With the nights fast drawing in and London’s busy summer beginning to fade into memory, you might be forgiven for thinking that things are quietening down. But as our news roundup from the UK capital’s boutique hotel sector shows, that’s simply not the case… One Aldwych in Covent Garden launched its brand new guests-only lounge in September. Lounge at One is an elegantly-designed haven with modern decor, iPads for guests’ use, food and cocktails. It also has free WiFi unlike many other 5 star London hotels with hefty internet charges.
At the Montague on the Gardens (where national treasures Jonathan Ross and Stephen Fry were spotted in September) a favourite is returning. The 4 star boutique hotel announced that the Montague Ski Lodge will once again be taking over the hotel’s Wood Deck during the winter. From 21st November to the end of the year, guests can experience the magic of its winter wonderland, complete with snowmen, reindeer, festive afternoon tea and food and vodka tasting platters.
Christmas is also set to come to Kensington’s Milestone Hotel before long, with the 5 star hotel’s ‘Christmas Extravaganza Package’. The offer is available from 25th November to 4th January and includes three nights deluxe accommodation in a suite, an open-top horse and carriage ride, luxury chauffeur-driven Christmas shopping trips, two theatre tickets and a wealth of other tiny noticeable touches.
St Ermin’s Hotel has been doing something a little more summery recently – harvesting honey from its resident bees! The hotel has more than 200,000 bees living within six hives on the roof, all of whom have been very busy indeed. To celebrate, the hotel ran a series of honey-themed events throughout September including a special honey-based afternoon tea.
The Chesterfield Mayfair is moving with the seasons, and has just launched its Autumn Ala Carte menu, including Smoked Mallard Duck, which you can see a particularly tasty-looking example of on the hotel’s Facebook page. In October, the hotel’s Butlers Restaurant is also set to celebrate All Hallows Eve in style with a special Halloween menu on the 31st.
Keeping with the food theme, it’s going to be all change at The Baglioni in October, with the opening of the hotel’s Moreno restaurant. The restaurant, brainchild of Michelin-starred chef Moreno Cedroni, will open on October 22nd and feature a mix of traditional and contemporary Italian cuisine, including tempura of scallops in black squid ink and parmesan cheese tortellini. We are particularly intrigued to try Cedroni’s Italian take on sushi (known as “susci”) which has taken Rome by storm.
October also sees the launch of the Independent Hotel Show, taking place at the Olympia on the 16th and 17th of the month. The event will bring together owners and managers of boutique and luxury hotels with suppliers, designers and service providers.
Mid-October will also see a further increase in the number of boutique hotels in London. Hotel Xanadu will open in mid-October in the Ealing area and will add 48 rooms to the capital’s growing total. Speaking of the inspiration behind the hotel, owner Jalal Al-Yawer, an interior designer by trade, said: “I have been fascinated with Coleridge’s poem Xanadu – Kubla Khan ever since I came across it… and I am delighted that I have been able to capture the essence of this poem and transform it into a property which combines oriental and exotic elements with modern features”.
Work is set to begin on another new boutique hotel in October – the Bloc Hotel Gatwick. The plan is to convert a four-storey office building located at Gatwick’s South terminal, into a new boutique property with 245 rooms. It is set to be Bloc Hotels’ second “budget boutique” property and is expected to open its doors for the first time late next year.
From the soon-to-be-built to the recently-opened, D&D London (better known for their restaurants) opened their first hotel in early September- the South Place Hotel. It has 80 rooms, each with flatscreen TVs and individually chosen artwork. Interestingly, while the hotel is located in the City, its restaurant (3 South Place) is in neighbouring Islington.
Also opening in September was La Suite West – a new hotel by Meir Abutbul, owner of Blakes Hotel. La Suite West is located on the edge of Hyde Park, and consists of a number of refurbished townhouses. Designed by none other than Anouska Hempel, the hotel has a total of 80 rooms and a restaurant featuring international cuisine. It is also good to see that, unlike some larger luxury hotels, it offers guests free Wi-Fi as standard.
Photo credits: Baglioni London, One Aldwych, Montague on the Gardens Hotel, St Ermin’s Hotel.