InterContinental London – The O2
The most anticipated hotel launch of 2015 has arguably been InterContinental London – The O2, an 18-storey, 453-room luxury property adjacent to the iconic Docklands dome, which is due to soft launch before the end of December. Exciting the events world is the prospect of a 4,500sqm+ dedicated conference centre with 3,100sqm pillar-free ballroom – the largest single event space in any European hotel – as well as 1,600sqm of pre-function space overlooking the Thames. Elsewhere, there are five destination restaurants and bars – including a sky bar – on site, plus 'world-class spa facilities'. The building connects to The O2 arena via a covered walkway, and is minutes from ExCel London on the Emirates Airline cable car.
Another big opening this year was the 292-room Hilton London Bankside, which made its debut in October. Located on Southwark's 'Design Trail', close to the Tate Modern and South Bank, the property – appropriately – 'represents the next generation of design-led Hilton hotels'. More than 1,000sqm of event space across 11 suites includes a ballroom with its own entrance that can host 500 for a banquet. Other facilities include destination bar The Distillery, signature restaurant OXBO, a fitness centre and an indoor heated pool. See C&IT's review of Hilton London Bankside here.
M by Montcalm Shoreditch
East London's 'Tech City' welcomed its first luxury hotel in June when the 269-room M by Montcalm Shoreditch opened its futuristic doors. The 18-storey building was designed by RIBA award-winning architects and encompasses groundbreaking architectural techniques as well as intelligent devices like iPads to enhance guests' stays. Event spaces at M by Montcalm – with capacity for up to 250 – include plasma screens, high-tech A/V equipment and complimentary high-speed broadband. F&B options comprise two restaurants and leisure facilities include the M Spa, offering a Versace-tiled pool with steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi, a gym and a range of treatments. The M Club offers VIP guests a 16th floor hub to hold meetings, work and relax in.
The Lanesborough, Hyde Park
Luxurious Hyde Park Corner hotel The Lanesborough, which closed for renovations in December 2013, relaunched on 1 July after 19 months. It contains 93 rooms and suites and, for events, seven private dining rooms, the largest of which can accommodate 180 guests. The Lanesborough will be Oetker Collection’s first hotel in the UK and joins its Masterpiece range. Frank Marrenbach, the company's CEO, said the partnership provided great potential. "The Lanesborough is clearly a landmark within the European hospitality landscape with an exceptional heritage and a strong and unique identity." Fine dining is on offer at Céleste restaurant and delegates can unwind in the Library Bar, Withdrawing Room or Garden Room. There is also a spa and fitness studio.
The Laslett, Notting Hill
The fourth property in the Living Rooms portfolio opened its doors in August. The hotel's name is taken from the organiser of the original Notting Hill Festival, Rhaune Laslett, while its design pays homage to nearby trendy London spots including Portobello Market and Golborne Road. The 51 bedrooms are set inside five Victorian mansions, while furniture by British designers Pinch and Race and a selection of curiosities feature throughout. For smaller groups, a miniature British library and the Henderson Bar and Coffee Shop offer space for 'meet-ups' and 'hang-outs', as opposed to formal meetings. The latter features signature dishes created by celebrated local chef Sally Clarke.
Crowne Plaza London – Battersea
The 78-room Crowne Plaza London – Battersea's location will be a draw for business guests, being close to Clapham Junction railway station – with direct links to both central London and Gatwick airport – and sitting adjacent to London Heliport. Some 200sqm of event space is available across seven meeting rooms, the largest with capacity for 200 delegates. Drinking and dining will take place in the Terrace bar which overlooks the River Thames; and the Riverside Grill Restaurant. There is a spa and gym, as well as free wi-fi.
The Nadler Victoria hotel is located just steps away from Buckingham Palace, in the heart of Victoria. The budget, boutique property has 73 luxury rooms, each with free wi-fi and a well-planned workspace. As with other Nadler Hotels Group properties, the hotel concentrates on providing luxury and comfort in a cool, design-led environment, focusing resources on the rooms instead of facilities such as a restaurant, gym or bar – the St James Theatre’s Carrara restaurant next door to the hotel will be its official breakfast partner. For business travellers, conferencing facilities at the theatre will also be available to hire, with unique spaces including the main auditorium and the intimate studio setting.
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