Tag: UK Hotels

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A Peek Inside Bath’s Boutique Abbey Hotel

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  Site Where: 1 North Parade, Bath, United Kingdom, BA1 1LF
May 21, 2015 at 3:25 PM | by | Comments (0)

A stop at the Abbey Hotel’s Allium Brasserie for dinner one night prompted us to pop in the next day for an impromptu tour of this three-star arty, contemporary hotel. What this fateful stop proved to us once and for all is that many three-stars in Bath have pretty much everything you need for a comfortable stay and don’t charge you an arm-and-leg for it. (See also our piece on The Queensberry Hotel as a case in point.)

The hotel has 60 rooms (when we walked through last fall, the rumor was that there were plans for expansion to 99) set in a row of three 270-year-old townhouses. Situated close to shopping, restaurants, the Roman Baths, the Thermae Bath and Spa and Bath Abbey, you’re in really good company location-wise.

All rooms are decorated in a bright and sunny modern style, with a hint of English garden design evident. Light oak furniture, houndstooth and plaid patterns on the beds and windows, and original artwork make up the décor. Rooms also carry bespoke Hypnos beds, iPads, free WiFi and REN toiletries.

Bathrooms are kinda plain Jane but they're in the process of being reno’ed and will be completed by November.

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The Quirky and Quaint Queensberry Hotel in Bath

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  Site Where: Russel Street, Bath, United Kingdom, BA1 2QF
May 15, 2015 at 3:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Queensberry Hotel is one of those small hotels made up of several townhouses – in this case, four Georgian ones – that is nicely designed in a contemporary way but with some little oddities added in that only seem to properly come from the British.

Things like having an elevator that jerks and hesitates like it’s not going to make it, and moves so slow you’ll probably beat it if you take the stairs. We used it as an opportunity to grab a few winks on the way up and down.

Then there’s the oddly placed monkey statue set on the modern bar.

And stairs that seem to come out of nowhere.

And the bulldog pillows.

The thoroughly surprising picturesque walled courtyard in the back.

The antique dresser that we could open to put our clothes in but then couldn’t get them back out.

And, finally, the best meal we had in Bath, hands-down.

All of this serves to create an oddly satisfying stay where you feel like you’re privy to a place whose eccentricities perhaps outweigh your own.

We certainly do have pics in the photo gallery!

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It's Time for a Staycation, Park Plaza Tells the UK

April 16, 2015 at 8:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

The view from Park Plaza Westminster Bridge

Summer. Remember that? You will if you’re in the UK right now, because it’s basking in heat, sunlight, all that good stuff that you normally wouldn’t expect ever till August.

Now is the perfect time to take a staycation, but UK hotels are notoriously expensive. Step forward Park Plaza, which has produced a 30 percent discount code for their UK hotels.

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Get a Room (City, Modern or Gallery) at Radisson Blu Glasgow

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  Site Where: 301 Argyle Street , Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, G2 8DL
April 15, 2015 at 2:49 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Radisson Blu Glasgow is in a modern glass and slate building that stands across from Glasgow’s more somber sandstone early 20th-century Central Station. It makes for an interesting contrast in time periods.

Opened in 2002 and then reno’ed in 2012, the Radisson Blu Glasgow is designed by the same folks who did the Blythswood Square hotelGraven Images – and although the insides of both hotels are distinctly different, you can see the same deft hands at work albeit with a lesser budget, we suspect. Still, if you’re looking for a place to lay your hat for a few days at a reasonable cost, this will fit the bill nicely.

The 247 rooms on offer at the Radisson Blu come in three styles: You got yer Gallery rooms, your Modern rooms and the City rooms.

We have pics of all three so keep on going!

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A Peek at the citizenM Glasgow

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  Site Where: 60 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, G2 3BW
April 9, 2015 at 7:32 PM | by | Comments (0)

CitizenM hotels are all about the social life of a hotel, and the citizenM Glasgow fits that bill perfectly. Reno’ed in September 2014 the property has a plethora of public lounging areas that take the place of large private rooms.

