Accommodation update - hotels that just opened, hotels that are about to open and refurbishments to swoon over
A digest of new and upcoming accommodation openings, plus refurbishments and extra hotel news
Ham Yard Hotel, London
Set on a three-quarter acre site in the heart of bustling Soho, a couple of blocks from Mayfair, the hotel revolves around a tree filled pedestrian thoroughfare connecting Great Windmill Street to Denman Street, opening up historic Ham Yard and Denman Place to the public for the first time since the 1960s. Its centrepiece is a specially commissioned large scale bronze sculpture by Tony Cragg. Tim and Kit Kemp, owners of Firmdale Hotels’, have designed Ham Yard Hotel with an ‘urban village’ feel. Alongside the hotel’s 90 individually designed bedrooms and suites will be 24 residential apartments, 13 individual specialist stores and an airy restaurant and bar with outdoor dining and drinking. As well as a sumptuous drawing room and library, the hotel has Firmdale’s first ‘Soholistic Spa’. There is a 176 seat state-of-the art theatre, several spacious private dining and event rooms and an original 1950s bowling alley imported from Texas, complete with bar and lounge. To top it off, hotel guests have access to a charming rooftop garden with sweeping views across the London skyline.
Generator London, London
Generator London is located in London’s Bloomsbury and first opened in 1995. Originally a police section house, the property features 872 beds across 212 rooms, including 20 new en-suite twins.
The impressive interiors ‘bring together London’s industrial past with the modern energy the city has today’. There’s a customised Generator piano in the café and a hand drawn map of London that decorates the travel shop.
There are chill-out areas with tiered lounge seating; a screening room with state of the art cinema screen; game tables and a café serving up freshly roasted coffee and artisan sandwiches. The bar hosts a programme of daily events for in house guests, is home to a replica Routemaster London bus and the lighting has been designed using recycled fire extinguishers.
Shangri-La at The Shard, London
Located in the tallest building in Western Europe on floors 34 to 52, Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London is the city’s first high-rise hotel. It offers views of London in every direction, overlooking landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The hotel is the first luxury property to open south of the River Thames.
Every one of the hotel’s 202 guestrooms and suites has a view, and the rooms are amongst the largest in London, averaging more than 42 square metres (452 square feet). They feature Chinese art reinterpreted in a modern, abstract way alongside a soothing colour scheme and mood lighting. All offer the exclusive “Shangri-La Bed” featuring patented body-contouring technology, marble-clad bathrooms with heated floors and Acqua di Parma amenities. Complimentary Internet access, one of Shangri-La’s signature offerings worldwide, is available throughout the hotel, and butler service is offered in all suites. The hotel’s Asian touches extend to its three wining and dining destinations: Tīng, Láng (and Gŏng. Gŏng is located on Level 52, which is also home to the 24-hour gym and London’s highest infinity pool, which will open this summer.
The Dog & Fox, Wimbledon, London
Gastropub The Dog & Fox, located in Wimbledon Village, has opened its luxury boutique hotel. Offering 17 rooms, including three feature rooms, the hotel is located next to the high-end shops and restaurants in the Village and is minutes from Wimbledon Common and the Lawn Tennis Championships. Each room features Hypnos beds, Algotherm toiletries, WiFi and Nespresso machines. The Fox Room is the hotel’s largest and comes with a four-poster bed and dressing area.
At the heart of the hotel is a neighbourhood gastropub (the hotel is soundproofed – guests won’t hear any noise coming from the pub or the street), and serves a menu using local and seasonal ingredients, as well as London craft beers and cask ales.
Wimbledon is a short commute into central London – 15 minutes by train or tube.
The Chelsea Harbour Hotel, London
The Chelsea Harbour Hotel, London’s only 5*, all-suite hotel is situated on the marina at Chelsea Harbour and has Thames views and access to key London attractions including shopping on the renowned and upmarket Kings Road. It is intended to be ‘an oasis in the bustling London metropolis’.
The development of the hotel’s name, branding and collateral reflect the theme of an ‘oasis in the city’ and the relaxation continues at the Blue Harbour Health Club and Spa. There’s The Harbour Bar for drinks, or dining at the Chelsea Riverside Brasserie, with great views across the marina.
