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Our scepticism about that (already delayed) March reopening for The Lanesborough London turned out not to be unfounded – the hotel now talks about an “end of Spring” return. That makes our estimate of June(ish) feel about right, and a recent walk by Hyde Park Corner does show some progress: the scaffolding that has obscured the hotel from view for so long is starting to come down.
Underneath is a freshly painted/cleaned exterior, and a few glimpses of the interiors are available courtesy of The Lanesborough butlers having taken to Twitter. Hashtags and the Albert Pinto-designed Regency interiors may seem a little incongruous, but among all that period design will be some advanced technology in the form of Crave tablets. From booking a spa treatment to getting a hold of your butler, all you need is the tablet.
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Twelve months ago, we listed six London hotels to watch out for, and waited patiently for each of them to arrive over the course of 2014. In a world of perpetual hotel delays, we didn’t do so badly, with only one out of six not opening as promised.
With last year’s success rate in mind and finding ourselves in a year that ends on five, it only seems right to take a look at five new London hotels that should make their debut between now and December. Noticeably absent from the list? Clermont London, the one hotel that prevented us from scoring a six out of six last year. Silence on the transformation of the Royal Horseguards Hotel continues, with no update since we first wrote about it in late 2013. Who knows, it may catch us by surprise and open this year, but having been fooled once, we’ll focus on the following for now.
The Lanesborough: closed for well over a year, a “Spring 2015” return came with a fresh website and the news that the Hyde Park Corner hotel would join the Oetker Collection. Renderings show the 93 rooms and suites to stay close to the original Regency décor, but despite Albert Pinto’s classic take, technology should be very 21st century. As much as we would love to believe a March completion, the hotel continues to be obscured by scaffolding last we saw, so we’ll say a hopeful June(ish) for reopening?
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We may have known that The Lanesborough London was going for a full-scale renovation (including auctioning off all furniture and trinkets from inside the hotel), but in a surprising twist on the road to its reopening next year, it will no longer be a St. Regis Hotel, but become part of the super-posh Oetker Collection instead.
That means a whole range of things: an exit for St. Regis from the London market, Starwood being one property down (Luxury Collection’s Park Tower is a few minutes west, Sheraton Park Lane a few minutes east), and Oetker Collection debuting another major capital property in addition to its Parisian palace Le Bristol (the seven other hotels lean towards resorts, like the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc).
Along with the announcement, we have a first glimpse of the Albert Pinto-designed interiors, with a rendering of a suite above. While brand new, the interiors look to stay true to the Regency era the hotel took its design cues from before. The suite brings in red / burgundy tones, while a room rendering below goes for a warm green.
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It’s the delicious pairing of two brands at the top of their game that’s exciting us this week – no, not Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Martin, but Ananda (amazing spa brand) and Château Saint-Martin, the uberlux hotel in uberlux Côte d’Azur village Vence.
From 21-29 September, Ananda will be running a pop-up spa au Château. The focus? A detox program devised especially for the hotel by yogi Sushant Pandley, and tailored to your precise needs.
You can streamline your detox with the quick five day program, take a week over it or even string it out for nine days (any excuse to stay in the chateau). Activities include meditation and yoga, “theoretical aspects of yogic tradition” (us neither) and “stimulating and purifying ayurvedic therapies” like massage and reflexology – definitely the most fun part.
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The look of amour
Their eyes met across a crowded hotel lobby. He was caught in a slough of depression. She was the kind of girl who likes to rescue her men. The moment they saw each other, they realized they were meant for each other. They would treasure Le Bristol forever, for bringing them together...
At least, that’s the narrative we’re giving to the happy couple currently installed at the Hotel Le Bristol in Paris. Feline couple, that is. Over the last week or so, according to the hotel’s laying-it-on-with-a-trowel Facebook page, Fa’aron, the Bristol’s resident cat, has been feeling down. They tried to cheer him up at the spa, in the garden, at the bar, in a ****** hotel room. He remained depressed. Qu’est-ce qu’on peut faire?
Ah oui. Cherchez la femme!
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If the name Oetker Collection does not ring a bell, you are more likely familiar with two of its most famous hotels: the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes (preferred by Brangelina during the Cannes film festival and Kaiser Karl for a runway show) and equally celebrity-friendly Le Bristol Paris (temporary home of David Beckham).
Now, the group has added another, though more far-flung, destination that is known for attracting wealthy privacy-seekers (from Bill Gates to again Brangelina): Fregate Island Private, a tiny speck in the Indian Ocean that is part of the Seychelles archipelago. If ever you wanted to live out your own Robinson Crusoe fantasy without having to sacrifice any creature comforts, this is the place.
But there is more to it than just luxury: bought in the late 1970s by a German industrialist, decades of work have gone into returning the island back to its natural state, rehabilitating indigenous forest, nursing back to life a population of Giant Aldabra Tortoises, and saving the endangered Magpie Robin bird from extinction.