Note: the article below was published in 2012. We’ve since posted an up-to-date rundown of new London hotels in 2013.
To say that 2012 is a big year for London is perhaps an understatement.
The Olympic Games are of course at the forefront of many people’s minds, but that’s not the only event which will make 2012 a special vintage for the UK capital. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations will bring an influx of extra visitors for the extended bank holiday weekend at the start of June and then of course there are the “usual suspects”…Wimbledon, the London Marathon, RHS Chelsea Flower Show – the list could go on and on.
The prospect of the Games has sent the hotel industry into overdrive over the past few years and this year will see the culmination, with many a new hotel opening in the UK capital in 2012. London Hotels Insight looks ahead to 10 of the most exciting hotel openings on the calendar…
10 Trinity Square
Situated by the Thames, this opening should interest anyone who believes hotels should have a touch of the grandiose to them and a dash of history.
10 Trinity Square is the former HQ of the Port of London Authority and was designed by Sir Edwin Cooper early in the 20th century. A central location right by the Tower of London will surely see this hotel become one of the city’s most sought after stays (though opening has now been delayed to well beyond 2012 – the best things in life come to those who wait!).
Summer 2012 Now scheduled for 2014
Apex Temple Court
London Hotels Insight has been closely monitoring Apex Hotels’ forthcoming addition to their growing portfolio located just off Fleet Street at 1-2 Sergeants’ Inn, in a historic building formerly owned by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. The hotel was due to open 1 April but will in fact open a month early. 184 luxury rooms will be accompanied by a spacious gym, the Chambers Restaurant & Bar and a stylish modern lounge. Free Wi-Fi (and cute ducks!) will be included as standard – hurrah!
Predicted opening: 1 March 2012We’re excited to see another free WiFi luxury hotel in the shape of Apex Temple Court
Tune Hotel Kings Cross
Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes not only has his own airline (Air Asia), F1 team (Team Lotus/ Caterham F1) and football club (QPR) but is also founder of a budget hotel chain – Tune Hotels, with a reputation for some of the best-run and cheapest hotels in London. Tune Kings Cross will open just a few months after Tune Liverpool Street and will no doubt prove a big hit among the hordes of cost-conscious travellers who transit through St Pancras station. The group will also open a Paddington hotel earlier in 2012. Tune Hotels established itself in the UK with one of the top-rated cheap Westminster hotels, as reviewed on this blog.
Predicted opening: July 2012Tune has a strong focus on customer satisfaction: guests are encouraged to fill out a feedback form in all hotels and improvements are quickly fed into new properties.
Bulgari Hotel and Residences
Currently under construction in Knightsbridge, Bulgari Hotel and Residences is the latest venture from luxury jewellery and fashion brand Bulgari. Early signs suggest that the hotel will also be the epitome of Italian style and class, with a touch of exclusivity and decadent indulgence. Expect Italian furniture and impeccable interiors, with luxurious comfort provided by a large spa, plush Italian restaurant and a cigar shop.
Predicted opening: April 2012The Bulgari Hotel is set to offer Designer style with a capital D
Me by Melia
Me by Melia is a chain with a growing number of ‘experience-based personality hotels’ in world-class cities, and soon London will become the latest destination to experience the brand’s unique personality. Located on the Strand, the hotel is designed by Norman Foster and promises 157 rooms, 18 suites, two restaurants and a rooftop bar with enviable views over the Thames and landmarks such as the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament. It will also be one of a growing number of new hotels to offer free WiFi to guests – and we hope a great Spanish restaurant too!
Predicted opening: 4 June 2012Me by Melia will have a rooftop bar with gorgeous views
South Place Hotel
South Place Hotel is the first foray into the hotel industry by restaurant operators D & D. In a central location close to Liverpool Street, the hotel is shaping up to be an ideal stay for business visitors, and of course for anyone with tickets to the Olympic Games. One of its main draws is likely to be its rooftop restaurant on the seventh floor, complete with outdoor terrace and some breathtaking views.
Predicted opening: Summer 2012The South Place Hotel’s location makes it ideal for business travellers
Located in classy Belgravia, US group Thompson Hotels say their new hotel addition on this side of the pond is a blend of “traditional British hospitality with an American Bohemian attitude” but disappointingly WiFi is not complimentary. A definite plus, however, is that the hotel’s 85 rooms are serviced by the Hix Belgravia restaurant from talented chef Mark Hix, with a mouthwatering menu inspired by flavours from around the world.
Has opened on: 1 February 2012The Belgraves promises traditional British hospitality with an American feel.
The Ampersand is situated on Harrington Road in South Kensington on premises originally built in 1888. According to its independent operators, the hotel is “one of London’s original Victorian Boutique hotels.” It will apparently take a large dash of design inspiration from the area’s many museums and will have 110 rooms, a bar, restaurant and patisserie. Read more about the Ampersand Hotel on the LondonOnTheInside blog.
Predicted opening: Summer 2012The Ampersand Hotel will be an authentic “Victorian boutique” hotel – intriguing
South Shoreditch will soon have a new landmark, in the form of the latest hotel opening from concept brand Art’otel. Original artwork by an as yet unnamed artist will be displayed throughout guest rooms and public areas of the hotel. 18 storeys tall, with 350 bedrooms, the hotel has been somewhat controversial amongst local residents due to its location on the old site of the beloved gallery and pub, The Foundry, but will no doubt make a significant mark on London’s hotel scene.
Predicted opening: Late 2012 / early 2013The Art’otel Hoxton will also feature an arts centre accessible to the public.
Cafe Royal Hotel
Located on Regent Street, the Cafe Royal has no shortage of history and was once a favourite dining venue of Oscar Wilde. Cafe Royal is now in being turned into an ultra-luxurious 5 star hotel. With 160 rooms, an indoor swimming pool, spa and other features, the hotel promises to be a firm favourite with the more well-heeled spectators of the 2012 Olympics.
Predicted opening: Summer 2012The famous site of the Cafe Royale is currently being turned into a luxury hotel that is very keenly anticipated thanks to the building’s rich past and amazing location.
Is it merely coincidence that so many of the above hotels are due to open on an unspecified date just before the Olympics? We see some stressful times ahead for the builders, architects, project managers and interior designers involved…watch this space to stay fully informed!
We also hope that we can add many of these new hotels throughout the year to our Squidoo lens listing free WiFi London hotels.
Photo credits: Me by Melia, 10 Trinity Square, Apex Temple Court Hotel, London Hotels Insight blogger Timea (Tune Hotels photo), Bulgari Hotel and Residences, Me by Melia, South Place Hotel, Belgraves, Ampersand Hotel, Art’otel Hoxton, Christine Matthews.