The Presidential Suite at InterContinental London — The O2 is on the 17th floor and offers 1,900 square feet of space.
From entirely new hotels to top-to-bottom refurbishments, London has fresh suite accommodations to spoil your clients in areas ranging from Greenwich and Southbank to Knightsbridge and Marylebone.
InterContinental® London – The O2
London’s newest luxury offering, the InterContinental® London – The O2, opened in January on Greenwich Peninsula, a neighborhood that is being developed over the next five years, thanks to a massive investment from Hong Kong’s Knight Dragon. The plan is to build 10,000 homes, 48 acres of parkland, hotels and retail all along 1.6 miles of waterfront.
The Sterling Suite at The Langham is a six-bedroom accommodation spread over 4,800 square feet of space.
For now, the main draw is the 20,000-seat O2 Arena/complex and its nightclubs, dining and bowling lanes; there will be a designer outlet mall with 100 boutiques (Prada, Burberry, Dior, etc.) opening in December 2016. A modern glass building with floor-to-ceiling windows, the Intercontinental is contemporary with nods to the maritime history of local East India Docks and the timekeeping of Greenwich Meridian, think clocks and boats amid shiny marble and twinkly glass chandeliers. There are five stunning restaurants, ranging from a swanky 18th-floor bar to casual three meal lounge plus fine dining. Our favorite was the Clipper Bar on the third floor, a double height space with long bar and windows on all sides; it gives the sensation of floating on the Thames, and has a mixed evening crowd of bankers from nearby Canary Wharf, and conference and concert attendees. There’s also a spa with eight treatment rooms, a 60-foot swimming pool with Jacuzzi, sauna and gym.
Proximity to the O2 has driven the function and design of the 59 butler-serviced suites. There is a private elevator for celebrities / VIPs that wish to avoid the lobby. Any floor can be closed off from public access, making it ideal for entourages. The Presidential Suite (No. 1704) on the 17th floor offers 1,900 square feet of space with a large master bedroom, a walk-in wardrobe, a dining table for 10, an L-shaped seating area and a spacious second bedroom with settee. Six guestrooms in total on the 17th floor are often sold to one client. All guestrooms have expansive views of the O2, Thames or Canary Wharf, with evidence of the billions in construction below. The hotel is six miles from City Airport and a five-minute walk to North Greenwich Tube, plus there’s a river boat service on Thames. Since opening, they’ve already hosted many A-listers for the Brit Awards at the O2 (UK version of Grammy Awards). Director of Sales Viola Ncube wouldn’t divulge exactly, but three of the four performers, narrowing to Adele, Coldplay, Justin Bieber and Rihanna, stayed on property. Luxury travel advisors should contact Ncube ([email protected]).
The Mondrian’s 1,200-square-foot River View Apartments have a 12-seat dining area, a lounge and a separate king bedroom.
Beside the Thames and next to the Tate Modern on the Southbank is another relative newcomer, The Mondrian. We wrote about it when it opened at the end of 2014. The hotel has 25 River View Suites, worthy of mention with the Tate’s highly anticipated expansion of 60 percent more gallery space on June 17, sure to draw art enthusiast to London. In the former Sea Containers headquarters with nautically inspired bespoke interiors by Brit-it-designer-of-the-moment Tom Dixon (think porthole curves, ship models and a dramatic lobby evoking the side of an ocean liner), suites at The Mondrian offer fabulous views of the Thames and City skyscrapers. Top two options are the 1,200-square-foot River View Apartments (Nos. 445 and 545), which have a 12-seat dining area, a lounge and a separate king bedroom. Most-requested rooms are the 700-square-foot River View Balcony Suites. These open-plan L-shaped spaces have a dining area, pull-out sofa and a king bed. The best part? There is a private balcony with views of St. Paul’s. Slightly smaller 635-square-foot River View Loft Suites have sleeping areas that can be closed off for more privacy but no balcony.
The hotel has really hit its stride; no matter when we visit, there is a palpable energy to the space. The riverside Sea Containers restaurant dishes up some of London’s most delicious farm-to-table fare; the cocktail lounge, Dandelyan, hums with an arts-and-media crowd sipping herbally inspired drinks; and the spa is often cited as one of London’s best. Luxury travel advisors should get in touch with Director of Sales and Marketing Simon Gilkes ([email protected]) for VIP treatment.
The iconic Berkeley Hotel on Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, part of the Maybourne Hotel Group, is just finishing up a year-long renovation to be completed by June. Although it’s all quite secret still, we took a peek and can say the planned transformation by award-winning designer Robert Angell looks breathtaking. There is a new contemporary glass-fronted lobby; the Blue Bar is getting a modern revamp, with floor-to-ceiling windows; and Marcus at the Berkeley and the Collins Rooms (formerly the Caramel Room, home of the famed Prêt-à-Portea) are being refurbished. The new look will be a complete departure from the former classically designed spaces, with similar contemporary feel to updated guestrooms and suites.
The Chelsea Suites, the newest addition to the Berkeley, are the first and only guest rooms in the hotel with four poster beds.
