New Hotels in London
New top class hotels are opening in central London at fast and furious rate.
Late 2012 saw three notable additions to the already extensive list of top quality hotels in the capital
The Wellesley, Knightsbridge
Located at one of London’s most prestigious addresses in Knightsbridge, new townhouse hotel The Wellesley opened in December 2012, offering contemporary luxury, traditional glamour and uncompromising service. The building has been beautifully restored with a combination of its 1920s history and contemporary style As well as its 36 rooms and suites, The Wellesley will incorporate a Cigar Lounge and Terrace, The Crystal Bar, The Oval Restaurant and a Jazz Room.
The Wellesley’s accommodations are light and spacious with rich furnishings and sumptuous finishings. Situated over six floors, there are nine guestrooms and 27 suites and the sixth floor is home to the four-bedroom Presidential Suite which boasts uninterrupted views over Hyde Park, the latest technology, its own boardroom, and a personal humidor with a specially-selected range of cigars for enthusiasts. The Oval Restaurant has 40 covers and serves refined Italian cuisine for lunch and dinner in its elegant setting. For those who opt to dine in one of the other areas, the menu’s Italian dishes are available throughout the hotel and Afternoon Tea is served in the Jazz Room.
The Cigar Lounge ifeatures the UK’s largest bespoke humidor and the biggest collection of cigars sold on a stick-by-stick basis with many limited edition and unique marques. Set to be a true haven for cigar aficionados, The Wellesley’s extensive cigar collection can be enjoyed on the hotel’s private heated Cigar Terrace.. www.thewellesley.co.
InterContinental London – Westminster
Arriving on London’s exciting hotel scene in November 2012, the much-anticipated InterContinental London Westminster opened its doors in the political heartland of Britain. The first InterContinental hotel to open in London for over 36 years, the property is located at an outstanding address; a short walk from Parliament, in earshot of Big Ben and within sight of Westminster Abbey. The hotel will inject a new lease of life into Queen Anne’s Chambers, a former government building, which played host to the Treasury Solicitor and The Brewers’ Society among others during its century’s long history. Behind its townhouse style exterior, the hotel’s elegant interiors marry rich furnishings and British finesse to create an intimate sanctuary at the centre of Westminster’s urban revival. Spread across six floors it features 256 beautifully designed rooms including 44 luxurious suites and an imposing penthouse.The Blue Boar Smokehouse & Bar sit at the heart of the hotel’s food and drink offering. The Bar brings a sense of sophistication to the traditional British pub, providing carefully selected local ales, classic cocktails, and British wines, while the restaurant is set to be a buzzing destination to meet for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Dark wood panelling and warm tones will nod to the traditional members clubs of London. www.intercontinental.
Cafe Royal Hotel, Regent Street
The legendary Café Royal on the world-famous Regent Street – is to open as a 160-bedroom, five-star hotel. It will form part of The Quadrant development, incorporating the Cafe Royal, Regent Palace Hotel and Quadrant Arcade blocks, transforming them into a mixed-use development. The Grade I-listed Louis XVI interiors will be retained, including the famous Grill Room, the marble Entrance Hall, and Domino Room. Its reopening heralds the return of an iconic London institution which has continually evolved to define and capture the mood and style of the capital throughout its 150 year history. Located on 68 Regent Street – with prestigious Mayfair to the west and creative Soho to the east – Café Royal has always been the preferred haunt of the intellectual, political and artistic literati. Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf, Cary Grant, Elizabeth Taylor and Winston Churchill were all patrons.
Over the past four years, David Chipperfield Architects have restored and transformed the grandeur of the old Café Royal restaurant into a contemporary, London hotel. It features 159 rooms and historic suites, an array of dining venues, a private members club, high-tech meeting rooms and a holistic wellbeing spa & gym (including an 18m lap pool). The hotel interiors seamlessly weave the old with the new, to pay homage to the architectural heritage of the building. Historic rooms, which have been sensitively restored (including the legendary Grill and Domino rooms) sit alongside contemporary spaces. The pure geometry of the 159 rooms and suites feature extensive, but understated use of natural materials and demonstrate an obsessive attention to detail creating a sense of timeless glamour. Lightly fumed oak floors and delicate copperlight doors complement existing historical details within the building. Each room is filled with natural light and the suites in particular boast spectacular views of the capital. www.hotelcaferoyal.
This year the following openings are promised:
Shangri-la The Shard
In the spring Shangri-La launches its new luxury hotel inside the spire of The Shard. At 1,016 feet high, The Shard is regarded as one of the most ambitious architectural endeavours in the UK. Its height will make it one of the tallest buildings in Europe, while its soaring spire shape will make it one of the most distinctive. www.shangri-la.com/en/
The Shard is London’s newest landmark, designed by Master Architect Renzo Piano. Visitors will be able to ascend the building up 800 feet (244 metres) to the viewing platform on Level 69, the only place you can see all of London, all at once. Visitors will pass through a multi-media experience giving background information on London’s history and, once up on Level 69, can use Tell:scopes – high-tech, interactive telescopes – to learn more about the city. Those who dare will be able to go up to Level 72 – the highest habitable point of The Shard – to stand in the open air 800 ft (244 m) above ground. www.theviewfromtheshard.com
Art’otel London Hoxton
A new Art’otel London Hoxton – the first London venture from the group – is scheduled to open in 2013 in the East End of London. The 18-storey building will include 350 hotelrooms and public areas including a gallery space, art-house cinema, spa and restaurant on the double-height top floor. The cylindrical shape design, by Squire and Partners, has been drawn up with its environment in mind. The punched aluminium outer skin, for example, was inspired by punch cards that were used to programme old industrial power looms, drawing on the textile heritage of the area. www.artotels.com/londonhoxton
Jumeirah One, Blackfriars Road
A new landmark tower is planned for One Blackfriars Road on London’s South Bank, and Jumeirah – the Dubai-based luxury hospitality company – plans to set up a new hotel on the lower floors. Pitched at the luxury end of the market, this new hotel will be located at the base of the 175-metre high glass tower and will feature 261 rooms, several restaurants and bars, a contemporary spa, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, a ballroom and a selection of conference and meeting rooms. www.jumeirah.com
And last and in a minimalistic sense, least:
Trocadero ‘Pod’ Hotel, Piccadilly
London is to get its very own Japanese-style ‘pod’ hotel in the city’s well-known Trocadero centre, in the heart of busy Piccadilly. While the Trocadero’s Grade-II listed facades will remain, behind the 350-year old frontage will lie 495 windowless bedrooms, each measuring between 12 and 17 metres square, arranged around internal courtyards. Within each pod will be double bed, en-suite bathroom and 42-inch plasma TV, while a rooftop bar and restaurant are planned for the 8th floor. www.podhotels.com