but on the other side of the pond there’s positive news to share: some first details on both Mondrian and Hudson London.
Having looked at some early shots of Sea Containers House as it began its transformation, and watched its Jubilee-inspired wrapping, we see construction progressing week after week, which should lead to Mondrian London opening early next year.
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The Savoy in London, managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, is launching its new Art Deco restaurant concept on Thursday, May 2: Kaspar's Seafood Bar & Grill. By naming it Kaspar’s the hotel is keeping alive one of its most celebrated (and superstitious) guests.
Here’s the story: In 1898, South African diamond magnate Woolf Joel held a dinner at The Savoy for fourteen guests and one cancelled at the last minute. The dinner continued, but one superstitious guest announced that death would come to the first person to leave the unlucky table of thirteen. Joel took that gamble and a few weeks later he was shot dead in Johannesburg.
To avoid a repeat performance and damage to its reputation, The Savoy offered a member of the staff to sit amongst tables of thirteen thereafter. However, unable to discuss private matters or tell ribald jokes, this proved to be unpopular with guests and thus, in a stroke of genius, Kaspar the cat was born.
This three-foot sculpture of a cat was made in 1926. For 90 years , The Savoy has been happy to oblige parties of thirteen with Kaspar's company, where he wears a jaunty napkin around his neck and is given his own place setting to enjoy every course.