Plenty of hyped openings this spring mean the London hotel scene is thriving. Here’s where to stay on your next visit …
Irish designer Paul Costelloe is one of the opening shows at London Fashion Week, which takes place from February 17-21. The hottest ticket is undoubtedly the Burberry show, where creative director Daniel Lee will present his first collection. Many hope that Lee will reinvigorate the label in the same way he brought magic to Bottega Veneta. If Burberry has been faltering, the same cannot be said of the capital’s hotel scene. It’s thriving, with plenty of hip new hotels opening this spring to explore for drinks, dinner or a weekend visit.
Raffles’ first London hotel, THE OWO, has seen the historic Old War Office in Whitehall (once the offices of Winston Churchill and Ian Fleming), transformed into a new dining and wellness destination with nine restaurants and three bars, as well as a spa bringing together Guerlain experts and movement specialists Pillar Wellbeing; www.theowo.london.
Over in Mayfair, two hotel groups are vying for business. MANDARIN ORIENTAL is taking over Hanover Square where it is opening a second, more low-key hotel than its Knightsbridge sibling. Of note, its signature restaurant, Akira Back, features Michelin-starred Korean fusion cuisine; www.mandarinoriental.com. At the nature-inspired, informal 1 HOTEL, which overlooks Green Park in Mayfair, in lieu of cut flowers there will be living walls, no single-use plastic and a farm-to-fork restaurant; www.1hotels.com.
For a front row view of King Charles III’s coronation on May 6, THE PENINSULA, opposite Buckingham Palace and Wellington Arch in Belgravia, is one of London’s biggest openings. A grand courtyard lobby, rooms and suites by Peter Marino (known for his work in Chanel flagship stores), a shopping arcade, rooftop bar, Cantonese restaurant and spa are among its attractions; www.peninsula.com.
For devotees of Spanish designer Jaime Hayon, his ART’OTEL fuses art, design and hospitality next to the iconic Battersea Power Station. The hotel also has a rooftop infinity pool; www.artotellondonbattersea.com.
In Soho, THE BROADWICK is the first London boutique hotel designed by Martin Brudnizki of The Ivy Dublin fame. He describes the hotel as “your eccentric grandmother’s Soho townhouse”. That’s worth a peep, as is its wraparound terrace, rooftop bar and Sicilian-inspired restaurant; www.broadwicksoho.com.
THE BOTREE, opening in July, is a great base from which to enjoy Regent’s Park, a concert at Wigmore Hall or an exhibition at The Wallace Collection: London at its most inspiring; www.thebotree.com.