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Not anymore, as we saw when we walked by a few days ago, with the listed 1920s Art Deco façade sparkling in the morning sun. It makes for a striking anchor to Brown Hart Gardens, which the hotel faces, and we can start to see some of the features we can expect once The Beaumont opens this fall.
What’s still covered on the left, like a present waiting to be unwrapped, is “Room” – the inhabitable sculpture by Antony Gormley, made from stainless steel and part of one of the suites in the hotel. The hotel's top floor also looks to have a smaller footprint, which suggests there will be space for balconies and / or terraces that should offer pretty great views over the roofs of Mayfair and the greenery of Grosvenor Square a block or so away.
Luxury hotels can lift us up with their thoughtful amenity touches--plush bathrobes, slippers by the bedside, exotic scents and the like--but they also can bring our luxury high crashing back to earth with the prices they often charge to use or borrow other amenities. But at Claridge's in London, not only can you look stylish with the hotel's newest amenity offering, you won't have to pay a thing.
The hotel has introduced a Burberry Trench Program which places a Burberry trench coat in every closet of the suites for guests to borrow, free of charge, during their stay. Sizes can even be requested too. If you love it so much, you can buy it. Considering the chances of rain in London during your stay are very good, you'll definitely get some use out of the coat. But even if the sun is shining, we think you should still step out in at least once during your stay.
The Claridge's sister property, The Berkeley, has unveiled a new fashion amenity program as well--the The Fashion Trunk, filled with coveted pieces and rare finds from 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, including Chanel earrings, a Dior necklace and a Pierre Cardin Studio evening clutch. The items are free to borrow and are also available for purchase.
Suites at Claridge's start at £720.00 a night, inclusive of all taxes.
At the very least, the exterior of Andre’s fire station-turned-hotel seems to be coming along nicely, and if we’re to believe the talked-about March opening, it better be. All scaffolding is now gone, and we can see how the three fire engine doors have been replaced – in fact, it looks pretty close to the above rendering, which can be found on a website of Chiltern Street itself, of all places.
Way back when we thought that (one of) those fire engine doors would become the hotel’s front entrance, but based on what we saw we guess arriving at the hotel will happen through the courtyard.
We are also going to go out on a limb and say it will be called the Chiltern Street Hotel, since it’s been whispered that this will be an individually-branded hotel and a notice next to one of the doors related to planning permissions named it so.
East London might get its floating yacht hotel this Spring, but there is news for the west this week too: Shepherd’s Bush will see the conversion of its 1923 Grade II-listed Pavilion into a 317-bedroom hotel, which also signifies the entry of a new brand into the UK capital: Dorsett Hotels.
The majority of Dorsett’s hotels is in Hong Kong and China, which explains why those 317 rooms will be “Chinese-inspired”. We don’t have any renderings or images to go with that description yet, but we do know there will be free high-speed internet in all of them.
Floating Hotels / London Hotels / Sunborn Hotels / Odd Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Openings / → All Tags
January isn’t even out and we have another new London hotel to add to our to-watch list. And what an addition it is: a 120-metre super yacht called the Sunborn London, to be moored at the Royal Victoria Docks, with 138 rooms and suites over five floors of floating luxury.
Opening is scheduled for March, mere weeks away. Given its east London location next to the ExCel exhibition center, close to Canary Wharf and City airport, Sunborn will be mostly focused on the corporate market, but it wouldn’t surprise us if leisure guests will give it a try, if only for the novelty factor.
Before and After / Hotel Renovations / Hotel News / London Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Last year, we took you around the brand new Royal Suite at the InterContinental Park Lane in London, with its ginormous bed, bespoke furniture, and QEII touches (if you recall, the hotel is built on the site of her former childhood residence).
We recently popped back into the hotel on Hamilton Place to look at some of the rooms us normal folk are more likely to find ourselves in, which are now also being given a touch up: 122 out of 387 regular guestrooms have already been renovated, with further work planned for this year.