We were very impressed with our preview of the six new Chelsea Suites (we saw Room No. 223), which are well laid out, with each offering over 710 square feet of space. The living room feels spacious with comfortable curved sofa and floor-to-ceiling sliding doors separating the bedroom. The Chelsea Suites are the first and only guestrooms in the hotel with four poster beds, and these are the centerpiece, sleekly designed in brushed timber with lacquer contrasts, illuminated from below; the bed appears to float. It’s all very light and airy, with a refined palette in pale mint and yellow enhanced by long, light windows with classic London views over Wilton Place. Complementing artworks include well known prints by Andy Warhol, Jason Ratliff and Trystan Bates. Chelsea Suites can be connected to make two- or three-bedroom accommodations, ideal for families. Note: Suite No. 123 has a terrace with seating area.
A rooftop pool overlooking Hyde Park, the organic Bamford Haybarn Spa, the refreshed dining options and a stunning new lobby will undoubtedly make The Berkley a hot spot for A-listers from around the globe this summer. Luxury travel advisors should contact Director of Sales Sarah Pemble ([email protected]).
In an enviable location at the tip of Regent Street, The Langham is completing the addition of 115 new guest rooms, including 25 new suites, from a reclaimed wing of offices bringing the total to 380 rooms. This finishes the major renovation that began last year in celebration of its 150th anniversary and includes a new Club Lounge and the creation of London’s most expensive six-bedroom accommodation, the Sterling Suite (No. 275). At 4,800 square feet, it’s big, but feels intimate and residential with stunning gilded Art Deco decor, a full dining room and a sitting room with a baby grand piano, a den/media room and spacious bedrooms off hallways for maximum privacy. Minimum rental is three nights, perfect for large families. Opening in June are the seven Portland Suites, all corner rooms overlooking BBC Headquarters and Portland Place. These suites offer butler service and access to the Club Lounge, including complimentary use of a 12-person meeting room.
Overseeing this expansion is the new managing director, Bob van den Oord, who’s been with Langham for 20 years, and has come in from Hong Kong to run the London flagship. He’s thrilled with the fresh rooms and an exciting new partnership with London’s famed Michelin-starred father and son duo, Albert and Michel Roux Jr., who will run all the food and beverage operations, adding to the already legendary tea in the Palm Court and glamorous Artesian bar (named “World’s Best Bar” for four consecutive years by Drinks magazine). He’s focused on making every guest’s experience more personalized, and not just for celebrities, which, by the way, include regulars like Lady Gaga and Lang Lang. The hotel was also the setting for Bradley Cooper’s recent culinary film “Burnt.” It is a haunt for BBC presenters and guests who are often found working out in the two story Chuan spa/gym or pool. Luxury travel advisors should contact Director of Leisure Sales Daniele Tanzi ([email protected]).
Living Like a Londoner
The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone
Want the feeling of owning their own London home (well-staffed, of course)? Zetter Townhouse, a 24-room Georgian townhouse tucked between Marylebone’s chic shops and restaurants, is the place, and can be rented in its entirety. Although it only opened in August, it was awarded The Sunday Times “City Hotel of the Year” 2015; yes, it’s that cool. There is no lobby here, you enter through the dark, sumptuous book-filled bar, humming in evenings with Londoners sipping bespoke cocktails by celebrated mixologist Tony Conigliaro. Equally charming guestrooms have a masculine feel (the hotel is home to fictional Wicked Uncle Seymour), filled with quirky yet tasteful antiques. The largest is the 495-square-foot Lear’s Loft at the very top, accessed by a short flight of stairs. It has a dressing room, a living area, a separate study, a roof terrace with al fresco bath and an additional, expansive bathroom. We also loved Room No. 12 that comes with a king bed and a seating area with street views from large sash windows. Luxury travel advisors should contact the operations manager, Gabor Kiszler ([email protected]).
Pictured: The Club Rooms at the Zetter Townhouse in Marylebone are small in size but come with many modern amenities.
The Arts Club, Mayfair
In October, the exclusive Arts Club in Mayfair, a members-only club with bold-faced names — Gwyneth Paltrow, Mario Testino, Noel Gallagher and Pippa Middleton — amongst its regulars, began operating 16 hotel rooms above the club’s other facilities (drawing room, bar, nightclub, brasserie and highly regarded Japanese restaurant, Kyubi). There are four suites, the best is a 1,200-square-foot Penthouse Suite (No. 15), with splendid Art Deco décor, in-laid herringbone floors, sky-lit marble baths, custom furniture by David d’Almada and a stunning roof terrace, overlooking Mayfair with space to do a catered dinner for 12, all with butler service. Staying in the club allows access to uber-cool, intimate member events, like Idris Elba DJing, U.S. Ambassador Matthew Barzun discussing diplomacy, a concert with top U.K. pop star Jess Glynne, and so on. Member referral is required to book hotel rooms. Luxury travel advisors should contact General Manager Simone Moretti ([email protected]).