News

First look: Intercontinental Westminster

13 Nov 2012 by BusinessTraveller

The second Intercontinental property in the capital is set to soft-open at the end of this month before having its official launch in February, and Business Traveller was welcomed onsite for a tour.

As previously reported (see online news June 8), the 256-room hotel is housed in the restored Queen Anne’s Chamber on Broadway, opposite St James’s Park station.

The bright lobby and lounge is neoclassical in design, with a glass ceiling in reception and marble flooring and columns.

The reception area will feature a life-size bronze sculpture of a working man climbing a ladder while carrying a hod that holds the Houses of Parliament – inspired by the idea that while people can rise from humble beginnings, power can corrupt.

It’s one of several artworks due to be installed that will offer a satirical slant on the property’s Westminster location. Others will include a giant canvas featuring all 650 members of the House, and caricatures of political figures such as Boris Johnson, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Behind the lobby lounge is Emmeline’s, a reservation-only champagne and cocktail bar that will have “a whimsical, feminine” feel, according to a hotel spokesperson.

This is in contrast to the main restaurant and adjoining bar, Blue Boar, which is more masculine in design, with wooden panelling, exposed brickwork, dark leather banquettes and its own street entrance.

The spokesperson said the public spaces had been designed so guests could choose to “see or be seen”, with a mixture of open and more discreet seating.

Blue Boar will be a smokehouse restaurant led by executive chef Jon Ingram and serving “British comfort food with a twist”, using charcoal and smoking ovens. It has two private dining spaces.

The bar will feature a gin wall including rare and vintage English gins. It will serve local cask ales and will also have an oyster bar.

The lower ground floor is home to the property’s meeting facilities, comprising the Whitehall suite, which has a capacity of 300 people reception-style and is divisible by four, and three smaller rooms.

Guestrooms come in Classic (from 25 sqm), Superior (from 28 sqm), Executive (from 30 sqm), Studio suite (from 36 sqm), one-bedroom suite (from 46 sqm) and Penthouse (113 sqm) categories.

They feature neutral colour schemes, free wifi, high-tech TVs, media hubs, air conditioning, Nespresso machines, Hypnos beds, and marble bathrooms with separate tubs and showers and Bose speakers.

Guests in Executive rooms and suites can access the second-floor Club lounge (pictured above), which will offer complimentary breakfast, all-day drinks and snacks, evening alcoholic drinks and canapés, and meeting room and business centre facilities.

Visit ichotelsgroup.com for more information.

Report by Michelle Mannion

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