With seven floors in total, two of them are made up of the well-designed public spaces where you can eat, drink, computer (yes, we think that should be a verb, much like “hoteling” should be), chat, read, or watch TV – pretty much anything you choose to do has a spot for it.

The spaces are beautifully designed with Vitra furniture and distinctive artwork, and blend seamlessly as you stroll through the hotel. Although each area has its own feel it all fits together as a package.

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An Inside Look at Glasgow’s Blythswood Square Hotel

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  Site Where: No.11 Blythswood Square, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, G2 4AD
April 8, 2015 at 10:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

When you walk into some hotels you immediately get a sense of place, as if the hotel “fits.” This is most impressive when it’s a contemporary hotel, and such is the case with The Town House Company’s Blythswood Square hotel.

Opened in November 2009 in the former Royal Scottish Automobile Club building from 1823, this 100-room hotel has an elegant, modern décor with plenty of shout-outs to its past.

Leading the interior design was Jim Hamilton of Glasgow-based Graven Images and, while many of the fancy architectural details have been preserved, modern bespoke furniture, lighting and textiles ensure the property is au courant.

We’re particularly fond of the lighting in the restaurant: dramatic black-shaded hanging lamps with vintage photo interiors of classic cars and drivers. And then there's the striking scarlet-red banquettes that you see as soon as you walk into the lobby that go with the scarlet lights that hang in the front windows, both features a hearkening back to the days of yore when Blythswood Square (the square, not the hotel) was Glasgow’s red light district.

Tons o' pics in the photo gallery!

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Going to Extremes: Blythswood Square's Thermal Spa

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  Site Where: No.11 Blythswood Square, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, G2 4AD
April 2, 2015 at 1:07 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you think a spa is a spa is a spa, book yourself in at the Blythswood Square hotel’s Thermal Spa in Glasgow. We expect to see something like this in, say, Bath, but Glasgow? Who knew.

This is a full-meal-deal thermal spa treatment with an ice fountain, saunarium and the whole shebang, but here’s the other thing it has going for it: It’s sexy. Full-stop. And it’s not a private treatment so you can go with your loved one. And you’re already in a hotel. (Don’t make us spell it out.)

If you want to do it right, the recommended three-hour rotation goes like this. Start with the Laconium – a black-tiled room where the floors, walls and benches are all heated to a mild(ish) temperature of around 131-140°F. Stay in here for about 15 minutes to get prepped for the hotter stuff to follow (there's no hidden meaning here, well... maybe).

Then stop the slow burn and turn up the heat in the Sauna, significantly more steamy but without steam. That's later. If you can make it to five minutes count yourself among the few. We couldn’t do it.

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Keep Your Booze Bottle With the Bottle Keep at Glasgow's Blythswood Square Hotel

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  Site Where: No.11 Blythswood Square, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, G2 4AD
April 1, 2015 at 2:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

About a year ago the barkeeps at Glasgow’s Blythswood Square hotel (part of The Town House Collection) had the brainiac idea to house a whisky Bottle Keep in The Salon for locals and guests who visit the bar on a regular basis. The set-up is super simple: Buy a bottle at the bar, ranging in price from 135 GBP to 2,500 GBP, store your golden liquid in the hotel’s Bottle Keep, and drinks will appear upon request.

With your purchase you get a session with a skilled bartender who will tell you the proper way to drink your purchase – for example, who knew that Johnny Walker Blue Label (250 GBP) is properly served with shaved ice and water? – or the mixologist will create a signature cocktail tailored just for you, preferably made with your newly-purchased Haig Club whisky (135 GBP).

Why this whisky, you may ask? One reason is that one of the owners is – still-hunky after all these years – David Beckham, but perhaps the more-important reason is that this whisky, only launched a few months ago, is lighter and less sweet than your standard Scotch.

