London gears up for five-star openings

9 Jul 2010 by BusinessTraveller

A raft of five-star hotels are set to open in the capital over the next six months, including properties by Von Essen, Corinthia and W Hotels, and the reopening of The Savoy and the Four Seasons on Park Lane.

Business Traveller makes no guarantees that the opening dates given below will be rigidly stuck to – it’s well documented that The Savoy’s relaunch has been delayed several times due to the extensive refurbishment works being undertaken, and the W London - Leicester Square recently pushed back its opening to Valentine’s Day next year. But the hotels listed are now at an advanced enough stage that any delays should be relatively minor.

Hotel Verta

Luxury hotel group Von Essen is due to unveil its first London property on September 12, with the 70-room Hotel Verta located within the London Heliport complex, and billed as “the first integrated hotel heliport solution in Europe”. 

Hotel Verta will be the first new-build property for the group, and also the first London hotel by the brand. The property is part of the Bridges Wharf Battersea development next to the River Thames, and features Patrisey Restaurant with views of the river from its outdoor terrace, as well as Vertilon bar and lounge, and a dedicated conference and events level with capacity for up to 200 delegates and panoramic views of the Thames.

Spa Verta will offer treatments using Anne Semoinin products, and will feature “an innovative hydro-vitality pool consisting of air loungers, air seat, standing air station and two neck massage stations”, as well as a sanarium, heated lounges, steam room, sauna, gym, four therapy rooms, and a grooming room.

In keeping with the hotel’s connection with the London Heliport, the design is “inspired by the Halcyon days of aviation”, with a double-height lobby and sweeping staircase. The closest station to the property is Clapham Junction (around 15 minutes walk), and the hotel will offer a shuttle service to and from the station, as well as shuttle transfers to London Victoria “at regular intervals” throughout the day.

For more information visit

The Savoy

We’ve almost lost count of the number of times the reopening of The Savoy has been delayed, with management company Fairmont Hotels and Resorts citing the poor condition of the hotel’s services infrastructure and the discovery of original design elements among other factors.

However the hotel has now set an opening date of October 10, 2010 (10/10/10) for the unveiling of the multi-million pound restoration programme, with reservations due to open next month and rates starting at “around £350”.

Located on the Strand, the iconic London hotel closed in December 2007 for an extensive restoration project encompassing the entire building, from the entrance and public areas, to all 268 rooms and suites, and the hotel’s bars and restaurants.

Among the new features will include interiors by Pierre Yves Rochon, the reintroduction of a winter garden gazebo in the lobby, the remodelling of River Restaurant, a new Art Deco bar going by the name of Beaumont Bar, the relaunch of all rooms and suites, and the addition of a two-bedroom Royal suite.

For more information visit

Four Seasons Hotel London

Closed for refurbishment in September 2008, the Four Seasons Hotel London is currently due to reopen in December complete with a brand new all-glass top floor, housing a luxury 697sqm spa with 360 degree views of the capital. 

There will be nine treatment rooms including a double suite overlooking Hyde Park, and each with floor-to-ceiling windows and individual relaxation pods. The spa facilities will also include male and female saunas and a rooftop fitness centre.

The hotel’s revamped interiors have been designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, responsible for Four Seasons projects in Paris, Florence, Geneva and Washington DC, and the "new" property will feature 192 rooms including 45 one, two and three-bed suites, some with fireplaces and private terraces.

There will be three as-yet-unnamed food and beverage venues on the ground floor, including a restaurant with alfresco dining in a triangular garden overlooking Hyde Park, a bar featuring a glass wall of wine bottles, and a lounge with a two-storey fireplace. The hotel’s meeting and conference rooms will offer 800sqm of function space, including a 353sqm ballroom.

For more information visit

The Corinthia Hotel London

Corinthia Hotels is to open a five-star flagship property on London’s Whitehall Place early next year, with average room sizes of 45sqm, and a spa and wellness centre over four floors.

The 294-room Corinthia Hotel London will be the first property for the group in the capital, and will be located within a Victorian building close to Trafalgar Square, dating back to the late 19th century and formerly housing the Metropole Hotel. 

Features will include British grill and seafood restaurants, a restored Victorian ballroom and adjacent Court Room, and seven duplex suites within the building’s turrets with views of the River Thames and Trafalgar Square.

The ESPA Life at Corinthia spa facility will be one of the largest in London according to the group, with four floors including treatment rooms, an indoor pool and a fitness centre.

For more information visit

W London – Leicester Square

The first foray into the UK market for Starwood’s trendy W Hotels brand, this hotel recently pushed back its opening until Valentine’s Day 2011. The property is located on the corner of Leicester Square on the site of the former Swiss Centre, and will feature 192 rooms and ten two-level luxury residences.

Business Traveller had a hard hat tour of the property at the end of 2009, where Starwood unveiled design concepts including a huge disco ball in the hotel’s bar, and a multi-coloured interactive façade – for more information click here.

Other features will include nine suites, two WOW Suites and one Extreme WOW Suite , as well as a spa, fitness centre, “world-class destination restaurant”, and W’s Living Room concept, where guests are invited to “mix, mingle and relax in a stylish social atmosphere”.

For more information visit

Mark Caswell

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