London Hotels Insight provides up-to-date, independent advice for your perfect stay in London. We research guest feedback, meet management and identify hotels at the top of their game.
London boutique hotels round-up – July 2011.
Welcome to the latest London Hotels Insight round-up from the thriving London boutique hotels scene. The city is home to some of the world’s best boutique hotels and this summary reviews the most recent news.
London is set to gain a new boutique hotel as planning permission has now been given for a property in Greenwich to be converted into a hotel. ‘The Greenwich’ is to occupy a currently derelict building originally built in the 1930’s which was once owned by the Metropolitan Police.
The Milestone Hotel – a luxury boutique hotel in Kensington – has been recognised by new niche luxury tour operator Chien Bleu, which describes itself as, “the UK’s first and only travel specialist devoted to fine accommodations truly welcoming to dogs.” Owner Erin Boyd and best friend Blue the Labrador were impressed by the 5 star hotel’s ‘Pampered Pet Package’, which includes special treats, grooming and even steak and Cumberland sausages for dogs. It is certainly cementing its standing as one of London’s most pet-friendly hotels.
The Milestone Hotel also recently received further recognition and was voted the best small city hotel in Europe by readers of Travel & Leisure magazine in its ‘World’s Best’ Awards. Two other London hotels also made the top ten – the Lanesborough and the Goring Hotel (the latter incidentally has mounted its own summer beach bar).
London’s first Boutique Hotel Summit was held at St Ermin’s Hotel in mid-June and the results are worth sharing here. Ten key trends for boutique hotels were identified: experience and integrity; clubs; caring for the environment; boutique goes budget; in-room technology; authenticity; variety; location, not brand; boutique B&B and lifestyle hotels.
The W London Leicester Square seems intent on proving itself to be about more than just rock and roll and celebrity parties. The hotel is opening a ‘(W)riters’ library’, stocked with books chosen by famous authors. 10 authors, including Brett Easton Ellis, Alex Preston and Naomi Alderman, were each asked to select ten books which meant something to them and to include a handwritten intro explaining the connection they feel to the book. The library will be open to both guests and the public.
Details have been released of the technological goodies which will be available at the Eccleston Square Hotel - one of the most keenly-anticipated new London hotels. Every guest will have their own iPad 2 in their room – also linked to room service. The rooms will contain 46-inch flatscreen plasma TV’s with 3D and HD capabilities and guests will have access to the hotel’s extensive collection of 3D movies on Blu-ray. The media lounge features a massive 103-inch 3D television. The hotel is scheduled to open on 1st August though it has already been delayed.
Following the sad news of singer Amy Winehouse’s death, celebrity journalist and friend Dean Piper wrote in the Daily Mirror about the first time he saw her perform as a virtual unknown in the bar of the Sanderson Hotel. “We were in a packed out bar at the Sanderson Hotel in London and Amy was belting out tracks from her first album Frank,” he recalls. “The crowd was ignoring her as she sang and she told them to ‘shut up and listen’. They didn’t listen. Little did we all know when her next album dropped the entire world would sit up and pay attention.”
Blakes Hotel – a celebrity-favourite boutique London hotel – played host to an exhibition by unconventional artist Zoobs, whose style is said to combine elements of fashion, art and graffiti. The artist’s work was displayed prominently in the hotel’s restaurant and lounge and on the terrace, while a graffitied London taxi was parked outside. Celebrities and socialites came out for the event, including X-Factor judge Louis Walsh.
Visitors to the Egerton House Hotel meanwhile will be able to enjoy art of a different kind at the London Design Festival hosted by the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum in September. The luxury boutique hotel in Knightsbridge is offering guests the chance to attend the event, which runs from September 17th to 25th, as part of its Art and Culture at the V&A package. The Egerton House is also on the shortlist of London hotels which display art.
Finally, London-centric boutique hotel chain Firmdale, whose hotels include the Charlotte Street Hotel and Covent Garden Hotel, has reported record profits for last year of almost £21m (from a loss the prior year). Turnover also showed a significant 28.5% increase on last year.
Photo credits: Eccleston Square Hotel, Sanderson Hotel, Egerton House Hotel, Milestone Hotel, W London Hotel.