Despite COVID-19 (coronavirus), the London luxury hotel scene is preparing for better times ahead with several swanky new hotels quietly opening this fall in Covent Garden, Marylebone, Mayfair and Victoria. Here’s the scoop on what’s new to book.
The Guardsman Buckingham Gate and Middle Eight Hotel
Shiva Hotels, which currently owns and operates 2,000 hotel rooms in London, primarily under Hilton brands, has branched out by developing two luxury hotels scheduled to open in October.
Just a short walk from Buckingham Palace, The Guardsman Buckingham Gate has 53 rooms, plus six residences for longer stays. Designed by Dexter Moren Associates (The Curtain Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard), expect luxe finishes and quiet spaces for entertaining and solid green cred as the property will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. The residences are meant to feel like swanky pied-a-terres, with a choice of one, two and three bedrooms, along with sumptuous living rooms, dining areas and fully fitted kitchens. Top digs: The Astor penthouse, which has three bedrooms, plus a wraparound terrace overlooking Victoria, a private chef and 24-hour concierge. The hotel has a private restaurant, the Dining Room, that will only be open to hotel residents and their guests, catering to their whims, open at any hours guests demand.
The Middle Eight Hotel
Convenient to theaters, shopping and many offices, including the newly developed Centre Point, the new Middle Eight Hotel in Covent Garden, will have 180 guestrooms, including 12 suites, and several bars and restaurants. Taking its name from the musical term “middle eight,” a type of musical interlude that differs in character from a song’s melody and is used to inject variety through change, the hotel plans to work the same way, enhancing the Covent Garden area with its luxurious and modern accommodations, while still holding strong to the heritage and character of the neighborhood. Vibrant restaurants and bars are planned to draw in locals; on offer will be American-Italian fare at Sycamore Vino Cucina, and downstairs will be QT, a live performance space and nightclub. Top digs:
The One Bedroom Luxury Suites, which have separate sitting and dining areas, large bathrooms with marble freestanding tubs, several of the suites have fireplaces and private terraces.
The Mayfair Townhouse
(Opening November 2, 2020)
Exciting entrant is The Mayfair Townhouse, the latest and fifth luxe property from Iconic Hotels, the company behind England’s posh Cliveden House and Chewton Glen. Perfect for literary lovers, the new 172-room hotel is an amalgamation of 15 connected Georgian buildings that line picturesque Half Moon Street, the setting for Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” as well as the home of P. G. Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster, the central character of the iconic “Jeeves” series.
Capturing the playful spirit of these infamous fictional aristocrats, designer Goddard Littlefair (responsible for the latest incarnation of Gleneagles in Scotland) has overseen an imaginative revival of the townhouses, blending the Georgian-era spirit with a contemporary feel, to create a “new era of the Dandy.” Think: Bold colors and quirky furnishings, dotted with unique artworks, such as a five-foot Clarita Brinkerhoff peacock sculpture made out of 25,000 Swarovski crystals. (Cool techie touch: There will be a QR code-led art tour explaining all hotel’s artworks on guests’ phones.) Lots of whimsy yet practicality will make its way through The Mayfair Townhouse’s individually designed 159 guestrooms and 13 suites—from the functional Classic Rooms, to the indoor-outdoor living Garden Suites with private patios and light-filled conservatories, to the top digs, three Penthouse Suites, which range from 500 to 800 square feet with views over Green Park.
For food and drink, there will be no traditional restaurant, rather a Library-esque work/chill space downstairs off the lobby, where guests can order food and hang out or hold informal meetings. The aptly named Dandy Bar will offer guests additional quiet refuge during the day and raucous fun into the night with a long list of bespoke cocktails. The prime location, just off Piccadilly, makes it easy for the hotel’s Les Clefs d’Or Concierges to offer access to Mayfair’s hottest dining, arrange arts excursions to The Royal Academy, auction houses Sotheby’s and Bonhams, or guided shopping at the historic Burlington Arcade, along Bond Street, and to Fortnum & Mason For VIP bookings contact, director of sales and marketing, Hubert Losguardi ([email protected]).
Nobu Hotel London Portman Square
(Opening November 9)
Nobu is bringing their Asian-influenced zen to trendy Marylebone with the opening of the Nobu Hotel London Portman Square. Of the 249 guestrooms and suites, many will offer views of the pretty Gerogian square; there will also be a Nobu restaurant and bar with an outdoor terrace, a 600-person capacity ballroom, five meetings and event spaces, plus gym and wellness facilities. The sleek minimalist design has been conceptualized by London-based architecture and interior design firm, David Collins Studio, in conjunction with Make Architect, who have collaborated to effortlessly blend modern luxury with minimalist Japanese tradition. Think: Lots of natural woods, neutral tones, smooth leather seating and cooling stone features. Top digs: The Nobu Penthouse, a 1,238-square-foot, two-bedroom suite, with a lounge, dining room and large terrace overlooking Portman Square. Also catching our fancy is the moody one-bedroom Zen Suite, with a sleek gas fireplace and gorgeous city views.
Marylebone is already home to everything from Michelin-star restaurants to casual café, making it one of London’s top areas for dining, so it is no surprise that Nobu closed one of their Mayfair spots to open here. The property is positioned well for shopping, just a few blocks from Selfridges and the mecca Oxford Street; plus, with the planned meeting and event spaces, business travelers will be well serviced. For questions and VIP Bookings, contact Sam Riches, director of sales and marketing [email protected]
Great Scotland Yard Hotel
Technically, the Great Scotland Yard Hotel opened last December, but it only welcomed guests for three months before the mandatory lockdown, making it “elementary” to mention this 152-room, five-star property that inhabits one of the most storied sites in Westminster, the original headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, which inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to create Sherlock Holmes.
Located near Parliament and Covent Garden, the striking hotel is the result of a complete refurb of the historic building, which now has 137 guestrooms and 15 suites, four restaurants and bars, a fitness center and meeting space. Food and beverage is overseen by beloved London chef Robin Gill, who’s deft hand with local and seasonal ingredients has won him critical acclaim. Don’t miss afternoon tea in the Parlour, which incorporates Indian flavors. Top digs: The 2,100-square-foot No. 1 Great Scotland Yard Townhouse, located adjacent to the hotel and spread over five stories with history-inspired decor with fun touches like wardrobes concealed behind faux bookcases. We also love the one-bedroom Sherlock Suite, with its gorgeous marble fireplace, which is the focal point of the living and dining area.