With the summer just round the corner as we’re about to enter May, London’s boutique hotel scene is hotting up for another bumper season and it’s time to take a look at the latest goings on.
For many, boutique hotels are a chance to experience luxury within intimate and unique surroundings. But one London hotel is teaming up with a homeless charity to offer the less fortunate a chance to get some work experience. Andaz Liverpool Street is working with Providence Row to provide catering experience at the hotel to a number of applicants. The hotel will also carry out several cooking workshops at the charity.
The Goring had reason to celebrate in April after winning the Tea Guild’s prestigious Top London Afternoon Tea Award. A number of boutique hotels also received ‘Awards of Excellence’ for their luxury afternoon teas, including the Capital Hotel and the Montague on the Gardens.
The Goring has also launched a new spring package in conjunction with Fortnum & Mason. The deal includes one night’s accommodation for two with full English breakfast and a special Fortnum & Mason Spring hamper.
St Ermin’s is known for doing all it can to bring guests a unique experience and is now doing so by offering its own distinctive coffee blend. The St Ermin’s Westminster Blend was created by a specialist company with input from the hotel’s chef using ethically-sourced Arabica beans.
Today many boutique hotels are tapping into the power of social media and in April The Beaufort fully illustrated that power. Their online competition offered a luxury night for two plus a Harrods voucher, and all entrants had to do was follow the hotel’s Twitter account and retweet the competition. The results speak for themselves – the hotel went from 436 followers at the start to around 1500 by the close a week later. The project was conceived and managed by marketing agency PP Limited.
Reality TV is another modern trend that some hotels have been taking advantage of. The Milestone has a new staff member, Georgia Warner, who won the Channel 4 programme The Intern. The show, fronted by entrepreneur Hilary Devey, saw three young contestants compete at the 5 star boutique hotel over the course of a week for the chance to work there. You can read an interview with Georgia on the Red Carnation blog.
Staying with the TV theme, the iconic BBC Television Centre, is set to be transformed into a boutique hotel. After the sale of the building to developer Stanhope, Television Centre is set to become a mixed use area featuring a boutique hotel and apartments.
Base2Stay meanwhile is soon to open a new Soho hotel (planned façade shown below). The hotel also accompanies a name change for the brand which will now be known as Nadler Hotels. The Nadler Soho is set to open in late May and will feature 78 guest rooms.
Dulwich is also set to gain a boutique hotel, with the announcement that The Crown & Greyhound will be converted. The Dulwich Estate which owns the property said that lack of existing hotels in the area was a key factor for the decision. Turley Associates who are developing the property told Boutique Hotel News that the hotel would be a “modern interpretation of the arts and crafts style of the building.”
There’s no denying that London’s boutique hotel scene is going from strength to strength, and this is something that Forbes has been examining in detail. The article, which you can read in full at Forbes online ponders that, “perhaps the best years for this boutique streak still lie firmly ahead.”
In May the movers and shakers of the boutique hotel scene will congregate in London at the Montcalm in Marble Arch for the Boutique Hotel Summit 2013. The summit takes place on 22-23rd May, and will give hoteliers and others involved in the sector the chance to network and learn about the latest trends from a variety of top speakers.
Stylotel near Paddington Station meanwhile has made it onto USA Today’s list of ’10 great stylish European lodgings for less than 125 Euros a night’. According to the publication, the hotel has “traded in London’s all-too-familiar chintz for a sleek, space age look… you feel like you’re going to be beamed up to your room.”
Finally, Business Insider was similarly impressed by the budget boutique property CitizenM Bankside. They were particularly wowed by the technological aspect of the hotel, including electronic check in. “We were blown away by the tablet-controlled room,” said the publication. Each room at the hotel has a Samsung Galaxy tablet which can be used to control the light and other in-room elements. “We don’t know how we’ll go back to a room where you actually have to get up to do things,” concluded BI.
That completes our boutique hotels round-up for April – stay tuned to our blog in May for the latest news and developments!
Photo credits: tejvanphotos, The Goring Hotel, St Ermin’s Hotel, The Milestone Hotel, Nadler Hotels, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, CitizenM.