If we close our eyes and focus really, really hard, we can — just about — remember a wonderful phenomenon known as ‘a hotel’. Can anyone else recall these luxurious, glamorous staples of the travel industry? Presumably it’s not just us — but it’s been so long since any of us have set foot in a thriving hotel that it wouldn’t surprise us if these beacons of hospitality have been reduced to a hazy memory.
If that’s the case, allow us to jog your memory on the wonders of hotels; and in doing so, bring some particularly intoxicating destinations to your attention. We’ve rounded up the most new hotels in London — all of them perfect for a luxurious staycation, a decadent day out or a glamorous evening of dinner and drinks. Have your suitcases at the ready, gents.
The Mayfair Townhouse, Mayfair
The literary gentlemen among you will know Mayfair’s Half Moon Street from Oscar Wilde’s famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest (and if this is the first you’ve heard of it, it’s an excellent fact to whip out with a flourish at your next dinner party). Now, it’s the street upon which this brand new hotel resides; and very fitting too, because the hotel’s design can be described as ‘Oscar Wilde meets Alice in Wonderland’. Intrigued? Us, too.
This is a neighbourhood hotel with a difference, there’s no doubt about that. With Goddard Littlefair at the helm, the humorous design has “Dandy” at its heart, with the Dandy Bar making up the soul of the hotel (The Mayfair Dandy is a new take on the Dandy cocktail, once famously enjoyed by the hedonists of Mayfair). The hotel’s mischievous motif takes the form of a fox, and it’s a motif woven throughout the very fabric of the hotel in a series of foxy images.
From the team behind Iconic Luxury Hotels (Chewton Glen, Cliveden House), this hotel is sure to cement its status as one of the hottest new hotels in London — with the Dandy Bar being the place to see and be seen. It officially opened its doors at the end of 2020, before promptly having to close again — and so yesterday (17th May) marked its triumphant reopening. Head on down to Mayfair, gents — there’s a cocktail there with your name on it.
The Mayfair Townhouse
Pan Pacific London, The City
Set to open in late summer, this is a modern urban retreat worth keeping a beady eye on. You may be familiar with Pan Pacific’s other outposts — particularly Singapore, where it’s headquarters reside — and this will be its very first outpost in Europe. Exciting times, indeed.
Designed by New-York based duo Yabu Pushelberg, the hotel is truly one for city workers and those with a predilection for urban living: it’ll take up residence in Bishopsgate Plaza, right in the heart of the City, and its amenities are second to none.
Have you ever wanted to look out over the City of London through floor-to-ceiling windows from the comfort of an infinity pool? Well, this (very specific) prayer has been answered in Pan Pacific London. And it doesn’t stop at infinity pools; the wellbeing offerings include a culinary menu designed by an in-house nutritionist and a high-performance gym.
And then there’s the cuisine; Straits Kitchen, Ginger Lily and the Orchid Lounge (the restaurant, bar and drawing room, respectively) promise a glorious offering of global flavours, and a seamless blend of Asian hospitality (to say nothing of Singaporean-influenced decoration and cuisine, in keeping with the hotel’s roots) and contemporary British elegance. Trust us: this is a hotel opening you won’t want to miss.
Pan Pacific London
NoMad London, Covent Garden
In a feat of design genius, this new hotel has set up camp in the historic former Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station, in the heart of London’s West End — Covent Garden, specifically, just opposite the Royal Opera House. As locations go, this is a location we can get on board with; and that’s just the start.
Opening on 25th May, this is New York hospitality company Sydell Group’s second London venture, following their partnership with Ron Burkle and Soho House to open The Ned. This new hotel celebrates its historic location while incorporating New York spirit and European culture — resulting in a 19th century historic building with a distinctly cosmopolitan feel.
Clocking in at 91 rooms, this is a relatively intimate property compared to the brand’s American outposts; but don’t mistake the intimate for the underwhelming. The hotel is home to a world-class art programme, with an emphasis on post-war American art, and European avant-garde pieces; and the dining options are second to none.
