London Venues: What's new?

As we approach 2015, C&IT looks at what's new and what's in the pipeline for London's venue offering.

Mondrian London hotel
Mondrian London hotel

September saw the much-anticipated opening of the Tom Dixon-designed Mondrian London hotel. Housed in the iconic Sea Containers building on the South Bank of the Thames, the hotel offers six event spaces including a 56-seat, private screening room. In addition, the riverside Dandelyan Bar and Rooftop Bar are available to hire for up to 250 guests.

From October the city's connections to Dublin, Glasgow and Edinburgh improved when British Airways increased the frequency of flights from City Airport. The BA services run five times daily to the Irish capital, eight times daily to Glasgow and 11 to Edinburgh.

The Light - a new, contemporary conference centre at Friend's House in Euston - opened for events in October ahead of its formal launch in January 2015. The centre includes a 1,100-capacity auditorium with energy-efficient lighting and heat-exchange systems.

An official opening date is yet to be set, but the rooftop Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street is anticipated to open in January. Occupying the top three floors of the building known as the Walkie Talkie, it will be operated by event caterer Rhubarb and will incorporate a landscaped garden, bar, viewing area, two restaurants and cafe with a total capacity for 540 guests.

Winter 2014/2015 brings with it the big reveal of the £17.5m redevelopment at the Wellcome Collection. A new spiral staircase will mean delegates can access the 200-capacity Medicine Now gallery from the ground floor. In addition, the 154-seat tiered auditorium and four smaller event spaces will feature fresh, new interiors.

Work on CitizenM's two London developments in St Paul's and the Tower of London area is expected to reach completion late this year/early 2015. The 246-bedroomed CitizenM St Paul's forms part of a £100m redevelopment scheme at Citicape House, while the 370-room CitizenM Tower of London, near Tower Hill underground station, will include a bar, ground-floor cafe and a gallery.

Notable openings for 2015 include the Intercontinental London The O2 Hotel on Greenwich Peninsula, housing Europe's largest ballroom at 3,000sqm; the Hyatt Place London Heathrow Hotel offering 168sqm of event space alongside 170 guestrooms; and IET London: Savoy Place, which reopens in the autumn following a £30m, two-year refurbishment.

Further ahead, Starwood Hotels & Resorts will open two new hotels in East London's Tobacco Dock in 2017 - Aloft London Tobacco Dock and Element London Tobacco Dock.

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