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London boutique hotels round-up – August 2012.
The Olympics and the Jubilee may be done and dusted and the festive season is still some considerable way off, but there’s still plenty going on in London’s boutique hotel scene as our latest news summary below proves.
In fact according to Hotel Industry Magazine, the boutique hotel sector is a key area of growth to watch in London and beyond during 2013. In London, boutique hotels remain the fastest growing part of the wider hotel industry, and it has been predicted by consulting firm HVS that the boutique sector in the capital will have doubled between 2011 and 2013.
One clear barometer of the buoyancy of London’s boutique hotels at the moment is Firmdale Hotel Group. The company has seven stylish properties in London (including The Soho Hotel, Covent Garden Hotel and Dorset Square Hotel) and one in New York and recently announced record revenues of almost £74.4m for the year to January 2012. This was a substantial increase in revenues of 7.1%.
Another sign of the good health of London’s boutique hotel sector is the regularity with which new properties continue to open. One recent addition is the Adria Hotel, which is the first hotel opened by Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels outside of Qatar. The relatively small property has 24 rooms and is located in a former Victorian townhouse in Kensington.
Another fresh opening is the Ampersand Hotel, which is welcoming its first guests. Also located in Kensington and within a building with a Victorian heritage, the Ampersand will add another 111 rooms to the growing boutique sector. As with many boutique properties, the hotel has taken inspiration from its surroundings by incorporating design elements from the many nearby museums into its guest room designs and interiors.
In the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games, many upcoming hotels strove to open their doors in time for the lighting of the torch. Some made it, some didn’t, and one of the latter is ME by Melia’s first London property. After having its opening delayed several times, ME London is now slated to accept its first guests on September 27th.
London’s more established boutique hotels meanwhile are continuing to innovate to attract guests and provide that extra character that is an integral part of the boutique experience. The Montague on the Gardens luxury boutique hotel for example has got its next exclusive cigar dinner planned for September 11th. Taking place in the hotel’s Cigar Terrace, the luxurious dinner will include three Cuban cigars, a special master class on how to roll them, champagne, canapés, a five-course dinner and an assortment of wines, at a cost of £130 a head.
There’s also still plenty of time to take advantage of the Red Carnation hotel group’s Jubilee-inspired Royal Day Out package. Running until October 7th, guests at all of the group’s London properties have the opportunity to enjoy a trip to Buckingham Palace including the Royal Mews, the Queen’s Gallery and The State Rooms as part of their stay.
Over at the W Leicester Square, the hotel is reaffirming its claim as one of the chicest and trendiest of London’s boutique properties by teaming up with Vamp London. The jewellery brand will showcase its unique ranges at the hotel, including its latest Vamp Mesh line of bracelets.
According to the Telegraph, Hotel 41 is ‘the place to go’ if you want to take your pet with you. The author of the article was impressed by the hotel’s pet concierge and welcome hampers. The Milestone Hotel also got a mention for its ‘Very Important Pet’ package.
Over at the Egerton House luxury Knightsbridge hotel, head barman Antonio Pizutto has been sharing his cocktail secrets with the Herald Sun. “One is not enough, two is about right… three is too much,” confided Pizutto, of his shaken not stirred Martini popularised by none other than super-spy James Bond – and also sampled by London Hotels Insight.
Keeping with the cocktails theme, several London hotels succeeded in winning awards at the 2012 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards. One of these was London’s very own Zetter Townhouse, whose Cocktail Lounge took the prestigious title of ‘World’s Best New Cocktail Bar’.
Meanwhile Bruno Loubet, head chef of the restaurant at sister hotel The Zetter, will be joining forces with Jamie Oliver and other top chefs at The Big Feastival at the start of September. The Big Feastival is a two day celebration of food and music organised by Oliver and hosted by Blur Guitarist Alex James on his farm in the Cotswolds. Loubet will be showcasing his culinary talents and showing festival goers how it’s done with demonstrations and workshops at the event’s ‘Big Kitchen’ alongside Oliver, Valentine Warner, Gennaro Contaldo and Simon Rogan.
Finally, a big happy birthday to 45 Park Lane, which opened a year ago on September 1st 2011. To celebrate, the hotel is launching a number of new features for guests, including its Brush with Frieze package, which includes two day tickets and return transfer to the Frieze Art Fair (10th-14th October), as well as a special Thanksgiving Feast later in the year.
Photo credits: cloudzilla, Soho Hotel, Ampersand Hotel, Montague on the Gardens, W London, Egerton House Hotel, Zetter Townhouse.