In other words, it’s made specifically for the cocktail lover. This recipe is stored with your bottle and you can partake of it whenever you’re in a cocktail mood.

If, however, whiskies are not your thing, don’t despair. The Salon has a wide array of delicious cocktails on offer, and all can be found in the recently-begotten Bar Book. Already in its third installment since the hotel opened in 2009, the book is a collection of cocktails unique to the hotel along with some classics that have withstood cocktail culture’s test of time.

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How Do You Like Your London Hotel Tea? 3 Tea Times for 3 Different Types

March 13, 2015 at 1:21 PM | by | Comment (1)

Tea and crumpets are as English as fascinators, but you can be overwhelmed by the sheer number of afternoon teas at London Hotels. So we thought we’d help you out by narrowing the field according to your tea type.

BEST TEA FOR FASHIONISTAS: Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley

This is the kind of tea that makes you smile, with brightly-colored fanciful treats. The Berkeley gets creative with each season’s couture collections for their Prêt-à-Portea, and every tea treat you eat is inspired by a designer. Late last fall their partnership with Jimmy Choo brought about a velvet praline cream cake with sweetheart bow – replicating the must-have Gala pointed-toe pump – and the Cayla zebra-print handbag in chocolate moelleux and meringue.

The 2015 Autumn/Winter Prêt-à-Portea draws inspiration from Diane von Fürstenberg, Dolce and Gabbana and Moschino. The “collection” changes every six months because, as you know, fashion can be so fickle. Tea is served daily from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and is £45 ($67) to £58 ($86).

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The Best Room to Book at The Savoy in London

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  Site Where: Strand, London, United Kingdom, WC2R 0EU
January 7, 2015 at 3:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you like traditional elegance in a hotel, you can’t really beat the star wattage at London’s Savoy hotel. The place oozes fine service and, to be honest, we were pretty impressed. But great service, location and iconic status often comes with a price tag to match. Luckily, what we were shown as the best room to book at the hotel was not a status symbol suite, but a Luxury King River View--specifically, room 514.

Rooms at The Savoy are decorated in either Edwardian or Art Deco style--although all Luxury King River View rooms are done up in Edwardian--and are pretty darn spacious. But what makes this room so special? It’s the commanding view over the River Thames and the British Eye. We stayed on a higher floor that also looked out over the Thames, but there is something about being a bit lower down at tree-level that makes one feel more "at one" with your green surroundings and dappled sunlit room.

Check out the photo gallery!

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Character Cocktails at The Savoy's Theatrical Beaufort Bar

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  Site Where: Strand, London, United Kingdom, WC2R 0EU
December 11, 2014 at 4:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Savoy Hotel has had more than its share of legends stay at the hotel since its opening in 1889 – Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Humphrey Bogart are but a few. To honor these celebrities and captains of industry The Savoy’s deeply dramatic Beaufort Bar has created a series of Character Cocktails and, we gotta tell ya, this is cocktail theater.

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Rosewood London's Doormen Wear Designer Duds

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  Site Where: 252 High Holborn, London, United Kingdom, WC1V 7EN
December 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

We love a man in uniform, especially when they look as dapper as this. The doormen at Rosewood London look as stylish as the rest of the hotel in these Nicholas Oakwell Couture-designed duds.

When we pulled up to the hotel on a drizzly day these uniforms set the tone for the Rosewood: Thoroughly modern yet with a harkening back to the days of gents and ladies.

Oakwell is a UK designer with plenty of cred. Worn by celebs such as Hilary Swank, Gillian Anderson, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 actress Natalie Dormer, he was featured in a sold-out London Fashion Weekend runway show in September.

The Rosewood London uniforms are slim-fitting, with charcoal grey blazers, crisp white-checked shirts, dark tartan pants, camel-colored overcoats and shoes, and newsboy caps that really “cap” off the look. Very different from Oakwell’s usual flowy, showy gowns but no less impressive in a manly, “Let me assist you with that, Miss” way.

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