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Because our list of new hotels for east London wasn’t long enough, here is another one: the Great Eastern Street Hotel. No points for guessing which street the hotel is on, which means that once complete, it will be a hop and a skip from The Hoxton Shoreditch and Nobu Shoreditch. In fact, you can just spy a sliver of the building that will be torn down to make way for Nobu in the aerial view above, to the right of the leafless tree, one block behind Great Eastern Street.
The 70,000 sq ft project will have a 125-bedroom hotel, taking over a site that was derelict for over a decade. Incorporating the façade of a Victorian warehouse, the Grade-II listed Griffin Pub will be restored, with “upper levels being converted to residential use”.
Last week, we looked at unknown-to-us Shiva Hotels and their expansion in central London, and promised you an update on their plans around St. Paul’s Cathedral, which include the razing of an existing office building and replacing it with a 300,000 sq ft hotel.
Above a rendering of the future Millennium Bridge House, at the northern edge of the bridge of the same name that connects straight to Tate Modern across the river. While the entire backdrop of Shiva’s website shows these night-time renderings, the hotel is not yet listed in the group’s portfolio, but that may have something to do with the fact that there is a lot of work to be done – check out what it looks like today below.
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While we wait for Mama Shelter to open in Los Angeles (more on that in a second), some major news came out about the future of the funky brand last week: Accor Hotels, the French mega hotel group, has acquired a roughly 35% stake and is planning on making Mama much bigger.
Mama’s current five locations (Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Istanbul, and Bordeaux) will be joined by another twenty over the next five years. That’s a lot of groovy and affordable hotels to welcome, and the destination list looks very good: New York, London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Seoul, Mexico City, Zurich, Lille, Paris round two, and of course, Los Angeles.
Little word so far on specific locations in each of those cities, but we will keep our ear to the ground. First addition will likely be Los Angeles, which we’ll have to be patient for until February 2015 unfortunately. Go here for our snaps of the Wilcox Avenue building in Hollywood from back in August.
Earlier in the week the internet geeked out over The Harry Potter Hotel in London also known as The Georigan House Hotel. So many Harry Potter nerds (including us) were dying to see what the rooms looked like, that we all crashed the hotel's website. But once we read the room description and saw the photos, we were entirely unimpressed.
The "Wizard's Chambers", as they are called are and which should be your first clue that things aren't quite right here, are not officially sanctioned by Warner Brothers, who own the rights to the Harry Potter brand.
Indeed, the rooms sport no mention of Harry or Gryyfindor but rather just some vague wizarding touches like walls that look like castle walls, mirrors that look like castle windows and furniture that looks like castle furniture, along with some plaid blankets, old luggage and other items that might be found at Hogwarts. There isn't even a quidditch broom lying around!
The Georgian is simply taking advantage of the fact that Harry Potter took place in London and that the city now offers a "Muggle Walking Tour" and the Warner Brothers Studio Tour--The Making of Harry Potter. Neither of these tours are included in the £209 Wizard Chamber room rate, although breakfast is. But lest the hotel try to pull a fast one over
Warner Brothers you, they included this disclosure on their website:
Please note that the Wizard Chambers at the Georgian House provide a unique magical experience, and are not part of the Warner Bros official tour and have not been endorsed, sanctioned or in any other way supported, directly or indirectly by Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Harry Potter book publishers or J.K.Rowling and her representatives.
If there ever was a real Harry Potter Hotel opening, we'd be the first to know. But we don't think it will happen for a while. Warner Brothers won't even let all the hotels at Universal Studios in Orlando do anything Harry-themed with their rooms.
[Photo: Georgian House Hotel]
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Well this isn’t very true to character. The Exhibitionist Hotel in South Kensington, which we told you about last month, is opening earlier than its scheduled 1 December date – rooms are available to book from 10 November.
An early opening is weird in itself, but what’s weirder is that the hotel’s own website, which was imminent last time we checked in, is still not up and running - there’s just a placeholder page with email addresses to contact. Less than two weeks to go and no website? That’s brave.
You can, of course, still book through the Preferred Hotel Group, which is showing rooms from £368 on opening night. But if you’re planning to book, you should do it through flash sale site Secret Escapes, which has it for £199 – good value for the location.
Never heard of Shiva Hotels before? Neither had we, but we have a sense they’ll be on our radar going forward. Why? They may be behind the new Hilton at London’s Heathrow Terminal 5 and the even newer Hampton by Hilton at London Waterloo, but the small UK group seems to be upping its profile further with more properties in the city.
First up is the Kingsway Hall Hotel, just east of Covent Garden, in what was once a Methodist Church. Shiva recently acquired the hotel and is planning on sinking £15 million into a renovation. Check out the 'before' below.
He was the beautifully understated world-class chef. She was the equally lauded chef at a top London hotel. Together, they came together for the good of the people – coming to the capital for one night only, on Monday 10 November.
Yes, on 10 November Hélène Darroze is lending her kitchen at The Connaught to Massimo Bottura, who, along with the team he’s bringing over, will serve an eight-course menu taking all the best bits from Osteria Francescana, his restaurant in Modena.
If you haven’t heard of it, you should have – it’s twice been ranked the third best restaurant in the world. Luckily for Londoners, the Connaught is one of Bottura’s favorite hotels – hence the collaboration.
We were thrilled to hear earlier this year that London’s Sheraton Park Lane would be getting its long overdue makeover, ripping out dated and faded guestrooms and freshening up public spaces. Now we can we show you a bit more of what you can expect post-renovation in the 303-room hotel.
Starting with accommodation, by mid-next year all rooms will look like the above, a huge leap forward compared to today. There is the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed at the heart with the requisite fresh white sheets, Art Deco influences in lighting fixtures and furniture, and what looks like an etched glass mirror panel above the bed.
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If you’ve been to Andaz Liverpool Street, you’ll know about the creepy Masonic Temple that lies in its bowels (yes, Americans, masons are considered kinda creepy across the pond). You’ll also know that it’s not often accessible, and usually opens for special events only. Luckily, though, there are two such events coming up.
The first is a screening of the new
Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe film, Horns, coming up this Wednesday, its day of release. Sadly, Radcliffe himself won’t be there but the director of the film will be doing a Q&A. It’s part of the East End Film Festival, and tickets cost £10 – details here.
But far more exciting (unless Harry turns up) is the event – or Andaz Salon – on 19 November, which will see the Grand Secretary of the Freemasons, Nigel Brown, discussing freemasonry and all its ins and out (including the secret handshake? Who knows). This one is free, but you’ll need to RSVP here as tickets are limited. At least, that’s the reason they’re giving.
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Shoreditch High Street from the Ace rooftop
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. We’re rounding up the last few weeks with a stop in east London. Got a question about where to stay and when? Email us.
Looking for a hotel in London? 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?
Here are four different hotels to try in east London. 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.
Pouring the Martini Royales
It’s the terrible dilemma that faces you when you set foot in the Langham London. Does one head straight into Palm Court for one of the best afternoon teas in the world capital of afternoon teas? Or does one turn left and nip into Artesian for a perfectly blended cocktail?
Clearly, it wasn’t just us having a moral dilemma, because the Langham has just started The Art of the Aperitif - a pop-up bar bringing drinks from Artesian into Palm Court.
It’s being run in conjunction with Martini, so all the drinks (there are seven) have vermouth and, and there’s Martini memorabilia scattered around. But it’s no boring promo thing – the drinks have been created by Artesian’s Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale (head bartender and assistant head respectively), and there are food pairings (or snacks, rather), too, for the all important stomach-lining process.
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Six pictures of six London hotels. Which one is the odd one out? Your time starts…. now.