The Olympics may be over, but the London buzz continues with the opening of several new fab boutique hotels.
The Café Royal.
Is welcoming its first guests from 1 December with the official opening two months later. The West End landmark building has been completely overhauled and repurposed as a 159-room hotel. An institution throughout much of the 20th century, the Café Royal was famously frequented by literary and silver screen legends like Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw, Cary Grant, and Elizabeth Taylor. The architects have restored much of the heritage-listed interiors in the four-year modernising project. The Grill Room, one of Princess Di’s haunts, will feature the ornate Louis XV gold leaf ceilings, a champagne lounge and live performances. From $451 per night. hotelcaferoyal.com
Flapper glamour hounds will play out their Gatsby fantasies at The Wellesley Knightsbridge when it opens in December. A cigar lounge with the largest range of individual stick sales in the world, a prohibition inspired jazz lounge with authentic 1920s furniture, and a wall of whiskies and cognacs, The Wellesley has the chattering classes in a flap of anticipation. From $605 per night. thewellesley.co.uk
ME by Melia
The sexy and stylish ME by Melia is set to open in November. From renowned architects Foster + Partners, the lobby is housed in a nine-storey white marble pyramid, and includes a dedicated champagne lounge. The 157-room-and-suites mix up the textures with white leather walls, suspended black TV cabinets and chrome fixtures. New York restaurateurs the ONE group have installed their upmarket steakhouse STK, and not to be left behind, ME’s rooftop offering Radio has indoor and outdoor areas with views over the Thames and the city. From $456 per night. me-by-melia.com
The South Place Hotel
The first hotel in the city from hip London restaurant group D&D London, who led the buyout of Conran restaurants in 2006 and now run 30 flash diners across Europe and Tokyo. The 80 rooms are all individually crafted by design doyens Conran + Partners (who else) with original artworks from up-and-coming London artists in each room. As you would expect, the two onsite restaurants are pretty special: the roof-top Angler, the pick of roof-top al fresco dining in London. From $346 per night. southplacehotel.com
Sloane ranger wannabes are heading to South Kensington’s newest boutique property The Ampersand. The room types and themes are inspired by the local museums and sights like the V&A and Natural History Museum. The compact entry-level rooms (at 11-15sqm you couldn’t swing a rat let alone a cat) are astronomy themed, followed by musically-inspired superior rooms, the ornithological deluxe studios, and geometrically themed suites. From $172 per night. ampersandhotel.com
La Suite West
Japanese-styled boutique hotel La Suite West opened in August 2012. On the northern edge of Hyde Park on a quiet street of Victorian townhouses, La Suite West was designed by top local designer Anouska Hempel. Sharp lines that would slice a paper, with minimalist to the point of stark black and white décor, the hotel is design led for those who enjoy uncluttered. It’s a little slice of Japan in London. From $272 a night. lasuitewest.com