The capital has seen a plethora of new openings this year, from heritage treats to modern skyscrapers and iconic American imports. Here are five of the best.
The Standard Hotel
The American juggernaut- with outposts in LA, NYC and Miami- is an institution; instantly recognisable for its bold red, upside-down logo and achingly-cool reputation. Now; in its first venture outside of the States; it is coming to London. Opened in July, it’s one of the capital’s most exciting new openings, nestled in the burgeoning new hot spot in the heart of Kings Cross; just yards away from that other new arrival; Coal Drops Yard.
There’s nothing demonstrably special about a Standard hotel – maybe it’s just pretty standard – and yet there is. Each comes with impeccable interiors – London’s was orchestrated by the legendary nightclub auteur Shawn Hausman. But more importantly, it comes with attitude, a certain vibe and definitely a certain crowd. The Standard London looks set to be as sceney and fun as it’s American predecessors; with a library for a lounge (a nod to the building’s original incarnation) and 266 rooms ranging from cosy to glorious, complete with outdoor bath tubs overlooking the majestic St Pancras hotel. Food and drink are, as ever, exemplary, and the London hotel boasts two fantastic restaurants; Adam Rawsons ‘Double Standard’ (see what they did there?) and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias’s ten floor showcase of his famous live fire cooking. This place may soon become the gold standard of London hotels. https://www.standardhotels.com/london/properties/london
Opened earlier this year, The Dixon is another criminally-themed hotel; housed in a former police station and magistrates court in the heart of London Bridge. The Grade II listed building has been loving restored, and is even named for John Dixon Butler, the building’s original architect. The 193 rooms are sumptuously appointed; with contemporary touches jostling for space alongside original Edwardian features and the food and drink offerings are delicious- all served by brilliantly attentive staff. The design of The Dixon faithfully pays homage to its former iteration in imaginative ways throughout; from a chandelier constructed from hand-cuffs to the ‘Courtroom’ bar where drinks are served under the original structure of the judge’s bench. No objections here, your honour. https://thedixon.co.uk/
Holmes Hotel London
This painfully-charming hotel is the new gem in Marylebone’s crown. Tucked away on Chiltern Street; a stone’s throw away from the notorious Chiltern Firehouse, it is named, naturally, after the area’s most famous former resident, Sherlock Holmes himself. His influence seeps throughout, but nods to him; from pipe lamps and framed mysteries, always stray on the right side of gimmickry. Though it boasts a vast 118 rooms and luxurious loft suites, it still feels boutique in spirit and you never quite get dwarfed by its size, as rooms snake around corridors and twisting corners and staircases, owing to its previous life as four Georgian town houses. The rooms are generously sized and the amenities impressive. Music plays as you enter the room and the mini bar is well appointed. The interiors throughout are that careful balance of heritage and modern a soothing blend of soft greens, tweeds, woods and leathers that even extends to the basement gym, which feels more like a Victorian boxing gym. Perhaps the secret weapon of the hotel is its restaurant Kitchen at Holmes, which serves an eclectic menu of classics from a wide range of global cuisines (try the red prawn carpaccio, I beg you) and cocktails that are both innovative and effortlessly done. Try the smoky whiskey cocktail ‘Sherlock’s Pipe’ served, naturally, in a glass pipe. Stay here the first chance you get; it’s elementary dear Watson. https://www.holmeshotel.com/
The Stratford Hotel
The biggest hint yet that Stratford is about to become the hottest new destination in London, has been the development of this behemoth of a hotel. Technically speaking, The Stratford, which opened earlier this summer, is just a small part of the massive project that is Manhattan Loft Gardens; a sleek, modern skyscraper that is part hotel, part gorgeous apartment complex, from the Chiltern Firehouse’s Harry Handelsman. The bar and brasserie on the ground floor serve up a great wine list (try the Malbec) and a deliciously varied food menu (don’t miss the prawn linguine), in lofty spaces of high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling glass and looming concrete pillars. The rooms are paired back but still reek of understated luxury, with grey soft pile carpets, velvet cushions and blackout curtains as well as a somewhat unnecessary, but gorgeous decadent, two TVs. Some rooms overlook the modern sculpture-filled courtyard, others the impressive views over London. It’s this, plus a distinct vibe, that make The Stratford feel like it could be exactly where its main namesake suggests; Manhattan. It’s bringing a bit of New York cool to one of London’s most up-and-coming locales, and it is doing it brilliantly. https://thestratford.com/hotel/
Great Scotland Yard Hotel
Housed in the historic and infamous home of law and order in London, Great Scotland Yard hotel, which opens this summer, is one of the capital’s most unique new openings. It’s selling point is, of course, the rich heritage of its Grade II Listed building; the home of some of London’s most intriguing stories. The interiors have stayed true to the spirit of the place yet are modern and refreshing; with eccentric touches like Victorian porcelain figurines and tables made from old leather suitcases, stucco ceilings clashing brilliantly with exposed brick walls and painted palm-tree murals. The 152 rooms are luxurious and include 22 rooms and 1 standalone townhouse; all impeccably decorated in the hotel’s signature blend of cosy and modern. The food offering is presided over by celebrity chef Robin Gill and features stonkingly good British fare, as well as an inventive twist on traditional afternoon tea. So good it should be criminal. https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/united-kingdom/great-scotland-yard/lhrub