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It looks like Holborn will have to settle for one out of two when it comes to new hotels this year: citizenM might have been pushed back to 2015, but The Hoxton Holborn has just opened up reservations from mid-October, still promising a “late summer” arrival for the group’s second London hotel.
A live reservation system comes with a first few renderings of the public spaces (above the suitably vintage-meets-industrial lobby) and a little more information about the hotel’s 174 rooms. Good news first? While small (about 130 sq ft), we can see entry-level “Shoebox” rooms from £79 ($135) – that’s under $150 dollars a night for a central, stylish London hotel. Hurrah!
With news having come down the wire that Andre Balazs will grace London with its own Standard Hotel, we had to head over to the city’s King’s Cross area to have a look ourselves. Smack in the middle of one of the city’s largest construction and regeneration projects, the former Camden Town Hall Annexe site (above) doesn’t bring a lot of aesthetic desirability to the table in its current form.
EstateGazette previously referred to “refurbishment” and “additional floors” being proposed, which could mean the existing structure will be used as a base. The additional floors are likely to upset some people, with debate about height restrictions for the building and in the area going back as far as two years. Nothing on or around the building indicates its future as a Standard Hotel at this point, aside from notices that the Camden council is moving. Initial information indicates it will take at least two years to redevelop the building.
It’s a double treat today from Morgans Hotel Group: not only do we have an opening date of September 30 for Mondrian London at Sea Containers, along with some pretty great introductory offers, we finally have room images as well.
Above is what a Standard Room looks like, mixing shades of grey with a punch of pink in just over 310 sq ft. We love the “transatlantic 1920s liner” references, with the curved corner of the bathroom, the wall panelling, and the groovy mirror. For a limited time, rooms are starting at £165 (about $280) a night excluding VAT.
We knew Starwood had big plans for its health-oriented, eco-conscious Element Hotels brand, with Frankfurt Airport getting the first European outpost on a list that ranges from Flushing, Queens to Muscat, Oman.
With Frankfurt opening less than two months from now (September 1, to be exact) comes the news that London will have its very own Element as well, opening in a Boston-esque dual-brand development with an Aloft Hotel in 2017 at the Tobacco Dock area in Wapping, East London. It will be the second Aloft hotel for the city, after Aloft London ExCel further east.
Element London Tobacco Dock (the darker brown building on the right above) will have 77 studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom suites with kitchens, modular furniture, desks with open shelving, bathrooms with rain showers and dual-flush toilets. We’re hoping the free breakfasts, WiFi, and 24-hour fitness center will make an appearance as well.
When Shangri-La at the Shard finally opened in May, the highest bit of London’s first hotel high up was still a work in progress: the 52nd floor with bar Gŏng, swimming pool, and gym. While the pool will arrive mid-August, bar Gŏng (derived from dougong, a Chinese architectural element of interlocking wooden brackets) is now open and has claimed its title as the city’s highest hotel bar.
We headed over earlier this week to see it for ourselves, arriving without a reservation – something that, given the capacity restriction at 90 people, we wouldn’t recommend during weekend peak times. You make your way up to the 35th floor first, where you switch elevators to complete the journey to level 52. Once there, you’ll find two main sections: a cocktail bar facing north with a range of seating, and a larger section facing east with a champagne bar towards the back.
There’s a new hotel brand in (London) town as of last week: the conversion of the 1923 Grade II-listed Shepherd’s Bush Pavilion into the first UK and European Dorsett Hotel finished with the hotel’s soft opening on June 24.
A cinema in a previous life, the hotel has 317 “Chinese-inspired” bedrooms, including 24 suites. Images are still missing on the hotel’s website, but both Expedia and Hotels.com feature a range of renderings, including the above, so we’ll assume these are an indication of the look and feel. Some rooms overlook the atrium (below the black-and-gold rendering we showed you earlier this year), with Executive Rooms and Suites having access to an Executive Lounge that serves complimentary breakfast.
