Following an unusually cold start to spring, London has veered from being warmer than Los Angeles to feeling more like October than May and back again. Whether a summer of (hotel) rooftops is ahead or a hotel bar to cosy up in is needed, we take a look at new hotels the British capital has on offer and what openings are on the horizon the next few years.
Last time we talked about London hotels, the city had just welcomed a range of big projects – from Four Seasons Hotel at Trinity Square and Nobu Shoreditch to The Curtain Hotel and Members Club and The Ned (also a hotel and members club).
Staying in that same bracket, Soho House Group marched on from The Ned and opened White City House at the old Television Centre in West London. There are just 45 bedrooms (from Tiny to Big) along with the social spaces you’d expect and a rooftop pool to match.
Budget-chic brands and their mix of small rooms with high-quality fittings and lobby social spaces are not going anywhere. The first Moxy hotel opened in the cluster of hotels in between the ExCel Exhibition Centre and London City Airport; a second one is now available in Stratford, at the Olympic Park (there is also on available at Heathrow Airport).
Accor’s Ibis Styles opened in Canning Town – also east London – with a 580+ room hotel in the Trocadero complex at Piccadilly still a future project. Labelled as ‘lean’ luxury, Ruby Hotels is working on its first property on Lower Marsh (south of Waterloo station) called Ruby Lucy with 76 rooms. The Z Hotels lists a new Covent Garden hotel for this year (though mention of an additional West Soho property has disappeared for now).
It may have only just opened as The Principal London – the rebirth of the 1898 Hotel Russell following an extensive renovation – but with the news that InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has acquired 13 hotels under the Principal and De Vere brands, expect a reflag in the next few years. If we’d have to guess we’d say it will become a Kimpton Hotel, following the success in Amsterdam and alongside plans for Paris.
IHG also opened a Hotel Indigo on Leicester Square, where it’s surrounded by hotels, including the new Victory House, MGallery by Sofitel and an upcoming project from Radisson that will have a 350-room hotel and an Odeon cinema. Another Hotel Indigo will open in Aldgate later this year.
Long shrouded in secrecy, L’Oscar Holborn – midway between Rosewood London and The Hoxton Holborn – now has a website, and even more importantly, live reservations from June 11. With Jacques Garcia as its designer and headlines such as ‘Decadence by design’ and ‘Devoted to the divine’, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise rooms are bold, particularly those with bloodred walls and black and gold as a dominant colour theme.
Inside the former Baptist Church headquarters you’ll also find a restaurant (the Baptist Grill – occupying the former chapel) and a ground floor café and bar.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park is weeks away from completing its 18-month renovation, overhauling the entire hotel to include 181 rooms and suites – among which are two new penthouses with terraces overlooking Hyde Park by Adam D. Tihany. Meanwhile, the group announced it will open a second hotel in Mayfair in 2021: much smaller, at only 50 rooms, it will also offer 80 private residences on the northwest corner of Hanover Square.
We can’t see Rosewood Hotels opening its second London property any sooner than that, converting the Eero Saarinen-designed US Embassy on Grosvenor Square. Behind the Grade II listed façade will be 137 rooms and suites, no less than five restaurants, a spa, and a ballroom that will hold 1,000 people.
While the name may not suggest it, Vintry & Mercer also is a second act, from the people behind South Kensington’s The Ampersand Hotel. A new-build, it’s been slotted into a gap between two narrow streets in the City, with the name inspired by the historic trading guilds in the area (Vintry for wine merchants, Mercer for textile sellers).
With reservations opening this summer, it comes in at 92 rooms and suites, with an Asian tapas restaurant, a rooftop bar, and cocktail bar in the basement.
It won’t make a summer opening, but hopefully before the year is out we will welcome The Standard London to King’s Cross. Adding a glass structure on top of the concrete base, there will be around 250 rooms, as well as a signature restaurant and bar (taking full advantage of the views from on high) and if the renderings are to be believed, external lifts running up the side of the building to get you there.
Closed for a number of years now, we also still hope – as predicted on its website – that Belmond Cadogan will join us this side of January 1, reappearing after nearly $50 million of renovations. Set on Sloane Street facing a garden square, the building dating back to 1887 will have 54 rooms and a restaurant opening up to the outdoors.
We’re less sure the same will be true for Hotel Costes, at 40 rooms in a former apartment building on Sloane Gardens.
Where The LaLit London recently arrived in St. Olave’s Grammar School southwest of Tower Bridge, so is The Dixon due to open in the former 1906 Magistrates Court to the southeast. Part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, guests should start checking into its 193 rooms and suites from November. If the rendering of the lobby looks vaguely familiar, you may be thinking of the Old Street Courthouse Hotel – itself a former magistrates court and sibling to the Courthouse Hotel at the top of Carnaby Street.
Briefly said to become a W Hotel, then announced as a Steigenberger, the Great Scotland Yard Hotel will finally open in the last quarter of this year as part of Hyatt’s Unbound Collection with 153 rooms.
We included its Williamsburg property as an upcoming opening to watch in New York, but despite its ambitious plans in the States (there is Chicago, Los Angeles, and Portland too), The Hoxton Southwark will further expand the brand’s presence in its hometown. Floors are being added fast on Blackfriars Road, so perhaps it’ll still be this decade when the group’s third London hotel arrives.
Construction is in progress on The Peninsula London, facing Wellington Arch behind The Lanesborough. On the other side of Buckingham Palace, it is Waldorf Astoria in the end that will manage the 96-room hotel inside Admiralty Arch. Just as Peninsula and Waldorf Astoria, Raffles will offer private residences in addition to its hotel rooms (here 125 of them) in the Old War Office building in Whitehall.
Rising over on Liverpool Street is the Pan Pacific London, now also substantially visible above ground but still a way to go before its 43-story Heron Tower home is complete. Demolition crews have moved into the building Robert de Niro is planning to convert into The Wellington, an 83-room hotel east of Covent Garden.
Hilton will add a Canopy hotel in Aldgate and a Curio hotel (called The London Gantry) in Stratford, while the project opposite Tate Modern that could be the future Westin London is in full swing. And on it goes: there is rarely a dull moment in London hotels.
Paul J. DeVries