Having passed the midway point of 2017, it’s time to take stock of London’s hotel news. We’ve noted before that the city’s development has kept up following the Olympic Games – now incredibly just over half a decade ago – and this recap shows there is no sign things will change in the years ahead.
We take a look at what’s arrived over the last months, what’s (likely) still to come before the end of the year, and some of what to look forward to from 2018 onwards.
Just 100 rooms include 11 suites on the first floors of the building (higher up are private residences and the members’ club in collaboration with Chateau Latour); other highlights are the underground spa with pool, Mei Ume for Chinese/Japanese cuisine and La Dame de Pic, the restaurant by three-Michelin star chef Anne-Sophie Pic, which has received rave reviews.
Shoreditch saw not one but two major openings this spring. Michael Achenbaum’s The Curtain Hotel and Members Club arrived with 120 rooms and suites, Red Rooster and Tienda Roosteria, and members- and guests-only Moroccan-inspired rooftop pool and lounge.
A little further west, Nobu Shoreditch wedged itself into a narrow plot on Willow Street behind The Hoxton Hotel, bringing 156 industrial-meets-Japanese-zen rooms and suites, and of course a Nobu restaurant.
Speaking of major openings, The Ned – the much-anticipated City venture of Soho House & Co – landed inside the Lutyens’ designed Midland Bank on Poultry, showing just how spending £200m on 317,000 square feet resulted in 252 rooms and suites, nine restaurants, six private event spaces, spa, gym and members’ club. You can read a review here.
Far smaller is The Henrietta Hotel, at just 18 rooms on the street of the same name that runs southwest of Covent Garden. A ‘Bed & Beverage’ from Experimental Group, it is a sister hotel of the Grand Pigalle in Paris (where another hotel by the group is in the works). The ground floor has a restaurant run by chef Ollie Dabbous.
The first Moxy hotel – part of the lifestyle ‘budget-chic’ brand in the Marriott portfolio – in London opened in the cluster of hotels in between the ExCel Exhibition Centre and London City Airport.
It brings 164 rooms and downstairs ‘Living Room’ with 24/7 self-service dining concept; additional hotels in Stratford (east London) and at Heathrow Airport are listed to open this year as well.
Hidden away in the former St. Olave’s Grammar School behind the vast One Tower Bridge apartment complex, The Lalit was originally on our 2016 list of openings. It was not to be, but the 70 rooms and suites, Baluchi restaurant in the bright blue-ceilinged former Great Hall, as well as a bar, outdoor terrace and Rejuve spa can now be sampled as the first UK venture of Indian group Lalit Hotels.
Across the river, next to Aldgate station, Dorsett City became the second Dorsett hotel in London (the first is out west within the former Shepherd’s Bush pavilion). It has 267 rooms and suites, restaurants Shikumen and VQ (Vingt-Quatre), and will add a rooftop in September.
A brand-new addition – the ribbon was cut mere weeks ago – is The Mandrake, a 34-room independent hotel behind Oxford Street, a few blocks from The London Edition.
Its promise of ‘eclectic’ interiors certainly seems to come through in the first pictures (see above), with, among other things, a penthouse with a bed ‘encased in white Veronese bookended marble’. The restaurant is the London outpost of Hong Kong venture Serge et le Phoque, serving ‘progressive’ French cuisine.
Meanwhile, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park continues its comprehensive renovation, now almost a year into its projected 18-month duration.
A total of 181 rooms and suites are being overhauled under the guidance of designer Joyce Wang, while Adam D. Tihany is responsible for two new penthouses with terraces overlooking Hyde Park. A new lobby and reception – up the stairs behind the main entrance and to the left, before the entrance to The Rosebery lounge – was completed earlier this year.
Still to come before the year is out
Due to arrive any moment is Victory House, London Leicester Square, MGallery by Sofitel. That’s a mouthful for the 86-bedroom hotel on the northside of Leicester Square, a few doors east of the W Leicester Square.
Another 580+ rooms are planned by Accor in an Ibis Styles hotel inside the Trocadero complex next to Piccadilly Circus, but that will be more of a wait – before that is a reality there are 196 rooms opening under the brand at Canning Town, in east London, in November.
This autumn will also see the reopening of the Royal Lancaster London, following a complete overhaul to celebrate its 50th birthday. Changes include updated rooms and suites (411 in total), new entrance façade and lobby and public spaces on the ground floor.
Now accepting reservations from late November is The Principal London, the rebirth of the 1898 Hotel Russell, and part of the new Principal brand backed by Starwood Capital Group (also behind eco-friendly 1 Hotels).
Other properties in the UK include Edinburgh, Manchester, and York at the moment, with a second property in Edinburgh and hotels in Birmingham and Liverpool to follow. In the capital, the 334 rooms and suites are by Tara Bernerd & Partners and the ground floor will feature the restored Palm Court.