2 Blackburne Terrace, Liverpool, England
Nestled in Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter, 2 Blackburne Terrace is a bed-and-breakfast in name only. The 3-bedroom Georgian house sits on a quiet leafy street, yet just a minute away from Hope Street – home to two cathedrals, some of the city’s best theatres and a host of acclaimed restaurants, not to mention the hub of Liverpool Biennial 2014.
Despite having all this on your doorstep, you may not want to leave your room. Every corner of the house has been considered with the greatest attention to detail, with fine antique furniture sitting alongside technological comforts – luxury in the heart of Liverpool’s cultural quarter.
Askham Hall, Cumbria, North West England
Set in the unspoilt Lowther valley in Cumbria, Askham Hall, which fully opened this spring, offers a new style of hotel for the lakes – more a restaurant with rooms in an outstanding historic building.
This project is the culmination of six years of work by Charlie Lowther, who grew up in Askham Hall. It follows his successful transformation of the George and Dragon country inn in nearby Clifton, which specialises in delicious produce from his farm, his family estate, woods and moors.
The antithesis of the traditional country house hotel found in the Lakes, Askham Hall is really a bohemian-style home from home with a wonderful vegetable patch, fields and ponds with animals, set right in the heart of a productive area for wild food, game and meat. The focus is on the connection between the kitchen, the seasons and the local ecosystem. Head chef is Richard Swale (la Maison de Marc Veyrat, Annecy, Noma, and a protégé of Anthony Demetre and John Burton Race). His menus are inspired by his time at Noma and la Maison, both of which are run by pioneers of finding delicate flavours from local wild herbs and plants and balancing them with the best meats and vegetables.
The creative, artistic and unpretentious style of the food is repeated in the style of the house. Open roaring fires, comfy sofas and intimate areas create a warm, relaxing and luxurious feel. Charming original features compliment stylish fittings and design. A small spa is also available to guests, which includes a Swedish sauna, an outdoor swimming pool and treatments.
Brooks Guesthouse, Bristol, South West England
On Sunday, 27th April a boutique guesthouse in Bristol placed four vintage Airstream-style caravans on its rooftop. Local crane company Kings of Bristol used a 100-foot crane to lift four caravans from St Nicholas Street onto the roof of Brooks Guesthouse, over the rooftop of several buildings. The caravans are British-made by Retro Rockets, a family-owned business based in Worcester, and are now open and offering visitors a unique experience. The stylish 23-bed Brooks Guesthouse has become an established hospitality business in the Old City, attracting corporate and leisure guests throughout the week.
THE PIG near Bath, South West England
THE PIG-near Bath, the Pig litter’s newest arrival, is now open. Formerly Hunstrete House Hotel, this Georgian House has been lovingly resorted in the same relaxed chic style that has become THE PIG’S signature. Alluring in the extreme, the greenhouse restaurant, a private room for dinners, a library and adjoining bar make up the downstairs areas for gathering and quaffing. The 24 bedrooms within the main house are spacious and comfortable complete with ‘larders’ for peckish people. A further five rooms are in the grounds and will be aptly named as the Gardener’s Cottage and the like.
Bedrooms are split into ‘snug’, ‘comfy’, ‘comfy luxe’, ‘big comfy luxe’ and ‘hideaways’. They’re super chic and comfy with free-standing baths in those that allow and/or shower rooms with Bramley bathroom products and a cosy, luxury feel. Each room’s larder has food sourced from local artisans who create goodies that guests will find hard to resist. The Hideaways cover two floors and come with wood burning stoves, large monsoon showers and freestanding baths. Pretty much all of the rooms overlook the deer park, a unique sight by any hotel’s standards.
For a slice of pampering or pummelling The Potting Sheds in the garden are two cosy ‘huts’ where guests can grab a massage, with Bamford products, and enjoy that unwinding process that THE PIGS are renowned for delivering.
Tommy Jacks, Bude, Cornwall, South West England
Opened this spring, Tommy Jacks is a fun place to stay in Cornwall, with a bar/aquarium downstairs and sea views in most of the rooms. There are colourful, educational displays about the Cornish seascape too, which makes it great for kids. The restaurant serves local seafood and has plans for a microbrewery.
