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 – April 2012.
With the summer drawing near, not to mention the Olympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, these are exciting times for London boutique hotels and April certainly saw plenty of new developments.
With less than ninety days to go until all eyes turn to London for the Olympics, some hotels are still frantically putting the finishing touches on so that they’re ready in time to capitalise on the boom in trade. One of these is the CitizenM London Bankside, on Lavington Street, which itself is just one of four hotels opening within a 500 metre radius. The hotel will be the first of three CitizenMs due to open in London this year and the next. Like many modern boutiques, the focus will be firmly on ‘affordable luxury’, with more than a dash of unique charm and the slightly-odd-but-cool feel.Workers are adding the finishing touches to the CitizenM London Bankside Hotel, as you can see from the picture posted on the hotel group’s Facebook page
Established boutique group Firmdale are also on course to open their new (or should that be old) hotel in the capital before the Olympic opening ceremony, with the Dorset Square Hotel in Marylebone set to open on June 18th. The hotel was in fact Firmdale’s very first hotel, dating back to 1985 - but they sold it back in 2003 only to reacquire it last year. The hotel has since been closed during an extensive renovation.
Meanwhile, the owners of top dining establishment The Wolseley (recently given an award of excellence by the Tea Guild for one of the best London afternoon teas) have received £21m in funding to build a new luxury boutique hotel in Mayfair. The hotel is due to open in 2014 and will be called The Beaumont. The building is a former garage from the 1920s and is set to have 73 bedrooms and suites, with a distinctive art deco style.
Back in the present, The Milestone boutique Kensington hotel recently announced its ‘hidden gems’ offer to wow guests during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee month. From June 1st-30th guests will be able to enjoy two nights of luxury accommodation including full English breakfast, a special jubilee picnic in the park, an official gift commemorating the jubilee on checkout, and the chance to visit two royal palaces. As if that wasn’t enough, one guest will find a diamond necklace under their pillow on the Jubilee weekend, while five more will discover a semi-precious gemstone in a presentation box over the course of the month.In celebration of the Diamond Jubilee, The Milestone Hotel has introduced a special package that one lucky guest will never forget…
Not to be outdone, The Montague on the Gardens – a luxury 4 star hotel in bookish Bloomsbury – has got two patriotic special offers of its own this summer: the ‘Best of British on a plate’ and the ‘British Maiden Voyage’ packages, in celebration of both the Diamond Jubilee and 2012 Olympics.
First up is the ‘Best of British on a plate’ package, consisting of two nights luxury accommodation, a full English breakfast on both days, and a Best of British tasting menu (including classics like roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, mini fish and chips and potted shrimp). Even more special though is the Montague’s ‘British Maiden Voyage’ package, with a two night stay in the Guv’nor’s Suite, a Best of British Afternoon Tea, a Fortnum & Masons hamper, champagne, and a ride in a hot air balloon. Both offers run from the beginning of May to September 7th.
Base2Stay Kensington was one of only two London hotels to be shortlisted for the Green Tourism Awards to be held on the 25th May in Edinburgh (the other being The Lancaster). The “budget boutique” brand has been recognised for achievements in energy efficiency and eco-friendly policies, which include an impressive recycling rate of 80%, sensor-operated lights and encouraging guests to be green. Base2Stay adopts the same green philosophy in its Kensington and Liverpool hotels.Base2Stay has been shortlisted for the Green Tourism Awards for its energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly initiatives
Radisson Blu Edwardian also did their bit for the environment in April when they switched off public lighting in all their 5 and 4 star hotels in London for Earth Hour. The action was to help raise awareness of climate change and was the fourth year in a row the group has taken part.
Popular TV and radio presenter Zoe Ball recently revealed two of her favourite boutique hotels in London on the Daily Telegraph website. According to Ms. Ball, “If you’re looking for romance you won’t find many establishments finer than Dean Street Townhouse,” while The Charlotte Street Hotel is apparently “super stylish yet welcoming”.
Conde Nast Traveler meanwhile have issued their stamp of approval for the restored St Ermin’s Hotel, recently reviewed on London Hotels Insight, by including it in their ‘2012 Hot List’ of best new hotel openings in the world. The hotel’s General Manager, Douglas McHugh, said that, “with such phenomenal global competition the whole team at St Ermin’s is delighted to have received this prestigious recognition.”Conde Nast Traveller has chosen St Ermin’s Hotel as one of the best new hotel openings not only just in London, but in the world
Looking ahead to May, undoubtedly the biggest event of the month is the Boutique Hotel Summit 2012, at which top bods from all parts of the sector will be coming together to learn, debate and network. The unique event takes place on May 21-22 at Altitude London, and will feature a wide range of sessions. Gordon Campbell Gray (founder of One Aldwych) has been added to the event bill as Keynote Speaker.
Photo credits: Dorset Square Hotel, CitizenM Hotels Facebook page, Milestone Hotel, Base2Stay Kensington, London Hotels Insight blogger Jules.