Opened on 1 February 2012, in what used to be the Sheraton Belgravia, the Belgraves in Belgravia is the first hotel in the UK by the New York-based Thompson Hotels, well known in the States as a stylish boutique brand. With interiors by Tara Bernerd featuring British designers - and plenty of Union Jack motifs - and Hix Belgravia, an 80-seat restaurant overseen by chef Mark Hix it's a hotel with five star service which offers the weary traveller something a bit special. "Our first hotel, 60 Thompson in NY, was ideologically based on the intimacy of British hotels," said Jason Pomeranc, co-owner of Thompson Hotels, and coming to London feels like an obvious move for the hotel group. All 85 rooms in the hotel come with a kingsize bed, LCD flat-screen TV and iHome docking station while marble bathrooms feature walk in showers and Penhaligon's toiletries. Enjoy cocktails by Nick Strangeway in Mark's Bar and in summer spill out into its stylish smoking garden, or retire to the fitness centre. If you really want to push the boat out ask for the corner room on the eighth floor for its amazing views over London's sights including the London Eye.
New Hotels in London 2012
1 February 2012
20 Chesham Place, Belgravia, London, SW1X 8HQ
Tube: Sloane Square Station
Apex Temple Court Hotel
1 March 2012
Located between Fleet Street and Inner Temple, within the conservation area of Serjeants' Inn, the four-star Apex Temple Court Hotel, opened on 1 March 2012, occupies an area that's steeped in history. While Fleet Street was once home to all the major national newspapers, the Inner Temple, one of the four Inns of Court, still remains a important part of the legal system today. It's also a short walk to Sir John Soane's Museum, one of London's hidden gems, but the location won't only appeal to history buffs, it's also well situated for those who want to walk to Covent Garden and surrounding theatres. The hotel's 184 spacious bedrooms and suites, centered around an outdoor courtyard, have been done up to a high standard with all mod-cons including free Wi-Fi, large flat screen TVs and Bose docking stations for iPods. The more expensive rooms - Deluxe, Junior Suites and Master Suites - come with 3D HD TVs with Sky. Many of the rooms have good views of well known attractions Big Ben and the London Eye and the hotel has its own gym and restaurant and also offers - believe it or not - free local calls as well as affordable phone prices per minute; something more hotels could do, surely. The Apex Temple Court Hotel joins the existing Apex London Wall Hotel and Apex City of London Hotel bringing th e total number of Apex hotels in London, all within the EC area, to three. Book the Apex Temple Court Hotel.
28 May 2012
163-173 Knightsbridge, Knightsbridge, London, SW7 1DW
Tube: Knightsbridge Station
Legendary Italian jeweller Bulgari is to open an exclusive boutique hotel in London on the site of the former Normandie Hotel in Knightsbridge, overlooking Knightsbridge Green. Following the same - very stylish - lines as the original Bulgari hotel in Milan, the 78-room London hotel which will be run by Ritz-Carlton, promises to be a luxury affair, complete with private holistic spa, swimming pool and hydrotherapy steam rooms. Legendary designer Antonio Citterio, responsible for the Milan hotel, has come up with the interior design for the guest rooms at the Knightsbridge hotel, while architects Squire and Partners are responsible for delivery of the project. Silver is a central theme of the design, drawing on Bulgari's history with silversmiths and jewellery, and the theme influences the design of all the public spaces and bedrooms. The hotel also includes six luxury apartments, a restaurant at lower ground level with a sweeping staircase supported by a silver lit balustrade, a lounge, bar and spirit room. If that wasn't enough there's also a ballroom, private members club, business centre and meeting rooms - including a 50-seat screening room. The Bulgari joins a growing number of designer brands expanding into lifestyle hotels - Versace, Ferragamo, Christian Lacroix, Giorgio Armani, Moschino and Missoni to name a few - but Bulgari is the first to open in London, and it promises to be a jewel.
18 June 2012
39 Dorset Square, Marylebone, London, NW1 6QN
London's boutique hotel sector is set to double in size between 2011 and 2013 and Tim and Kit Kemp have done more than their fair share to help make that happen. With their Firmdale group they own six boutique hotels in London and are about to add to that with two new openings in 2012 and 2013. In June 2012 the Kemps will re-launch their original London hotel, the Dorset Square Hotel which was sold in 2002. In the intervening ten years the hotel design duo have been through several hotel openings, including a trip to New York to open the Crosby Street Hotel, and now the Kemps are returning to the Regency townhouse where it all began. Set in a quiet Marylebone square, the new-look 38-room Dorest Square Hotel promises a different style from the country house makeover it was given under their previous ownership. "The new design will show how Kit's style has evolved in recent years and will be more in line with some of our other hotels, such as the Haymarket," according to director of marketing and PR at Firmdale, Craig Markham. The Dorset Square Hotel will be Firmdale's seventh London venue along with the Haymarket Hotel, The Soho Hotel, Covent Garden Hotel, Charlotte Street Hotel, Number Sixteen, and the Knightsbridge Hotel. But that's not all, in 2013 we can look forward to a new flagship hotel in Soho's Ham Yard set to include 24 apartments and 12 retail stores as well as a 90-bedroom hotel with restaurant, bar, 120-seat cinema and bowling alley.