Interesting properties for the future
Sometime around summer next year, Standard Hotels – now without hotelier André Balazs – will bring The Standard London with roughly 250 rooms to a former Camden Council building in King’s Cross.
Construction is in full swing, with glass stories on top of the existing concrete structure (where we can only imagine there will be a restaurant/bar) in a marked contrast with the Gothic Revival Renaissance St. Pancras hotel across the street.
Sloane Square should have two newcomers to welcome, one north and one immediately south of the square. Dating back to 1887, Belmond Cadogan will have been at the receiving end of $48 million during its long closure, taking room count down to 54 rooms and adding a new restaurant on Sloane Street. Slightly smaller is Hotel Costes, at 40 rooms in a former apartment building on Sloane Gardens.
We’d expect there to be progress for the 125-room Park Regis Shoreditch as well, making it three hotels in a row with neighbours Nobu Shoreditch and The Hoxton Shoreditch.
The team behind South Kensington’s Ampersand Hotel is working on Vintry & Mercer, a 92-room hotel with Mediterranean restaurant, cocktail bar, and rooftop terrace (only a block away from what could become The Westin London).
Due to open on Minories – close to the Dorsett City hotel and Aldgate station – is Canopy by Hilton London City, part of Hilton’s lifestyle brand and currently only to be found in Reykjavik.
Perhaps we’ll learn something definitive about the Jacques Garcia project L’Oscar Holborn, inside a Grade-II listed former Baptist Church headquarters and chapel, or about The Great Scotland Yard Hotel in the former Ministry of Defence building south of Trafalgar Square. The behemoth Cumberland hotel at Marble Arch (with no less than 900 rooms) may become the Hard Rock Hotel.
The Z Hotels will add two more of its affordable hotels in 2018: Z West Soho and Z Covent Garden. Rooms at comparable properties like the existing Z Soho (just off of Old Compton Street) and Z Piccadilly start at £60/£70 (entry-level categories tend to be cabins without windows).
Work has picked up on The Hoxton Southwark, with the first signs announcing the hotel having gone up around the site on Blackfriars Road. It is the group’s third London hotel and first south of the river (Paris is this year’s addition to the brand’s international expansion, with Williamsburg in New York to come). It will be closer to the end of the decade before the hotel is done judging by how far things still have to come.
Likely beating it to completion is the hotel portion of One Blackfriars, a block away. Originally designed to be Jumeirah Beetham Tower with a hotel and hotel residences, the main structure – at 50 stories – is now fully residential, but a secondary building next door will be a 161-room ‘boutique’ hotel.
Also close to the Thames, and with a unique view of the Battersea Power Station, will be Art’otel Battersea. Designed by Foster & Partners, it’s due in 2019 with around 160 rooms and rooftop bar and pool. Perhaps at some point that will be followed by the long-stalled Art’otel Shoreditch east of Old Street roundabout.
Speaking of Battersea and all that is being developed in the Nine Elms area, that will include a 188-room Wanda Vista Hotel, part of the Chinese group’s international expansion that includes Sydney, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Looking into the next decade, there is the Pan Pacific London inside the 43-story Heron Tower at Liverpool Street – now complete with signs but still little in the way of above-ground progress. In Knightsbridge, the building behind The Lanesborough that needs to make way for The Peninsula London (above a rendering of the hotel) is coming down fast.
Once the American Embassy has moved to its new Battersea location, the 1950s Eero Saarinen-designed building facing Grosvenor Square will become a 137-room hotel. There are plenty of rumours about the brand that will put its name on the Grade-II listed façade, but nothing official yet. Only in London could that be not the only possible hotel news for the same square, with a potential project for an office building and a second structure just behind it to become a 36-room hotel with brasserie and private members’ club.
Equally without a confirmed name is the hotel inside Admiralty Arch, due to have 100 rooms and suites – along with private residences – with head-on views of Buckingham Palace down the Mall. In contrast, the future of the Old War Office building in Whitehall comes with a little more detail: it will become a 125-room Raffles hotel and 88 private residences.
And there is more. Citizen M should complete its aggressive expansion, going from its one Bankside hotel to now three (adding Shoreditch and Tower of London), with a fourth hotel near St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Holborn Viaduct.
Robert de Niro has plans for an 83-room hotel just east of Covent Garden called The Wellington, where work seems to now have started. Perhaps the Royal Horseguards Hotel will become Clermont London one day (though Clermont Singapore has been reflagged as a Sofitel, and the brand’s website is no longer).
What once was Swissotel The Howard will find a replacement in the Arundel Great Court development facing the Thames near Somerset House.
The list goes on – suffice to say that London will see plenty of hotel news for the foreseeable future.
Paul J. DeVries