16 January 2015
London: the latest hotels
In recent months, there have been numerous hotels opening in the British capital. Whether it is the stylish boutique hotel, like The Chiltern Firehouse … or larger institutions, signed big names in design, such as The Mondrian and The London Edition, they all have one thing in common – to be placed at the forefront of excellence…
Inaugurated in June 2014 in a pedestrian square at the heart of London, just a stone’s throw from Picadilly, the Ham Yard is an “urban village”. Unusual, dressed up in elaborate colours, abundant in Art deco treasures, this spot exudes joy and makes you feel as if you have fallen through the looking glass! Kit Kemp, the designer, emphasises cosy British style interspersed with ethnic detail, giving it a graphic vibe. There are 91 bedrooms and suites, 24 apartments but also shops, a winter garden perfect for afternoon tea, an excellent restaurant whose prices remain reasonable (and one of London’s hidden gems!), a rooftop, a spa and, surprisingly, a bowling alley and nightclub!
1 Ham Yard London. Tel. : + 44 (0) 20 3642 2000.
After five years of renovations, the Café Royal has reopened its doors. Perfectly located on Picadilly Circus, the past few weeks have seen it become the latest place to be…This five-star spot entices amateur designs as well as those lovers of historical monuments: since 1865, the date of its opening, it has played host to Oscar Wilde, HG Wells, Churchill, Mick Jagger…just to name a few. The architects in charge of the renovation project have carefully maintained a perfect balance between the original style and modern design. This contrast is a well-established signature of the hotel, comprising of 159 rooms, where neutral tones of taupe, beige and white are rejuvenated by purple, yellow and pink, which explode on sofas and couches. Amongst the various restaurants, the favourite remains the famous Grill room, in a Louis XV-inspired style, loaded with mirrors and piously restored gildings. Royal? You said it yourself…
68 Regent Street London. Tel. : +44 (0)20 7406 3333.
Having opened on 30th September in the former Sea Containers House, a few minutes walk from the Tate Modern and within reach of the London Eye, the Mondrian presents an exquisite view from most of its 359 rooms. Designer Tom Dixon, paying tribute to the building’s former purpose by offering numerous marine details: even just stepping into the lobby, which boasts an enormous cobalt blue anchor chain sculpture, guests are welcomed beneath an immense copper vault, an image of the hull of a transatlantic passenger ship. The icing on the cake: the 4 lifts are decorated by life-size hologram characters, notably a cosmonaut clad Tom Dixon and the Rumpus room, an entirely windowed bar, position at the top of the hotel on the 12th floor: the view is spectacular and the Champagne menu to die for!
20 Upper Ground SE1. Tel. : +44 (0)20 7420 4963.
When André Balazs, hotel playboy (château Marmont, the Mercer, the Standard…) opted to open a hotel in London, he certainly sparked things off! Opened last September, in the middle of fashion week, in a former fire hall in Marylebone, boutique hotel Chiltern Firehouse caused a stir! The restaurant is frequented by celebrities such as Kate Moss and Hugh Jackson, and even Adele, Tony Blair and Orland Bloom…every starlet on the planet raves about the colourful haute cuisine concocted by Portuguese Michelin-star chef Nuno Mendes.
1 Chiltern street Londres. Tel. : + 44 (0)20 7073 7676.
A stone’s throw from prime shopping spots Regent Street, Oxford Street and the theatres of Soho and Covent Garden…the London Edition deserves a second look. Ian Schrager, the world’s trendiest hotel guru, has given the place the full measure of his art! Behind the extremely aristocratic façade of this Victorian building, seamlessly get to the heart of the hotel. The enormous lobby, also acting as a bar, has 6m ceilings, dressed in original marble and vintage mirrors which works together with an ovoid foil ceiling light: a sublime combination of design and a classic 19th century style. In the restaurant, the Berner’s tavern boasts 185 works of art: photos and pictures of various sizes and styles. The 173 rooms and suites lead off from corridors designed in a semi monastic starkness, a surprise after the pomp of the ground floor!
London Edition, 10 Berners St. Tel. : + 44 20 77 81 00 00.
In the middle of Holborn, where the City meets the West End, the 5-star Rosewood boasts 262 rooms and 44 suites designed by Tony Chi. He retains the essential elements of this Edwardian structure, such as the wrought-iron gates, the interior courtyard the glass dome and monumental marble staircase…The designer’s touches establish themselves in the lobby: the area is surrounded by enormous transparent floor-to-ceiling windows, like curio closets. These conceal a range of precious and equally unusual objects! The Rosewood also strives to be a place for foodies. The enormous Holborn dining room that overlooks the street offers diners a ‘brasserie’ experience. For a more sophisticated atmosphere, try the Mirror Room where, before sitting down for dinner, marvel at the bevelled mirror covered walls. Check out the delicatessen that adjoins the restaurant, which offers the best of British gastronomy, from jams to cheeses…the best bit? The 1900m2 pharaonic suite, the largest in all of Europe! Home sweet home…
252 High Holborn, Londres. Tel. : +44 20 7781 8888
The Shard glistens like a sliver of glass as the tallest building in the United Kingdom. Work of architect Renzo Piano, it peaks at 304m and houses luxury apartments, offices and the Shangri La Hotel. Inaugurated several months ago, this five-star hotel has taken over the 34th to 52nd floors! It goes without saying that the view is spectacular: the London Bridge below looks like part of a mécano set! Each of the bedrooms boasts large bay windows, for those desperate not to miss one bit of the show-stopping spectacle that unfolds before the eyes of the hotel guests. One amusing detail: a pair of binoculars is available in every room! On 35th floor is the Ting restaurant where the cuisine blends very European notes mixed with an Asian influence as prove the signature dishes: Scottish scallops served with carrots, ginger and a light yuzu sauce…And Gong, perched on the 52nd floor, is the highest bar in London…
31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1. Tel. : + 44 20 7234 8000