London Hotels / London Hotel Openings / Hotel Openings / Firmdale Hotels / Andre Balazs / Corbin & King / Morgans Hotel Group / Mondrian Hotels / Clermont Hotels / Shangri-La Hotels / → All Tags
London has had a few big years in hotels, including our best opening for 2013, but the next twelve months should give us plenty to pore over too. Just like the five worldwide openings we lifted out of our Master List of Worldwide Hotel Openings, here are 6 London hotels you should keep an eye out for this year.
Firmdale's Ham Yard Hotel : we’ve been taking pictures for a long time of the construction site, but this year should really be the year when Firmdale adds a new flagship to its quirky collection of individually Kit Kemp-styled hotels. Located just off of Piccadilly Circus with 90 rooms and suites and a whole range of amenities (bowling alley anyone?), the hotel will complete a piece of the puzzle in this revamped area between Regent Street and Soho. Recruitment has started, and based on the website, we think it will actually be called the Ham Yard Hotel when it opens in May.
Looks like Indian group Taj Hotels is grabbing 2014 by the horns and using a new year to clean up an old oddity in its London portfolio. For years it has owned two hotels on Buckingham Gate: 51 Buckingham Gate, with its Jaguar and Cinema Suites, and the Crowne Plaza St. James next door. Yes, that is Crowne Plaza as in the InterContinental Hotels Group brand.
Together, the two hotels occupy parts of eight six-story houses from the late 1800s: King’s, Queen’s, Prior’s, Falconer’s, Minister’s, Almoner’s, Duke’s, and Regent’s House, surrounding a shared courtyard. While the hotels will remain separate, the Crowne Plaza name is officially disappearing from the doors as of this week, with the hotel being reflagged as The St. James’ Court, A Taj Hotel.
Michael Achenbaum’s new hotel in London’s Shoreditch may not have an official name yet, but we can show you where it will be, what it looks like today and (most likely) will look like once it’s finished in 2015.
In fact, the above rendering even has a name (“Hoxton Suites”) on the façade, but we won’t take that to mean much for the moment: construction has barely started, and besides, if Achenbaum decides to go with something other than Gansevoort, we’d like to think it would be something more imaginative than Hoxton Suites? What’s more, the same rendering exists with the words “Bravo Shoreditch” where above it says Hoxton Suites, so make of that what you will.
While we weren't lucky enough to score a £1 room when the Qbic London ran its recent promotion, we still felt pretty chuffed to find a London hotel for a decent price. We paid £71.10 ($117) for a the lowest-priced "No View - Scratch yer Head" (internal) room (including the 10 percent discount we received as a consolation prize for failing in our bid for the £1 room) and here's what we got.
On a list of ambitious expansion plans – taking the original private members club as far as Mumbai – Soho House will be increasing its footprint in home base London too. And a serious increase it is: taking over the immense former Midland Bank building on Poultry, just off of Bank. That puts Soho House – founded as a private members’ club “for those in the film, media and creative industries” – right in the heart of banker / lawyer land.
The Grade-I listed building’s fifteen minutes of fame, mentioned pretty much everywhere, came and went in the sixties, as a backdrop for the James Bond film “Goldfinger”. Most reports also talk about 255 rooms, but the architect’s website speaks of “184 luxury suites of varying sizes”. Not quite the same as the intimate Dean Street Townhouse, is it?
HotelChatter 2013 Awards / Hotel Openings / Edition Hotels / London Hotels / Marriott Hotels / → All Tags
It's that time of year again: the 2013 HotelChatter Awards! Today and tomorrow, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
London had a big hotel year, and among many highlights was a major moment in September, when Ian Schrager introduced our winner for best hotel opening: The London Edition. Sitting in the wood-panelled Punch Room, we heard his thoughts on the industry today and his vision for the brand, giving us hope that Edition was leaving early setbacks behind and headed for a brighter, opening-filled future.