Summer’s in full swing now and as hordes of tourists descend upon London to enjoy its many landmarks, museums and shopping opportunities, staff at the capital’s boutique hotels are hard at work behind the scenes.
Here we take a look at the latest comings and goings in the sector, and look ahead at things to come.
Many London boutique hotels are keen to inspire guests with a touch of art, with Andaz Liverpool Street’s Room with a View and Brown’s London Art Weekend being just two popular examples. Now The Cumberland Hotel has decided to express itself artistically, with the introduction of something special.
A series of artists are set to create new paintings live in front of the hotel’s guest, with the first being Gregory Burns.
Check rates at The Cumberland
The hotel’s accompanying ‘Art-full’ package includes guided art walks, a meeting with the artist, and specially created ‘art packs’. The art initiative will be taking place until late August.
Summer is a time for festivals, and for an expensive city like London, it’s great to see so many free festivals taking place. Here on London Hotels Insight we took a look at ‘London’s best free summer festivals and where to stay’ recently. They included Tune Canary Wharf for the Canary Wharf Jazz Festival, The Mondrian at Sea Containers for the Mint Street Music Festival, and the Church Street Hotel for Camberwell Fair.
And if you are heading to Canary Wharf, Tune Hotels have featured the area’s stunning architecture on their blog.
The Lanesborough reopened after a lengthy refurbishment at the start of July. Now part of the Oetker Collection, the hotel has been closed since 2013 and has been completely redesigned by interior designer Alberto Pinto. He took the building’s roots in the Regency period as his inspiration for the 93 guest rooms and public areas, with the Celeste restaurant (formerly Apsleys) also having undergone restoration work.
The Telegraph took a look at the ‘Top 10 Boutique Hotels in London’ in July. Included in the list is Hazlitt’s in Soho, whose rooms the paper describes as being ‘delightfully different from those in most London hotels’.
Check rates at Hazlitt’s
It also included the Zetter Townhouse, described as ‘a friendly escape amid the venerable and village-like streets of Clerkenwell’. Also featured is the Rookery in Smithfield, with its ‘open fires, sumptuous Georgian detailing, wonky floors and bulging bookshelves’.
Tube strikes were a major source of upset for commuters and tourists alike in July, but the Daily Mail took an uncharacteristically optimistic mood to the strike in an article entitled ‘Don’t let the Tube strike derail your mood… The London hotel deals that’ll transform your evening from hellish to heavenly.’
The paper suggested that, “instead of battling onto buses or sitting in a taxi in gridlocked traffic, why not take the opportunity to relax at a hotel instead?” Included in its suggested hotels for this relaxing diversion were The Langham, St Ermin’s Hotel and The Nadler in Kensington.
Summer is a time for enjoying a cocktail in the sun, and the Eccleston Square Hotel is encouraging guests and visitors to pop along and indulge themselves.
Check rates at Eccleston Square Hotel
The hotel is offering a surprisingly generous offer, in which guests can get a half-price cocktail for as little as £4.95. The offer is valid between Monday to Saturday, between the hours of 5PM and 8PM.
One of London’s most luxurious and innovative hotels on the Thames has recently joined a rewards program which will enable members to redeem reward points at the hotel, and earn them during their stay. The Sunborn London Yacht Hotel is now a part of the L.E. Hotels Rewards loyalty scheme. As well as earning and spending loyalty points, guests can take advantage of special privileges like priority check-in and complimentary nights.
A completely different kind of water-borne hotel meanwhile opened its doors in July, with Bert’s Barges opening on the Regent’s Canal in Hackney.
The barge boat in question is sumptuously decorated by interior designers Bert & May and features a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and living area. Bookings are hard to come by, but they are planning to launch further London barge hotels, including in Little Venice near Paddington.
Finally, with boutique hotels in London being far from the cheapest holiday option, it’s always nice to hear a story about a hotel that goes the extra mile to provide value for their guests. According to July Buckley of Hotel Chatter, ‘it’s time to add another London hotel to the amazing, out of the ordinary service list: The Mandeville.’
The writer says that when she and her mother went in for a quick tea and enquired about an ‘off-menu’ light bite, the waiter offered her a choice of any sandwich from the afternoon tea selection. Not only were they served a substantial poached salmon sandwich, this was provided on the house.
As Buckley says, “London, you may have the most expensive hotels in Europe, but at least you’ve got some gems working in them.”
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Photo credits: Le Meridian Piccadilly, The Cumberland, Hazlitt’s, Eccleston Square Hotel, Bert’s Barges.