Three brand new hotels will hope to open in 2013 in London, each adding their own distinctive brand of luxury living to the capital. London has seen a lot of activity in the hotel industry recently. In what was a rather unseeming rush to open, enlarge and upgrade in time to host the Lycra-clad classes of 2012, London’s bed capacity leaped to an all-time high.
Now, with a little more time to spend on turning down the covers and plumping the pillows, visitors to London are soon to be treated to three very different visions of the future of luxury accommodation in London.
Shangri-La Hotel London
The first to open will be the Shangri-La Hotel London opening at The Shard in 2013. Shangri-La is Asia Pacific’s leading luxury hotel group, but the 18-floor high-end hotel at recently opened The Shard, London will be the company’s second hotel in Europe. The 202 deluxe guestrooms (notice these are ‘guestrooms’ not merely ‘bedrooms’) will be amongst the largest hotel rooms London. The beds, for there are still beds in these ‘guestrooms’, are the Shangri-La Bed which features patented body-contouring technology – now you don’t get that in a Holiday Inn! But it is not just when you are sleeping that the hotel will hope to look after you, with a wide range on offer from the gourmet lounge café with artisan-crafted foods to the themed bar situated on level 52 from which you will be able to take in some of the most spectacular views in London.
When you are not sleeping, eating or drinking you will be able to float in the infinity pool – I can almost imagine the water gently dripping down the sides of The Shard and landing on the commuters 50 floors below!
Nobu Hotel Shoreditch
Nobu is better known for its Michelin starred Japanese restaurants but 2013 will see it too get into the London hotel business. In addition to its excellent restaurants in Park Lane and Berkeley Street Nobu will build a 143 bedroom hotel (opening date to be confirmed) featuring, not too surprisingly, a rather epic five metre high basement restaurant. To help them in this new venture is none other than boutique hotel king, Meir Abutbul who bought Blakes Hotel out of administration two years ago with Navid Mirtorabi, so they will be in good hands.
In fact the hotel will be the third Nobu hotel globally, following properties recently opened in Las Vegas and Riyadh. Situated in Shoreditch, it again underlines the continuing change in emphasis in London towards its East End. However, like the Shangri-la Hotel, the building itself will be grabbing just as much attention as its location. The hotel is designed by industrial designer turned architect, Ron Arad, whose designs grace cities from Milan to Marrakesh. His metal exoskeleton protruding out of one side will surely give locals and visitors alike something to look at and ponder as they walk the evermore trendy streets of Shoreditch!
Art’otel London Hoxton
Design is at the heart of our third hotel also hoping to open in Hoxton next year. The Art’otel London Hoxton is the first hotel in the UK from this European company which already offers hotels in Berlin, Amsterdam and Budapest.
Although it is the largest of the three hotels I’ve mentioned, the 350 hotel rooms will play second string to the public areas which will include a permanent gallery space, art house cinema, spa and a restaurant on the double height top floor. The cylindrical, bronze-coloured building (which has four of its eighteen floors below ground) has been the centre of some heated debate amongst the locals, but, as London and Londoners become more at ease with modern architecture, so the skyline begins to change and the concept of luxury, in this ancient city, continues to develop in ever more exciting ways.
Simon Harding is Editor at Theatre Breaks.