Hotel du Vin, St Andrews, Scotland
Since the opening of its first hotel in Winchester, Hotel du Vin claims to have ‘created and defined the boutique experience in the UK’. Now, 20 years later, the group celebrates the past two decades with the opening of their 15th hotel on the iconic golf greens of St Andrews. On 1 April 2014 Hotel du Vin St Andrews became the first luxury hotel within St Andrews’ Old Town, perfectly positioned, just in time for the summer’s most prestigious golf tournaments. Dark leathers and subtle patterns adorn the 22 spacious bedrooms and the same custom-made, Egyptian cotton beds, flat screen TVs and Lavazza coffee machines that are expected of Hotel du Vin welcome guests in St Andrews. En suites, made even more special by Miller Harris exclusive ‘Terre du Vin’ products, feature large, monsoon showers while some boast the much-loved freestanding, roll top bathtubs.
Continuing the ‘restaurant with rooms’ concept, the heart of Hotel du Vin St Andrews will be its Bistro. Overlooking the crashing waves of St Andrews Bay, the Bistro will serve Hotel du Vin’s signature French-inspired menu for lunch and dinner with an emphasis on quality wine. An extensive list of Champagnes and wines will be carefully selected by Hotel du Vin St Andrews’ expert sommelier, and each will be closely matched with the items on the Bistro’s seasonally changing menus. Located just a few steps away is the hotel’s cosy bar, where afternoon tea and pre or post dinner drinks can be enjoyed in great company.
Living Room Treehouse, Powys, Mid Wales
Living Room launched their beautiful new treehouse 1st February 2014. Floating 40ft above the forest, the new treehouse sleeps 5, and is a completely sustainable treetop home - lovely to live in all year. It’s part of a collection of 5 treehouses on a 200 acre sheep farm - each a fully functioning home in the Trees.
A Family Treehouse Experience (2 nights) costs from £349.00 and a Treehouse Experience for Two (2 nights) costs from £339.00
Titanic Hotel, Liverpool, North West England, opening JUNE
A multi-million pound renovation of one of Europe’s most historic maritime sites is set to unveil its first phase - Titanic Hotel Liverpool. The £36 million transformation of the North Warehouse at Stanley Dock, sees the opening of the 153 bedroom four star Titanic Hotel Liverpool and adjoining Rum Warehouse events and exhibition space, in June 2014.
Titanic Hotel Liverpool includes a sumptuous luxury spa and a distinctive new restaurant destination and the city’s new hideout, “The Rum Bar.”
Its standard-sized hotel rooms are twice as big as a UK standard 4 Star room – a result of the unique design of the original building which stored goods from across the world such as rubber and tobacco.
The renovation project has retained the original brick and iron features of the warehouse. The hotel’s waterside terrace – situated on the historic 19th Century dockside – has views across the dock to original Pumping Station and to the immense Tobacco Warehouse, described as the largest brick building in the world when it was built in the early 1900s.
The ground floor of the hotel will include a huge, light-filled open plan reception area and foyer with an exclusive VIP area and Italian-inspired coffee destination. The restaurant and Rum Bar will also be on the ground floor, serving a menu created by industry acclaimed head chef Alex Worrall along with craft beers, fine wines and open theatre kitchens.
The Crescent Victoria Margate, Kent, South East England, JUNE
The Crescent Victoria Margate, a new 14 bedroom boutique hotel will soon be opening its doors on Fort Crescent. Offering individually designed bedrooms and a range of opportunities for convivial eating and drink, the Hotel has a restaurant, bar and courtyard lounge area and an enviable location for exploring a quintessential English resort.
Crescent Victoria embodies the changing face of this historic seaside resort. Home to artists, galleries and vintage shops peppered along cobbled streets overlooking the beach with fishing boats lining the shore.
The new Head Chef Jake Tait is Thanet born and bred. His passion for cooking started at a young age when he spent hours baking in his kitchen with his mother and grandmother. Chef has refined his skills with 15 years in top kitchens including Gordon Ramsay’s, Smith’s Court, the local Salmeston Grange Margate and the House of Commons. 'I'm excited to bring my passion for cooking and particularly patisserie to The Victoria Margate, I like to think of my cuisine as homely food with a classic twist’ said Jake.
