Hyatt has opened the first property under its new luxury hotel brand, Andaz, in London.
Formerly the Hyatt-owned Great Eastern at Liverpool Street station, the 267-room hotel has undergone a refurbishment since May this year and has been rebranded as the group’s first Andaz.
The Grade II Listed building has remained structurally the same after the £70 million renovations but the interior has been redesigned and includes pieces by local artists as well as designer furniture and sculptures throughout.
The Andaz hotels are branded as “five-star luxury-boutique” (in this case “big boutique”), much like the group’s Park Hyatt offering. Tristan Dowell of Andaz Liverpool Street says: “Park Hyatt is boutique, but Andaz is luxury too, and young at heart. Andaz is very independent. It’s all about personal style.”
The brand aims to take away the traditional barriers between guest and staff. For example, the hotel lobby is now referred to as a “living room” and instead of a reception desk guests are approached by staff equipped with tablet PCs who can check them in as they go up to their rooms, or while they sit on the sofa with a free drink. There are no reception staff, managers or concierges, as all members of staff are trained for all roles, to give each guest a more personalised service.
There are seven room categories, from single rooms to suites, and all rooms include iPod docking stations (you can borrow an iPod if you forget yours), air conditioning, free minibars stocked with locally-sourced organic fruit juices and water, bath products by REN, free wifi, umbrellas and hairdryers. Tea and coffee-making facilities are to be introduced next year.
For meetings there are 14 spaces including the Andaz Studio, which was formerly the private members’ Gee Club. The Andaz Studio is a private dining space where guests can choose menu combinations from any of the hotel’s five restaurants: Miyako (sushi), Aurora (fine-dining), Catch (seafood), Eastway (bistro) and pub fare from the George.
Dowell says that the hotel restaurants are popular with locals and workers in the city who make up 40 per cent of the diners. Business Traveller had a taste of all the hotel’s restaurant offerings at the launch last week, including fantastic sushi, oysters and mushroom risotto with truffle shavings, and a range of cheese and wine.
Room rates include traditional “extras” such as full English breakfast, internet access, healthy minibar items, local telephone calls, laundry (as much as you can fit in the bag) and pressing, as well as blockbuster movies.
But for business travellers on a flying visit who just want a room and internet access, room rates will stay the same with all the extras.
Weekday prices for single rooms are from £395, or £435 for an Andaz King, but these prices fall at the weekend to £120 and £160 respectively.
The next three Andaz properties will launch in New York and Austin, Texas. The two New York properties will be at 75 Wall Street, which is set to open early 2009, and 485 Fifth Avenue, which is expected to open towards the end of the same year. Andaz Austin will debut in 2010.
For more information visit london.liverpoolstreet.andaz.com.
Report by Felicity Cousins