15th July 2012
336-337 The Strand, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 1HA
Spanish hotel operator Sol Melia is making a grand entrance to the UK hotel scene with its new Sir Norman Foster designed ME London hotel. ME London is Foster + Partners' first UK hotel project and for a firm of architects more used to designing striking buildings like 'The Gherkin', the glass ceilinged Great Court at the British Museum and Beijing Airport, it's no surprise that they were given a landmark building to work with. The triangular site on Aldwych crescent was formally the Gaiety Theatre and then the first home of the BBC in 1922. Now on the spot where the historic BBC Marconi building used to be we will have a cutting-edge and contemporary hotel with its 157 rooms and suites firmly aimed at the luxury end of the market. For those who take luxury seriously, the Suite ME is the only room to check into, with two floors in the turret of the building and access to the roof terrace. There's also the Radio rooftop terrace bar which offers 180 degree panoramic views of London, a champagne bar on the first floor as well as the ground floor Marconi hotel lobby bar and STK restaurant, a screening room and event space. The ME chain has four hotels - two in Spain in Madrid and Barcelona, and two in Mexico, in Cabo and in Cancun - soon to be added to by two further properties in Vienna, Austria, and with this London hotel in a landmark location.
4th July 2012
20 Lavington Street, Bankside, London, SE1 0NZ
Tube: Southwark Station
Its first foray into the UK hotel market was with its hotel in Glasgow, Scotland, which opened in September 2010 and now citizenM, the 'affordable boutique' hotel brand, arrives in London in July 2012 with citizenM London Bankside, the first of three hotels planned for the UK captial. The 192-room Bankside hotel, close to the Tate Modern, is soon to be joined by sister hotels citizenM Tower of London on Tower Hill and citizenM London St Paul's close to St Paul's Cathedral due to open in 2013 and 2014, respectively. CitizenM, a Dutch company chaired by the former owner and founder of the Mexx International fashion company, Rattan Chadha, aims to "create a luxury contemporary hotel for the cost conscious traveller" and includes stylish Vitra furniture in its hotel lobbies. The rooms maybe compact but they come with wall-to-wall windows, superking-size beds, rain showers, designer furniture, LCD TV screens with free movies, global plug sockets and complimentary WiFi internet access. You also get a 24 hour express check-in and check-out service, soundproof and non-smoking rooms, facilities for disabled guests, safety deposit boxes, heating and air conditioning, luggage storage, closet space, fridge in the room, 24 hour canteenM food and drinks as well as a cocktail bar.
10 Harrington Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 3ER
Tube: South Kensington Station
Occupying an 1888 building in South Kensington The Ampersand Hotel offers 111 luxury rooms and suites, a bar, restaurant and drawing room. The fourth and fifth floor suites of this boutique hotel deserve special mention for their views over the London skyline which can be appreciated through floor-to-ceiling windows and from private balconies. They also come with kitchenette, king-size bed and a separate sitting room as well as built-in TVs in the bathrooms. Amenities in all rooms include 24-hour room service, LCD TVs with movies on demand, complimentary WiFi, a media hub, mini bar, laptop safe, air-conditioning, an iPod dock, Nespresso coffee machine andcomplimentary tea-making facilities. A short walk from the hotel are some of London's top visitor attractions - the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum, and the Natural History Museum among them - and the hotel's designers have taken inspiration from them. A Mediterranean menu is on offer at Apero, under the Victorian cellar arches, while in The Drawing Rooms there's an all-day coffee, patisserie and light bite menu featuring French-inspired tartelettes, edible cocktails, charcuterie and salads. The ground floor space is dedicated to health and fitness with treadmill, bike, free weights and crosstrainer.
68 Regent Street, Soho, London, W1B 4DY
Artists such as Augustus John, James McNeill Whistler and Aubrey Beardsley dined there and, most famously, Oscar Wilde held court there, but now the Royal Cafe is to be turned into a 160-bedroom five star hotel. The new Cafe Royal Hotel is part of The Quadrant development which takes in the Cafe Royal, Regent Palace Hotel and Quadrant Arcade blocks and transforms them into a mixed-use development. That's a massive 93,000 square metre (one million square feet) area in a prime Regent Street location overlooking Piccadilly Circus. Small wonder it has been described as the "most ambitious development ever undertaken on Regent Street". Plans for the Cafe Royal Hotel put forward by David Chipperfield Architects involve the retention of existing Grade I listed Louis XVI interiors, including the famous Grill Room, the marble Entrance Hall, and Domino Room. In addition, the original - previously obscured - Ten Room is to be reworked as a new double height foyer on Air Street. Five other historic rooms will be converted into large VIP suites, including one beneath the copper dome at the apex of Piccadilly Circus and Glasshouse Street, with views of Big Ben and St James's Park. As befits its five-star status, the new state of the art Cafe Royal Hotel will include a spa, gym and restaurant. We think Oscar would have approved.