The 40 cover restaurant with attached courtyard, will serve delectable food throughout the day with afternoon teas being a highlight with everything from the jam to the petit fours made from scratch. Jake will seek out the freshest local produce from suppliers he has worked with for many years, he'll be found wandering down from the hotel to Mannings daily on the seafront to find out what the catch of the day is. Crescent Victoria’s sister hotel, Crescent Turner, will open in Whistable in July 2014.
Wake Up To Wilderness, Isle of Sheppey, Kent, from AUGUST
The only Nature Reserve you can stay in in England, this new glamping accommodation consists of 3 luxury shepherds huts each sleeping two with extra capacity for families in bell tents. The huts are positioned to allow guests to get really close to nature, falling asleep to the sound of lapwings, owls and frogs, and waking up to incredible sunrises over a huge expanse of water-meadows.
Elmley Nature Reserve, Isle of Sheppey, 1.5 hours from London by car.
Restaurant James Sommerin (with rooms), Penarth, Wales, JULY
Restaurant James Sommerin at The Esplanade in Penarth opened in May 2014. Offering stunning views over the Severn Estuary, Michelin star chef James Sommerin and his wife Louise offer their patrons a range of delectable tasting menus, each with the additional option of wine pairing. Diners can expect culinary pleasures such as duck, lavender and beetroot with soy sauce and cumin, and locally-produced Pantysgawn cheese with celery, artichoke and ginger. Nine beautifully appointed en-suite bedrooms for overnight guests will open in July, with five of the rooms boasting fabulous sea views.
Hobbit Houses, West Wales, opening JULY (TBC)
An organic farm in rural Wales provides an idyllic setting for two unique holiday houses that are preparing to welcome their first guests this summer. Named “Hobbit Houses”, the quirky lodgings are set back into the gentle hillside of a grassy meadow at the heart of Treberfedd Farm, overlooking the stunning views of the surrounding open countryside.
Inspired by the rustic idyll of the Tolkien novels, these holiday houses are an original interpretation that combine traditional character with modern comfort, and have been designed to provide the ultimate rural retreat for adventurous couples and families (each hobbit house sleeps up to four people in one open living space).
Their unique design incorporates timber beams, green turf roofs and octagonal feature windows that perfectly frame the view of grassy meadows, rolling hills and grazing sheep.
Hotel Colessio, Stirling, Scotland, JULY
Hotel Colessio opens in July will have 40 rooms and suites, ‘sumptuous bathrooms’ and the latest in 21st century technology - state-of-the-art entertainment including a music system and widescreen televisions with satellite TV and DVD player; as well as a practical desk with free wi-fi and internet connections.
The Sanderson, London
The Sanderson was one of the original boutique hotels in London. 150 of its guest rooms have been refurbished. The rooms will reflect the serenity and comfort of an English Manor House. With minor updates to the bathroom design, it remains encased in a glowing floor-to-ceiling glass box wrapped in golden layers of sheer curtains. These rooms also got a tech upgrade, adding new flat-screen smart TVs, media hubs with USB charging, and additional charging stations near the bed.
Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 4
Guest rooms at Hilton London Heathrow Airport T4 are being “upgraded” with a complete refurbishment that takes inspiration from a first class aeroplane cabin. The first phase of the refurbishment, which is due to be completed by July 2014, will see 161 rooms undergo a complete transformation with king-size beds, walk-in showers, mini bars and sleek, modern furnishings drawn from a neutral colour palette designed to induce serenity and relaxation. The new rooms blend comfort with practicality to offer guests the ultimate pre or post-flight experience that reflects the effortlessness of first class travel. www.hilton.com/heathrow
PR contact: Lauren Trinder, Golley Slater PR, firstname.lastname@example.org
Holiday Inn London Heathrow M4, London
The hotel finished a renovation of 280 of its rooms with the "modern business traveller" in mind, after crowdsourcing a lot of the design from customer feedback. Five concept rooms were done over and the hotel invited guests to come in and share their thoughts.The hotel then took the best elements from each of the five designs and incorporated those into the final product, called Double Standard Rooms. The new rooms have new furniture, leather club chairs, 32-inch HDTVs, ample workspaces and quality bedding with a choice of soft or firm pillows.
