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London doesn’t have as many hotel rooftops as, say, New York, but the Marriott Park Lane is adding one to the short list of options – if only for this summer. Called Roofnic (and inspired by the idea of picnicking on the roof), the rooftop has taken over a formerly disused space at the hotel on the corner of Park Lane and Oxford Street.
The 100-seat pop-up is the result of an internal competition among hotel employees on what to do with the space. It’s first-come, first-serve and will run every day 10am-10pm until September, when a winter alternative should arrive. Meanwhile, remember that GM getting hands-on with the hotel’s renovations? They’re being wrapped up this month – a few renderings below.
Hotel Renovations / Hotel Refurbishments / London Hotels / Mayfair Hotels / Small Luxury Hotels of the World / → All Tags
Could there be a more attractive phrase than “complimentary gin bar”? Possibly – but in lieu of “hunky private footman”, in-room gin bar will have to do.
The amenity is the idea of Flemings (no apostrophe), the redoubtable, family-owned Mayfair hotel that, until now, has paired super-stylish public areas with slightly less inspiring rooms. But that’s all set to change with a £14m refurbishment, designed to rejuvenate the 129 bedrooms and add a tea lounge, bar and restaurant helmed by a Michelin-starred chef.
Qatar’s Constellation Hotels Group – which already owns the Intercontinental Park Lane – has snapped up a 64% stake in Coroin, which owns the Maybourne Hotel Group (and is mainly owned by the Barclay brothers, who also own the Telegraph newspaper and London’s Ritz).
London’s Connaught hotel has been busy recently. It opened a smashing new Champagne Room. Its chef, Hélène Darroze, was just named the Veuve Cliquot World’s Best Female Chef. No wonder it needs to calm down.
Hot on the heels of Trump SoHo launching meditation lessons, the Aman Spa at the Connaught is doing the same. However, it’s going one better than Trump – its daily classes are free.
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Mee Restaurant at the Belmond Copacabana Palace
Once upon a time, we wondered whether in-house restaurants had any effect on your hotel choice. As hotels continue to push their offerings in an effort to compete with local establishments and become part of the city's scene, hotel restaurants around the world continue to get better and better.
Two awards were handed out this week that show the restaurant industry is taking notice. Down south, MEE Restaurant at the Belmond Copacabana Palace in Rio, known for its "sophisticated pan-Asian cuisine," received a Michelin star in the first edition of the Michelin Guide Rio de Janeiro & São Paolo. It was one of six restaurants to be honored in the first edition of the Michelin Guide to cover South America.
Summer in London can mean only one thing: picnics in the parks. Hyde Park, specifically, for sarnies and champagne with Speaker’s Corner in the distance.
Every summer, hotels get together picnic packages and hampers, and the first to land of 2015 is from The Arch London, right by Hyde Park at Marble Arch. You could pick up your lunch at Pret a Manger, but it might be nicer to go with something like this – a Best of British-inspired selection from the hotels’ Hunter 486 restaurant.
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Whether before in New York, or now in London, the arrival of Savage Beauty, the Alexander McQueen exhibit, has been hard to miss, both for its rave reviews and the impossibility of getting tickets. The retrospective opened on March 14 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington, and while “tickets still available” is listed on the website (in all caps, for that matter), as we write this we cannot even get the “buy online” page to load.
The answer to getting inside in the near future may involve a stay in a hotel, one where McQueen spent a lot of his time: Claridge’s. From now until May 17, the hotel has a “Savage Beauty at Claridge’s” package available, which gets you an overnight stay at the hotel and tickets to the exhibit. When you check in, there will be a bottle of champagne waiting for you, as well as a copy of the specially commissioned book “Alexander McQueen”.
Savage Beauty is the largest McQueen retrospective to date, bringing together over 200 pieces of his work. If you’re going the Claridge’s route, you’re looking at a starting price from £560 ($835) a night. A full price ticket – if you can get hold of one – is £16 ($24) per adult. We’ll just hit refresh on the booking page yet again…
[Savage Beauty photo via Claridge's: Duck feather dress - The Horn of Plenty, A/W 2009-10 - Alexander McQueen. Butterfly headdress of hand-painted turkey feathers - La Dame Bleue,S/S 2008 - Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen. Tulle and lace dress with veil and antlers - Widows of Culloden, A/W 2006–07- Alexander McQueen. Room photo: Claridge's]
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Right around this time last year, we saw first-hand what happens when two famous hotel bartenders spend a week mixing cocktails in the same London hotel bar: a double feature of Confessions of a Hotel Bartender and six specially-selected cocktails to drink your way through.
The bar at The Connaught, where all of this went down, was packed during Colin Field’s week long residence in Agostino Perrone’s home, but it almost always is. Luckily, there is now this: the Champagne Room at the Connaught Bar – a small, secluded drinking spot accessible either through an internal passageway from the main bar or through a set of heavy curtains off of a quiet corridor behind the lobby.
Easter is on its way, and that means chocolate. And while not every hotel can have a chocolate store inside, they can at least do things like commission their own bespoke Easter eggs. At least, if they’re Claridge’s, they can.
The 2015 Claridge’s Easter Egg, which has officially been “unveiled” by pastry chef Ross Sneddon, is on sale in the hotel shop, McQueens, now. It’s an Art Deco egg, inspired by the checkerboard lobby. There are 100 limited edition eggs up for grabs – made of dark, milk and white Valrhona chocolate. Inside each is a stuffing of chocolate mini eggs (“quail eggs”, as Claridge’s calls them). It’s wrapped in monochrome Art Deco foil and put in an eau de nil box – so you will at least have those remains once you’ve massacred the egg.
The Metropolitan on London’s Park Lane used to be on fire. Everyone who was anyone hung out at the Met Bar, we couldn’t get enough of the sleek white rooms, and not a day went by without us fantasizing about eating at Nobu one day.
These days, the scene is a little quieter. But yesterday the hotel actually caught fire, causing the evacuation of 180 guests, 120 staff and needing 40 firefighters to battle the flames.Luckily, nobody was hurt, and it looks like there wasn’t a huge amount of damage.
There are hands on hotel General Managers, and then there are hands on hotel General Managers.
The new GM of the London Marriott Park Lane, Nicolas Kipper, is one of the latter.
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Raising the temperature in the Amber Suite
What to do when you’re a five star hotel in an egregiously expensive city which is one of the centers of the banking world which caused the global financial crisis, and your prices are such that only rich people and celebrities (because celebrities are all over your hotel) can afford to stay there?
You put on a play about wealth and complacency and capitalism and guilt… in one of your top suites.