Currently going through a ‘soft’ opening, the five-star Montcalm hotel is showing off after having had £38 million spent on it in an intensive refurbishment this year.
The Montcalm was acquired last year by the owners behind the three and four-star London hotel brand Shaftesbury Hotels. Formerly a Japan Airlines hotel, the Montcalm continues to be marketed through the Nikko sales and distribution system, and director of sales and marketing Declan Murphy estimated that Japanese guests would make up about 40 per cent of the guests, down from 60 per cent when the hotel was run by Nikko Hotels. The hotel is still catering for Japanese guests however, with a Japanese style breakfast, lunch and dinner options, amenities in the rooms and a good selection of whiskies in the hotel’s bar.
The hotel is currently awaiting the arrival of its general manager, Sabine Altschaeffl (who previously worked at Firmdale Hotels), and also the announcement of the Michelin-starred chef for its fine dining modern French restaurant, which is expected to open at the beginning of November. This weekend however the spa is opening, and with opening rates on the website starting at £175 and packages offering spa treatments and dinner in the hotel's other restaurant – Vetro - the Montcalm is proving immediately popular.
The hotel is located at 34-40 Great Cumberland Place in the centre of London, just above The Cumberland, a Guoman Hotel, and a few minutes walk north from Marble Arch and Oxford Street. Set back slightly from the street, the curving facade of the hotel is Grade-II-listed Georgian, and also includes the discreet West London Synagogue. The interior of the houses were removed when they were first converted into a hotel in the early 1970s, allowing a complete remodelling this year by the Manser Design Practice, also responsible for the Waldorf Hotel and the Radisson Blu Stansted Airport. The 153 rooms including 17 suites, the latter all with butler service, all have complimentary broadband, flatscreen LCD TVs, marble bathrooms, Elemis toiletries, and rain showers with Villroy Bosch vanity units. The Club Lounge is on the sixth floor while Barre Noire, the hotel’s bar, has separate street access as has the soon-to-be-opened 70-cover fine dining restaurant.
In other news, Shaftesbury Hotels is also taking over the ex GuestInvest properties, The Nest and The Jones, both of which are slated to open to the public in October, though neither is on the hotel booking system yet. The company has 17 other properties in London, mostly three and four star.
The Montcalm Hotel, 34 - 40 Great Cumberland Place, London, montcalm.co.uk
Report by Tom Otley