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It took a year from taking the first picture of Hudson London to it quietly disappearing from the Morgans Hotel Group website. Though not a complete surprise given some of the struggles the group had, we did welcome Mondrian at Sea Containers during that time and learned that there would be suites running at £10,000 a night (which would almost seem a steal compared to what we just saw in Paris), before the rumor mill told us Malmaison would be moving into the building on Great Scotland Yard instead.
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Malmaison Edinburgh, a former brothel
Introducing our handy hotel guides--HotelChatter's Must Stay Hotels--where we pick four hotels for four different types of travelers in a particular neighborhood of one major city. After yesterday’s trip to London, we're staying across the pond with Edinburgh. Got a question about where to stay and when? Email us.
Looking for a hotel in Edinburgh? You can troll online review sites, crowdsource on Facebook and comb through endless “Best Hotels” lists but why do all that when we’ve done all the work for you already?
To mark Scotland’s decision to remain in the United Kingdom, here are four different hotels to try in the Scottish capital. So whether you’re going for pleasure or work and whether you’ve got cash to throw around or have pennies to count, these hotels will fulfill your needs. One common thread running through these hotel picks? They have all free WiFi. So during your stay, you can write us a thank you email for the recommendation.
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The week that Mondrian at Sea Containers will make its official London debut (in fact, opening is today, so stay tuned for the lowdown on that), some interesting news has come out on what was to be its sibling, Hudson London, on Great Scotland Yard, not even fifteen minutes’ walk across the river.
Earlier this year, following a lot of drama at Morgans Hotel Group, the Hudson listing disappeared from the group’s website, replaced with silence about the fate of the former Scotland Yard headquarters. The Telegraph reports that British chain (though now US-owned) Malmaison is set to purchase the building for around £200 million.
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It’s summer, and wherever you live, that means a trip to Europe. New to the continent? Keen to try something other than your major chains, but nervous about going independent? Here are six of the best European chains. NB: These are all also suitable for anti-chain snobs.
We’ve seen street art as a temporary exhibit at London hotels, but Malmaison is taking things further by making it a permanent feature: working with street artist Xenz, Malmaison London not only has completely new interiors, but a series of intricate murals by his hand throughout the hotel, from the lobby to the guestrooms.
We stopped by this week to have a look ourselves, heading over to sun-splashed Charterhouse Square, which the pretty red-brick building – a former nurses’ home – faces. It’s a quiet corner just north of Smithfield Market / the Barbican and east of Farringdon that’s easy to miss, but a short walk takes you into the City or to Holborn and St. Paul’s.
When we dubbed the Malmaison Dundee the U.K. hotel chain's "lucky 13th" property, it turns out we spoke too soon: it doesn't get much unluckier than being flooded three days before opening.
On November 28th, flooding, said to have been caused by an electrical fault, affected 15 of the hotel's 90 guest rooms. While Malmaison first claimed that the December 1st opening would go ahead as planned, that was not the case and there is currently no official opening date in sight.
We love Malmaison Hotels for their slinky design, usually reasonable rates, and for the fact that they are always located in buildings of historic interest. So we are happy to hear that they will be opening their 13th property on December 1st.
The new hotel will be located on the waterfront in Dundee, a city charitably described by the hotel company as "notorious for poets, inventors and architects," but remembered by some of us (who were born there) as grey, poor, and a wee bit depressing.
To be fair, though, in our absence, Dundee has made something of a comeback over the past few years. Where not too long ago, you could find nothing better than a Travelodge or a dodgy guesthouse, a trickle of higher end hotels have moved in too, such as the DoubleTree by Hilton and the Apex City Quay Hotel and Spa. The waterfront has been the center of this regeneration, with a huge development plan currently in progress that will turn the once-neglected area into a cultural hub filled with restaurants, green spaces, a new Kengo Kuma-designed Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Malmaison.
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Mal Edinburgh - the original Malmaison
We’re fans of the British Malmaison chain for decent value in interesting locations (all their hotels used to be some kind of cool old building) so we’d be up for trying their latest package – a Tale of Two Scottish Cities.
It’s no quicky break –you’ll spend a whole week between Glasgow and Edinburgh – but you won’t be stuck for things to do in either of those places. Split seven nights either way (we suggest three in Edinburgh and four in Glasgow, for ease of reaching the Highlands in the day time), and for £500 per person, you’ll get one Brasserie meal at each hotel, a bottle of whisky at one, and champagne at the other.
Being from London, when we think about sexy hotels, we don’t immediately think London. We think a little lovenest on the Seine, private beaches on the Med, that kind of thing. But now we are thinking again, because Boundary in little East London just got named the most stylish hotel in Europe at the European Hotel Design Awards.
We’ve kept meaning to visit Boundary since it opened in January, but were put off by the fact that it’s a Terence Conran project and we think of him as a bit posh for our tastes (we once went to his Bluebird restaurant in Chelsea to find we’d missed Kate Middleton – AKA Ms Prince William – by a couple of minutes).
But turns out we were wrong.
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MaMaison Riverside Hotel in Prague.
The latter we are familiar with as we have written about their funky boutique hotels (one is out of an old jailhouse) located all over the UK. But MaMaison had us intrigued.
According to its website, MaMaison has hotels and apartments throughout Central and Eastern Europe, perfect for guests who are looking for accommodations for "one day or one year."
Malmaison's latest hotel opens in Oxford this November.
The property is a converted prison, which now boasts swank rooms and free broadband.
H.M. Oxford Prison, the UK's first prison, was altered surprisingly little by designers-- with its cells, basement and castellated walls largely unaltered, to host the hotel. Don't worry, the designers did add plenty of Malmaison touches, so it probably won't feel prisonesque, let's hope.
Malmaison Oxford is offering an introductory rate for £110 that includes a complimentary bottle of wine.
Good chance to be one of the first to sleep in the now renovated H.M. Oxford Prison.