The Royal Crescent: Bath’s most prestigious hotel re-launches, Bath, England
Bath’s most iconic and prestigious five star hotel unlocked its new look this month following a multi-million pound refurbishment project. The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa situated in the Royal Crescent, Bath is one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture and is a Grade I listed building. The hotel is situated in the middle of the Crescent and accommodates houses 15, 16 and several coach houses to the rear of the property. Over the last year every effort has been made to restore this stunning hotel sympathetically to its Georgian roots, whilst combining the luxury and technologies of the 21st century.
The Botany Bay Hotel, Kent, England
British brewer Shepherd Neame remodelled and refurbished the former Fayreness Hotel, and renamed it The Botany Bay Hotel to reflect its lovely seaside setting. Two traditional orangeries have replaced conservatories and a wrap-around deck added, while the exterior has been clad in traditional Kentish weatherboarding. All the bedrooms have been refurbished, with natural sand and blue-green colours and artwork of local scenes reflecting the coastal setting. Situated on the clifftop at Kingsgate, the Botany Bay Hotel’s restaurant has a magnificent view. Diners can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the sea while choosing from the menu of classic British cuisine, with seafood a speciality.
Globe Inn, Norfolk, east of England
The Four star Globe Inn, one of Norfolk’s ‘loveliest small hotels’, located in the popular fishing town Wells-next-the-Sea, has completed the first phase of a lavish £500,000 refurbishment. The front bar, with a view over the town’s pretty Georgian square, now extends across the width of the building, the large airy conservatory-style restaurant has been given a complete make-over and the 7 bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms have been completely re-decorated in a Georgian maritime style.
The second phase will include the complete re-development of the coach houses round the 19th century courtyard, which seats up to 50 guests and is already a sheltered and charming outside dining area at the hotel. Eleven new bedrooms and bathrooms are planned. A galleried walkway around the entire circumference of the new bedrooms on two floors will add to the theatrical atmosphere of a little hotel determined to live up to its namesake!
Metropole, Llandrindod Wells, mid Wales
Luxury hotel and spa, The Metropole in mid Wales, is on the final leg of its £5m refurbishment programme with the upgrading of a further 10 bedrooms. The latest project represents a five-figure investment, and follows on from last year’s launch of a state-of-the-art extension to the hotel spa. The Metropole is a family-run business, and MD, Justin Baird-Murray, and his sister, finance director, Sarah Hill, are the fifth generation of the family to run the hotel in 117 years, a unique achievement in Wales. They launched the extensive refurbishment programme nearly five years ago, resulting in an upgrade to The Metropole’s current four-star status.
The Metropole is a member of Welsh Rarebits and Historic Hotels of Europe.
Macdonald Hotel’s programme of refurbishments
Holyrood Hotel in the heart of Edinburgh has unveiled the first phase of a significant bedroom refurbishment as part of a wider rejuvenation of the city hotel that is also part of Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, winners of AA Hotel Group of the Year 2013/14.
With 91 bedrooms set to benefit from a design transformation, the first raft of executive bedrooms on the 5th and 6th floors have recently been unveiled. This has seen 34 rooms undergo a full redesign, with the addition of new Choice Sofa furniture upholstered with Kobe and Osborne and Little Fabric, additional soft furnishings and Fox Linton curtains, Mattisons beds and stunning Porcelanosa bathrooms complete with walk in drench showers.
Craigellachie Hotel, near Elgin, north east Scotland
The Craigellachie Hotel, in the beautiful village of Craigellachie near Elgin has opened recently after refurbishment. Craigellachie is in the heart of the Malt Whisky Trail, halfway between Aberdeen and Inverness in the north east of Scotland. In the centre of the village, the hotel is ideally located for walking the Speyside Way, fishing, playing one of the many golf courses and enjoying the rugged countryside of Northern Scotland.
