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 – March 2012.
With winter rapidly becoming a distant memory and spring well and truly in the air for London’s big Olympic year, now is a great time to enjoy a stay at one of the UK capital’s world-class boutique hotels. March saw a number of interesting developments in the boutique hotel scene and April is looking set fair to be another corker.
The stylish Zetter hotel in Clerkenwell is offering guests a little something special at the start of April. From April 1st and running to April 9th, the hotel’s ‘Spring Fling’ offer includes a night’s accommodation, a full breakfast for two, 2 course set lunch/ dinner at the famous Bistrot Bruno Loubet, and some delicious miniature truffle eggs of the chocolate variety.
Meanwhile the Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street boutique Covent Garden hotel is providing some interesting theatre-related London hotel deals for anyone who loves showtime in the capital. Guests can save £40 on theatre tickets and receive 25% off a meal at the hotel’s restaurant.
In Kings Cross, a very exclusive yet not entirely luxurious hotel was opened briefly last month. ‘Hotel Alcatraz,’ as reported by London On The Inside, saw an attempt to recreate the conditions of the infamous US prison in a disused building on Field Street. Four ‘cells’ were available for booking for just four nights in mid-march. Each of the cells was decked out lavishly with bed, basin and toilet, and guests were given prison uniforms to wear for a truly authentic experience. The ‘hotel’ was intended to publicise new TV series Alcatraz and carries echoes of Rough Luxe.
Several boutique hotels featured in London Hotel Insight’s ‘Top 10 London Hotel Mascots’, including the Rubens at the Palace’s leopard, The Goring’s flock of wooden sheep, and Hotel 41’s teddy bears for adoption. All images can be seen on the London Hotels Insight Pinterest account.
The Milestone luxury hotel in Kensington was playing to a younger crowd recently, letting children get first-hand experience of cake decorating in the kitchen, as reviewed by Laura Porter who writes About London.
Red Carnation, the group behind Hotel 41, the Chesterfield Mayfair and a number of other boutique hotels in London, had special cause to celebrate recently. The company was ranked 71 in the Sunday Times 2012 list of the Top 100 Companies to Work For (mid-size category).
Guests of the Cadogan may be excused for not noticing the global financial crisis, as the hotel launched its new ‘Champagne Bath Menu’ in March. A simple yet unsurprisingly expensive concept, guests are being given the opportunity to bathe in a bath filled with 84 litres of champagne, with a choice of top vintages, including the ultra-expensive Dom Perignon Vintage. The bath is drawn by a butler, using an estimated 120 bottles. Prices range from £6,000- £25,000 and do not include a rubber duck.
Keeping up the opulent theme, the Andaz Liverpool Street is offering patrons of its special Jubilee Afternoon Tea the chance to win a pair of CARR diamond stud earrings worth more than a thousand pounds. The hotel will be having a series of monarch-themed afternoon teas to celebrate.
The hotel group behind the W Leicester Square Hotel has hinted that it plans to expand its W brand with more hotels in major European cities. Starwood’s president, Frits van Paasschen, told The Sunday Telegraph that the group hopes to emulate its New York success in London.
Anyone wanting a peek behind the scenes of a top London boutique hotel should check out the new Twitter account of Frank Laino, Concierge at The Stafford (@FranklyStafford). He will tweet his favourite insider tips.
Staff at The Athenaeum have special reason to celebrate as their afternoon tea was recently named the Top London Afternoon Tea 2012 by the UK Tea Guild. Head of the Tea Guild Irene Gorman commented that “the elegant surroundings make afternoon tea a memorable occasion and an experience to cherish, aided by delightfully friendly, efficient and knowledgeable staff.” London Hotels Insight bloggers had a chance to attend and review an excellent pudding party at the same hotel.
Also on the shortlist and presented with ‘Awards of Excellence’ for their afternoon teas, were The Goring, The Milestone and The Montague on The Gardens among others. London Hotels Insight also published pics of a similar selection of the best London hotel afternoon teas as this most English of traditions continued to boom across the city’s hotels.
Finally, the big talk in London’s boutique hotel scene during April and May will undoubtedly be the impending touchdown of the Boutique Hotel Summit 2012 in Westminster. The two day event is due to take place on May 21st and 22nd at Altitude London, right by the Thames. As Europe’s only event of its kind for those working in and with the boutique hotel industry, the event is sure to draw in big names from far and wide.
Now in its second year, the event will bring together hotel owners and developers, suppliers, designers, travel agents and others to network, share knowledge and debate the hot issues. The summit will feature a range of networking opportunities and conference sessions, including recently-added offerings focusing on the role of General Managers, and how hotels can make the most out their spa and wellness facilities.
Photo credits: Montague on the Gardens, Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street Hotel, Laterooms.com (Hotel Alcatraz photo), Milestone Hotel, Andaz Hotel, Stafford Hotel, Athenaeum Hotel.
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