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We’re slowly starting to see a tiny bit of what new hotel group Glh. will be up to over the next few years, specifically with its luxury brand Clermont Hotels in London and Singapore. The changes Glh. is introducing from its Guoman days don’t end there though, with a second new brand of “contemporary 4-star” hotels called Amba making its entry into the hotel world as well.
Aiming to have nearly 2100 rooms in Europe by 2015 and 30 cities within the UK alone to target, as well as international expansion in China and the US, Amba Hotels has big plans. They start with four London hotels: Marble Arch (previously a Thistle Hotel), Tower Bridge (previously Guoman - above), Charing Cross (previously Guoman) and Buckingham Palace Road (previously the Grosvenor Hotel). The four hotels have another £70 ($120) million in investment coming their way, with Amba Charing Cross (attached to the train station of the same name) opening first under the Amba flag in October.
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When we walked by Corbin and King’s upcoming The Beaumont hotel earlier this year, the white 1920s Art Deco former parking garage was gleaming in the pale February sun, except for one part of the hotel’s southern façade still obscured by scaffolding.
No more today, as you can see above: this is “ROOM”, a three-story sculpture of a crouching man by Antony Gormley, commissioned for the hotel. But “ROOM” is not “just” a piece of art; it's doing double duty as the bedroom – lined with fumed oak – of one of the hotel’s suites. There will be a total of 50 rooms, 13 studios, and 10 suites inside The Beaumont, and along with the unveiling of “ROOM”, we have a first few renderings of what the interiors will look like.
The Chiltern Firehouse in London has no real rooms open but it's restaurant has already been declared a success. (If you can count Lindsay Lohan dropping by every night a success). So it's not surprising that working off of the Chiltern's good vibes, hotelier Andre Balazs is now planning a Standard Hotel for Londontown.
EsatesGazette.co.uk has the full scoop:
André Balazs Properties is partnering with Crosstree Real Estate Partners to convert the 150,000 sq ft Camden town hall annexe, WC1, and open the first Standard Hotel outside the US.
Balazs has entered an exclusivity agreement with Crosstree to open a circa 250-bedroom hotel – its sixth Standard – on the site of the former council offices.
Now this is exciting. Because it might mean that we could actually stay in the Standard whereas the Chiltern operates a bit like Balazs' ultra-exclusive Mercer Hotel in Soho, NYC. And because it's a Standard, we can also expect a cool F&B and possibly a rooftop bar. We're also loving the convenient location across from King's Cross St Pancras Station.
We just hope the security team gets a stern talking too about releasing elevator footage of celebrities.
[Photo: Camden New Journal]
Reading isn’t the first thing we’d imagine the cool kids of Shoreditch doing of an evening, but clearly we’ve underestimated their literary aspirations – because tonight the Hoxton Hotel launches its new book club.
Not just any book club, either – it’s in association with Elle magazine and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (AKA the former Orange Prize).
The club starts off with Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth – who will be there in person to give a reading, answer questions and lead the club discussion in the courtyard garden.
Sadly it’s not free, even for guests – tickets cost £20 (and have sold out for tonight). They do, though, include a signed copy of the book in question, a year’s Elle subscription, canapés and a tipple of Baileys.
Having shown you around the public spaces at Firmdale Hotels’ new flagship Ham Yard Hotel, we’ll take the elevator up and peek inside a few of the 91 bedrooms and suites, all of which come with very individual, but very Kit Kemp, design.
As you make your way to your room, you’ll notice how the hotel twists and turns to fit in with the existing buildings around it. Hallways share the French wallpaper of flowerless plants that we saw at Dorset Square Hotel a few years ago.
Rooms range from entry-level Superior to Deluxe, with Suites continuing on from Luxury Junior to Terrace Suites. The above shot is from one of a small number of apartments that are also available. All rooms have the lovely floor-to-ceiling warehouse-style windows that led light flood in.
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Possibly aware of the controversy her visit might cause, or possibly to prevent any more wardrobe malfunctions, she arrived in a blacked out car, arrived and left via the back door, and took nine protection officers with her.
Meanwhile, Princes William and Harry hit up another Dorchester Collection venue at the weekend: Coworth Park, for a celeb charity polo event.