More accommodation newsHightail it to Highgrove package at The Ritz, 3 August
The Ritz London and Highgrove have joined together to create a unique residential programme offering Ritz guests a private tour of the magnificent gardens at Highgrove. Highgrove is the private residence of Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. Since 1980 HRH The Prince of Wales has worked to create one of the most imaginative and inspired gardens in Britain. The Ritz has a long standing association with His Royal Highness and in 2002 was the first hotel in the world to be awarded a Royal Warrant
The programme includes two night accommodation and breakfast, a private tour and lunch at Highgrove, plus more and is priced at £2,660, inclusive of value added tax, for two persons sharing a double or twin room. The programme is subject to a minimum of 20 participants, maximum 40. www.theritzlondon.com
Made in Mayfair Insider Experience, InterContinental Park Lane, London
InterContinental London Park Lane has teamed-up with the London Luxury Quarter, keepers of the prestigious 52 streets of Mayfair, Piccadilly and St. James, to offer a bespoke Made in Mayfair Insider Experience that explores the centre of British craftsmanship. Guests will enjoy a behind-the-scene tour through Mayfair’s rich history of custom-goods and see how the area has evolved to create a ‘Best of British’ showcase, which blends tradition with contemporary talent.
Each experience is tailored to personal preference and might include a visit to Foster & Son, London’s oldest bespoke shoemaker, where guests can see the original last made for the legendary Clark Gable. A trip to Floris, the sole perfumer to The Queen, can be arranged for a bespoke perfume creation. Those in the market for a custom suit can visit Gieves and Hawkes at No. 1 Savile Row, who have been servicing royalty for more than 240 years.
Guests at InterContinental London Park Lane will enjoy a Luxury Suite that offers uninterrupted views over the Royal Parks and London monuments. Made in Mayfair is available from May 1 2014 – October 1 2014 subject to availability. A two week booking window is required. The experience includes: two night stay at InterContinental London Park Lane in a Luxury Suite, a selection of two experiences from the London Luxury Quarter Collection, access to Club InterContinental which includes complimentary breakfast, Afternoon Tea service and evening champagne and canapés.
Corinthia London penthouses
The Independent on Sunday recently wrote piece on the emergence of a ‘super suite’ trend in London – hotels creating really big, opulent and expensive suites that make a statement – ideal for people (groups, families) who ‘need to move their whole life with them’, according to the article. One of the hotels featured was Corinthia Hotel London, which unveiled ‘The Seven Penthouses of Corinthia London’ in 2012, a collection of exclusive two-storey penthouse hotel suites. The opulent guest residences are built within the soaring turrets of the hotel’s grand Victorian building, each with its distinct style and unique hand-crafted bespoke finishes and furniture. The penthouses are themed around personalities typically found living in an affluent London street – royalty, high society, explorers, actors, musicians, writers and politicians: The Royal Penthouse, The Hamilton Penthouse, The Musician’s Penthouse, The Writer’s Penthouse, The Whitehall Penthouse, The Explorer’s Penthouse and The Actor’s Penthouse
The Kensington Hotel launches London’s largest Town House Suite
In February The Doyle Collection launched ‘London’s largest town house suite with flexible living and sleeping space enhanced with designer chic’ at The Kensington Hotel. the iconic Kensington Suite offers guests impressive and spacious apartment style accommodation. It comprises three bedrooms and three bathrooms, plus two distinct living areas, and comes complete with extras including dressing room, a sumptuous circular day bed with flatscreen LCD TV, private balcony with city views, Bose/iPad/iPhone docking stations, complimentary WiFi, private decanter bar and Nespresso coffee machines and much more.
The Torridon, in the Scottish Highlands, is crowned Pride of Britain Hotel of the Year 2014
Pride of Britain Hotels, the consortium of 49 privately-owned independent British hotels and spas, is proud to announce that The Torridon in the Scottish Highlands has been named as Pride of Britain Hotel of the Year 2014 due to its outstanding hospitality. Set in the Western Scottish Highlands at the end of a spectacular sea loch, The Torridon – complete with Rapunzel-like towers - is an 18-bedroom luxury hotel set in 58 acres of grounds, complete with grazing Highland cattle. The hotel offers an action-packed programme of complimentary activities which encourage guests to explore the surroundings, including archery, rock-climbing, loch-kayaking, mountain biking and guided walks. Sightings of red deer, golden eagles, otters, seals and a myriad of other local wildlife are a frequent bonus. It’s well known for its well-stocked whisky bar.