The NoMad restaurant resides at the hotel’s very heart: with its lush, light-filled atrium, it’s distinctly evocative of an Edwardian greenhouse. If greenhouses aren’t quite your vibe, SideHustle is a unique take on a British pub with New York influences; the Library is the ‘living room’ of the hotel, where guests can quietly crack on with some home working or indulge in a cocktail (or five); and the first ever NoMad lounge will later appear in the form of Common Decency: nestled in a subterranean playground, it’ll be an East London style craft cocktail bar, complemented by hints of West End establishments. Who could ask for anything more?
The Carlton Tower, Knightsbridge
On June 1st, The Carlton Tower Jumeirah will reopen its doors once again: after a staggering £100 million renovation. If that doesn’t get tongues wagging and necks craning when we get to June, we frankly don’t know what will. As far as new hotels in London go, this is about as state-of-the-art as it gets.
The Carlton Tower has long been a London hotspot, frequently visited by global A-listers. The renovation will see the 186-room hotel will see a brand new design, with contemporary luxury seamlessly merging with illustrious heritage to create a glamorous, up-to-the-minute hotel of jaw-dropping proportions.
Guests will have access to exclusive private garden square Cadogan Gardens, together with its tennis courts — and the world-famous health club, ‘The Peak Fitness Club & Spa’, is back in business: spread over three floors, its new Talise Spa features London’s largest 20m swimming pool flooded — in the best way possible for a swimming pool — with natural light, thanks to its floor-to-ceiling windows.
The hotel’s restaurant and bar includes a theatre restaurant for immersive dining — so you can watch your dinner being chopped up and sauteed right in front of your very eyes. We never thought we’d be invited to witness immersive dining again, what with the state of the world — but there we have it. Times are changing for the better: and the Chinoiserie lobby lounge, with its ‘cake o’clock’ afternoon tea concept, is further confirmation of that fact. We couldn’t be happier.
The Carlton Tower
Kingsland Locke, Dalston
It’s another hotel that’s been eagerly awaiting the easing of lockdown restrictions; and no wonder. This month sees the opening of Kingsland Locke: the fourth property launched by innovative aparthotel brand Locke. Proudly residing in the heart of Dalston, it’s a hotel with a difference — we’re talking an on-site microbrewery and gin distillery (courtesy of KRAFT Dalston), a complimentary co-working space (this is a 2021 hotel, indeed), a workout studio and a coffee shop — to say nothing of the enormous, naturally-lit atrium space at the hotel’s heart, which seamlessly transitions from a relaxing area by day, to a glittering restaurant and bar by night.
The hotel has taken inspiration from its setting — Dalston is indubitably one of the liveliest, most vibrant areas of London. East London design studio Red Deer have drawn on the location to create a colourful interior, with joinery pieces (like the Reception desk) drawing on the neighbouring market stalls (think Borough Market, or Columbia Road) by utilising metal framing against brightly coloured tiling. Meanwhile, the rooms are more muted, to promote rest and relaxation, with raw textures and subtle tones.
This is a hotel that’s truly second to none. Having KRAFT Dalston onsite reduces the outlet’s CO2 emissions by 75% — so we’d recommend paying the hotel a visit just to improve your carbon footprint, if nothing else. (But while you’re there, be sure to drop into Le Bab, with its modern take on the traditional kebab — or Shaman, on the ground floor, with its exquisitely brewed coffee. In fact, just go to Kingsland Locke, full stop —you won’t regret it.
Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, Marylebone
This hotel opened yesterday, 17th May, and it has wellness and luxury lifestyle at its very heart — in other words, it’s the answer to all your liver’s prayers after that copious post-lockdown indulging you’ve been partaking in. With 249 rooms, it’s the 13th hotel from the iconic brand, founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper. Don’t let your superstitions get the better of you, though — there’s nothing unlucky about this hotel.
