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London boutique hotels roundup – April 2015.

by Chris Glithero on April 30, 2015

spring

With summer on its way and the busy London tourist season in the offing, London’s boutique hotels will soon have their hands full. Here’s a roundup of the latest news as we prepare for a splash of London sunshine…

The Spanish booking website ByHours is now offering its services to hotel guests in the UK. The website enables you to book a hotel room by the hour instead of by night, in blocks of 3, 6 and 12 hours. The site offers approximately 1,500 hotels to choose from in Spain and currently has 25 London hotels signed up, including Threadneedles Hotel and H10 Waterloo.

If the site becomes as popular here as in its native Spain, we could see more London boutique hotels offering rooms for just a few hours at a time.

Justin Pinchbeck, the General Manager of the Berkeley Hotel, has recently been awarded the status of Master Innholder along with seven others.

Check rates at The Berkeley

marcus berkeley

The group of Master Innholders is less than 130 strong, and each person with the status is expected to conduct themselves with the highest levels of professionalism. Red Carnation’s Jonathan Raggett is the chairman of the Master Innholders and commented that he was, “proud to welcome these new Master Innholders who join an association which has the sole objective of promoting the highest professional standards in hotel management.”

It has been announced that the Lanesborough Hotel will be open for reservations from July 1st. The reopening follows almost two years of renovation work, and it is understood that the new configuration of the hotel will include 50 rooms and 43 suites. There will be seven different types of luxury suite, ranging from Junior to Royal Suite.

Nadler Hotels are to open a new hotel in London – their third in the capital. The Nadler Victoria will offer guests views over Buckingham Palace Road, and will have a total of 73 rooms. The hotel is expected to open later this year, and will continue the brand’s ‘no frills’ concept. Previous hotels opened by the growing group are the Nadler Soho, Nadler Kensington and Nadler Liverpool.

Check rates at the Nadler Soho

Nadler Soho

Further details have been revealed regarding the much anticipated Ten Trinity Square from Four Seasons. According to the official website, the hotel will open next year and feature a hundred guest rooms, accompanied by several restaurants, bars and a spa. The latter will be a huge 25,000 square feet and include a hammam, sauna and café. There will also be 41 permanent private residences in the hotel, with prices from £5-million each.

The Lancaster London paid homage to its Thai ownership in April by celebrating Songkran – the Thai New Year. To mark the occasion on April 13th, hotel staff wore traditional Thai clothes, while guests were offered a Nipa Thai Time package.

Indian-owned Bird Hospitality meanwhile is planning to acquire further properties in the UK. The group already owns London’s Park Hotel, and the company has now said that it wishes to expand in the UK hospitality market. It is likely that this will include London properties as well as others further afield.

Starwood Capital have recently sold the Ace Hotel Shoreditch for £150million, to Limulus Ltd.

Check rates at the Ace Hotel Shoreditch

Ace Hotel lobby bar

The hotel will however continue to be managed by the Ace Hotel Group, which was founded by the late Alex Calderwood. Starwood Capital’s Vice President Nick Chadwick told Boutique Hotel News, “we are thrilled that our ambitious vision for this hotel has come to fruition, and that we have been able to considerably enhance the value of this asset by positioning it to take advantage of the tremendous growth prospects of the Shoreditch Market.”

Starwood has big plans to reinvest its profits in the hotel market though, and has recently announced that it will spend as much as £100million in renovations on its UK-wide properties, which include the Hotel Russell in Bloomsbury. The group is planning to launch a new ‘urban lifestyle’ hotel brand in 2016 when the renovations are complete. The brand is yet to be named.

The W London installation of a ‘next generation’ photo booth in one of its public areas has apparently been a success, with more than 10,000 images being captured since its arrival earlier this year.

Check rates at the W London Leicester Square

w london room

The photo booth enables guests to have their picture taken and then share it on social media networks via the hotel’s own image hosting website.

Finally, Condé Nast Traveller has recently interviewed the General Manager of the Marylebone Hotel, Garreth Walsh and it’s head concierge, Rahim Ismail.

Topics covered include ‘How does a 257-room hotel create the “boutique vibe” it’s known for?’ and ‘what’s the craziest guest request you’ve ever fulfilled?’ In answering the latter, Ismail recounts a time in which a young man staying at the hotel wanted to propose to his girlfriend.

Illustrating the way in which London’ s head concierges sometime go above and beyond, he reveals that after helping the man pick out a ring, he convinced him not to propose at a local pub and instead arranged for the couple to go to Windsor Castle by helicopter. There in the grounds of the castle, after a sumptuous champagne afternoon tea, the guest popped the question.

We’ll have more boutique hotel news for you next month – stay tuned!

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Photo credits: Laszlo Ilyes, The Berkeley, The Nadler Soho, Ace Hotel Shoreditch, The W London.

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