3-4 South Place, City, London, EC2M 2QD
D&D London, the restaurant group which bought out the Conran empire - and now runs a clutch of top London eateries including Le Pont de la Tour, Bluebird and Le Coq d'Argent - is taking its first foray into hotels with South Place Hotel, an 80-bedroom design-led hotel near Liverpool Street Station, in the City of London. In keeping with the calibre of the restaurants it owns, D&D is going for the luxury end of the market with this hotel which has been designed by award-winning architects Allies & Morrison. D&D's longterm associates Conran and Partners will design the hotel's interior. Facilities are to include private dining, conference facilities, restaurants and bars with an 80-person brasserie and bar on the ground floor offering indoor and outdoor dining as well as a 7th floor rooftop restaurant with an outdoor terrace and views over the City skyline. South Place Hotel is located behind Finsbury Circus close to near Liverpool Street Station and is due to be completed in summer 2012 in time for the London Olympics.
Piccadilly, St James's, London, W1J 9EY
London is to get its very own Japanese style 'pod' hotel in the city's well known Trocadero Centre in the heart of the perennially busy Piccadilly area which will open in time for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Thankfully the Trocadero's Grade II listed facades will remain but behind the 350 year old frontage 495 windowless bedrooms, each measuring between (a tiny) 12 and 17 metres square, will be arranged around internal courtyards. French hotel group Accor beat off stiff competition to turn part of the central London landmark, close to Leicester Square, into a hotel. Somehow they're going to squeeze in a double bed, en suite bathroom and 42-inch plasma TV in each room. Described as "emulating those of a luxury cruise ship", the rooms have been designed by Dexter Moren Associates who have previously designed hotels for Travelodge, Hilton and Intercontinental. For this new design they have taken inspiration from the miniature products like the iPod and smart car to make the most of the latest technical innovations. Centrally located - it doesn't get much more 'in the heart of London' than this - the Trocadero 'Pod' Hotel will feed demand for much needed budget accommodation. And if the very thought of "windowless cabins" makes you claustrophobic you can always get a breath of fresh air at the rooftop bar and restaurant planned for the eighth floor.
11 Knightsbridge, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7QS
Tube: Knightsbridge Station
Knightsbridge is due to get another luxury hotel to add to its already rich selection of five-star accommodation but The Wellesley is offering something rather unique: at this townhouse hotel all the rooms are suites. The luxury 36-suite property, billed as 'London's first six star' hotel, will open in November 2012 in a prime location in Knightsbridge with views over Hyde Park - where the well known Pizza on the Park used to be - and pride of place within the all-suite property will be given to the largest suite in London, boasting four bedrooms and a private lift. The £36 million project will transform the six floor townhouse into exclusive accommodation with interiors designed by Fox Linton paying homage to the building's 1920s art deco history. Facilities include the 28-seat Opal restaurant, serving Italian cuisine, and the Crystal bar, where live jazz will be a regular feature while The Cigar Terraces will include the UK's largest bespoke humidor. Rubbing shoulders with The Lanesborough Hotel, The Wellesley will hope to attract a similar clientele of well groomed international travellers who insist on the highest standards.
3 Dean Farrar Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9JY
Tube: St James's Park Station
Following a legal dispute delays have slowed the progress of the new InterContinental London Westminster hotel near New Scotland Yard. But though ownership may have changed work is still underway with an opening date of November 2012, a year later than originally thought, now looking likely. Taking over from the disolved Splendid Hotel Group, Supreme Hotels is undertaking the £20 million transformation of the site on Broadway on Westminster - formerly home of the government's Treasury solicitor - into a new five-star hotel. The new six-storey hotel close to St James's Park, designed by Dexter Moran Associates, will occupy the prestigious Queen Anne's Chambers site, originally built in the 18th century as a hospital but currently used as office space with retail outlets on the ground floor. Soon, a luxury 254-room hotel will emerge in their place, the conversion retaining much of the original facades fronting onto 22-30 Broadway, 37-45 Tothill Street and 1-3 Dean Farrar Street. Inside will be a bar and restaurant, conference facilities, luxury suites and bedrooms arranged around four distinct wings. The InterContinental Westminster will be the second London hotel from the luxury brand of the InterContinental Hotels Group which also owns the budget Holiday Inn brand, boutique Indigo hotels, and the Crowne Plaza chain. The new hotel joins the existing InterContinental London Park Lane which opened in 1975.
20th June 2013
IN THIS ARTICLE
Apex Temple Court Hotel
Bulgari Hotel London
Dorset Square Hotel
ME by Melia London
The Ampersand Hotel
Cafe Royal Hotel
South Place Hotel
Trocadero 'Pod' Hotel
InterContinental London Westminster
New Hotels in London
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