Quite the opposite. Take Pilates, for instance; the hotel boasts its very own light-filled Reformer Pilates studio, with three signature classes unique to the hotel itself: Power, Precision and Pure Pilates. If you’ve always been meaning to hone those abs, why not dive straight in? And the wellness doesn’t stop at Pilates — Nobu Wellness & Fitness boasts three treatment rooms, to say nothing of the 24-hour Nobu Gym.
Of course, you may be reading this and wondering whether the old inherent hospitality principles of rest and relaxation are still at play: in which case, we can merrily confirm that they most certainly are. The Roku Japanese Gin Garden offers guests a taste of the authentic Haru (Japenese spring) from the cherry blossom found in the Roku Gin cocktails — and, of course, the Nobu restaurant menu is as mouth-watering as one would naturally expect.
Luxury, wellness, fitness and sublime food and drink: what are you waiting for?
Nobu Hotel London Portman Square
The Lost Poet, Notting Hill
This summer will see the opening of a brand new boutique hotel, in a contemporary interpretation of the traditional guesthouse. A four-bedroom townhouse is inviting guests to stay at Number 6, Portobello Road, from June onwards — and we’d recommend taking the team up on their offer just as soon as ever you can.
We’ve got Cubic Studios to thank for this one; a property design studio, born and bred in Notting Hill. The townhouse boasts four individually designed bedrooms, all a tribute to the area, and the overall design takes its inspiration largely from the market — think modern art juxtaposed with antique trinkets, and you’ll get the idea.
The townhouse dates back to the 1850s — and the design pays tribute to its history whilst incorporating that unique Notting Hill charm. Guests can expect restored wood panels, and bathrooms with exquisite marble flooring. Each of the four individual rooms boasts bespoke antique furniture; with other furniture pieces sourced from local Portobello dealers.
Notting Hill is, arguably, one of the most vibrant, joyous and ‘alive’ areas of London. Guests will have some of London’s best food and drink offerings on their doorstep, from ‘to die for’ tacos to hidden gem gin bars — and they’ll have The Lost Poet townhouse to call home, when they return from a day of exploring and indulging. This hotel is sure to become one of London’s gems — so we’d recommend dropping in for a visit while it’s still a (relative) secret.
The Lost Poet
Chateau Denmark, Soho
While its images currently appear in the form of (sublime) illustrations, there was no way we could leave this one out; this is no ordinary hotel; for all the best reasons. Needless to say, it’ll stand proudly on London’s Denmark Street, opening in late summer this year; and its 55 session rooms and apartments will be set over 16 buildings, featuring four distinct narratives. That’s right — we said narratives, and we meant narratives. This is a hotel that rebels, and that pushes the boundaries of what a hotel can be.
With interiors by the award winning studio Taylor Howes Design, each narrative is drawn from the buildings’ history and the street’s evocative musical background. Take the Punk Now design, which suggests a raw decadence with a gold trimmed and graffitied bed as the statement piece against a dark timber wall. Then there are the Vintage Gothic rooms, rife with drama and intrigue; the Modern Psychedelia, which layers 60s and 70s culture to reflect the era’s playful avant-garde; and Timeless Grandeur, which delves deep into the street’s 17th century architectural history. Like we said: no ordinary hotel.
The ‘unexpected’ elements don’t stop at the design. Each guest will be assigned a ‘butler’ who will attend to their every request — and the unprecedented levels of comfort and convenience extend to the Chateau Denmark’s guest app, which provides seamless access to technology through acting as the room key and room temperature controls, among other uses — as well as providing information on secret happenings (we’re desperate to find out what these might be) and hidden playlists from past guests.
And then there’s The Now Building: guests will be able to view, party or perform at one of three live venues, and will have access to a recording studio and an underground club. We could go on; but we imagine you’re getting the idea that this is a hotel with a difference. Expect the unexpected, yes; but expect the sublime, too.