New London HotelsMarch 15, 2010 By: Jena Tesse Fox Travel Agent
Georgian features highlight the room decor at The Arch London
London is charging headfirst into 2012, building new hotels and updating some classics just in time to handle the influx of visitors the city will see for the next summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. If your clients are considering a London visit this year, next year or in 2012, here are some hotels worth keeping in mind.
Returning from Renovations
First and foremost on everyone’s radar, of course, is the iconic and luxe Savoy Hotel in Westminster, which will reopen in the later half of this year as a Fairmont property after a $156 million restoration. The refurbishment is reportedly the most expensive in London’s history, and encompasses the entire building—from the courtyard and famed American Bar to the public areas and 268 guest rooms.
Designer Yves Rochon, who has worked on the George V in Paris and the Hermitage in Monaco, is overseeing the renovation. This includes the addition of a new two-bedroom Royal Suite, complete remodeling of the legendary River Restaurant and the relaunch of the 58 River Suites with their iconic views over the River Thames.
In addition, The Savoy Grill will return again under the operation of Gordon Ramsay Holdings. New to the hotel will be The Beaufort Bar and Savoy Tea Shop, the first a new venue for champagne and cocktails and the latter a bijou teashop selling Savoy-branded tea products, patisserie and other goodies. Within the Thames Foyer, a winter garden gazebo will be covered by an ornate glass dome (perfect for afternoon tea). There will be a contemporary, glass- enclosed fitness gallery and rooftop swimming pool—one of only two in the city. Room rates at The Savoy will start from around $546 per room per night, and the hotel will take reservations three months prior to reopening. Contact Director of Sales and Marketing Julian Haddon (011-44-207-420-2553, email@example.com) with queries.
In Piccadilly, The Athenaeum’s recent $11 million makeover was very much an “inside-out” job. All 111 guest rooms, 12 suites and public areas have been reimagined by Martin Hulbert, design director of Fox Linton Associates, and a new vertical garden on the outside of the building lends a fresh look to the 1950s-style structure. All suites and guest rooms overlooking Green Park now have floor-to-ceiling windows and Juliet balconies. Travelers with green thumbs will love the “living wall” of 260 plants and flowers that climbs 10 stories up the building exterior (designed by botanist Patrick Blanc), while parents will appreciate the hotel’s dedicated kid’s concierge. (The 34 apartments in the Victorian townhouse abutting the hotel on its side street were redesigned prior to the Hulbert restoration.) Contact Sales Manager Stephen Fox (011-44-207-499-3464, firstname.lastname@example.org) for special requests.
The Great Northern Hotel at King’s Cross Central is scheduled to reopen as a luxury boutique hotel in late 2011—just in time for the Olympics. Oxford Hotels will be the development manager. The hotel, which first opened in 1854, sits at the southern end of the 67-acre site and is close to both King’s Cross station and St. Pancras International, with connections to mainland Europe and the rest of the UK.
In Mayfair, the Four Seasons Hotel London is undergoing major renovations, and will reopen by year-end.