The hottest London hotel openings in 2017
Set within the listed 1922 headquarters of the Port of London Authority, which hosted the inaugural meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1946, Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square is due to open on January 26. A grand Portland stone building with a dramatic columned entrance, large tower and a rotunda, it is thrillingly close to the Tower of London. It will have a spa, an indoor pool and best of all, will feature wunderkind French chef Anne-Sophie Pic’s first UK restaurant, La Dame Le Pic, a French brasserie with English touches.
The first UK venture from an Indian hotel group owned by a family with a passion for London, The Lalit, also due to open on January 26, is housed in the Grade II-listed St Olave’s Grammar School, where novelist Lawrence Durrell once went, a short stroll from London Bridge and Borough Market and an even shorter one to Tower Bridge. Blending the best of Indian culture and cuisine with a quirky Victorian building, the hotel has 70 rooms, a pan-Indian restaurant and ‘Naanery’ (that’s a bread bar) in the former Great Hall and a cocktail bar in the Governor’s Room. Even the first-floor Headmaster’s Room is now a suite. There’s also a spa offering various Asian therapies.
Giving neighbour Shoreditch House a run for its money, the entrepreneur behind celeb-magnet Gansevoort Hotel Group in the US is launching his first hotel and members club in London in 2017, although an opening date is yet to be confirmed. Expect a rooftop pool and bar, a spa, a state-of-the-art gym, a screening room and nightclub. New York chef Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster in Harlem will open a London outpost at the hotel, offering southern soul food.
Named after the Covent Garden street in which it sits, The Henrietta, opening in March, will be a small 18-room hotel with an exciting restaurant by Raymond Blanc protégé Ollie Dabbous, who launched his first restaurant, the universally adored Dabbous on Whitfield Street, in 2012. The team behind it is the Experimental Group, best known for its restaurants and bars (Experimental Cocktail Club and others) in Paris and London, so it will be hot on the cocktails too. Expect hand-painted wallpapers, richly coloured fabrics and a rather bohemian decadence throughout.
An excellent affordable London hotel option, the 267-room Dorsett City, opening at the end of April, inhabits a slickly modern 13-storey tower right next to Aldgate tube station and the eighteenth-century St Botolph Church. While it may all sound a bit corporate, it’s actually an excellent base for a London weekend, a ten minute walk from the Tower of London and Spitalfields market and a little more to Brick Lane. Two restaurants will offer uniquely different dining experiences: Shikuman for fantastic dim sum, and VQ (Vingt-Quatre) for comfort food and cocktails. There’s also a rooftop bar.
Possibly the most ambitious project to date from the Soho House group, The Ned, due to open in April in the heart of the City of London, is a multi-use space with a hotel, private member’s club, nine restaurants and multiple grooming services for men and women. Set within the iconic Midland Bank building designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1924, highlights include the vast banking hall - now the hotel reception - a branch of Cecconi’s, and a bar in what was once the subterranean safety deposit vault.
Originally scheduled to open in 2014, Nobu Hotel Shoreditch finally looks set to launch in May. It is celebrated Japanese Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s fourth hotel and first in Europe. Housed in a futuristic steel and glass building (the glass cleverly reflective to maximise privacy within), it will house 150 bedrooms, including seven suites with leafy terraces. There’s also a lobby lounge and, obviously, a branch of Matsuhisa’s restaurant Nobu, with a multi-levelled landscaped courtyard for sunny days.
Fans of the Prince Charles Cinema on Leicester Place will have walked past Victory House a million times. Right on the corner of Leicester Square, it was built in 1898 as the Hôtel de l’Europe in the early French Renaissance style. Since then, it has been many things. After a soft opening in April, it is scheduled to properly open as Victory House London, an MGallery Property on April 18. A bit like Marriott’s Autograph Collection, MGallery is Sofitel’s boutique hotel arm, a series of small hotels in interesting historical settings. This one will consist of 86 rooms and suites – the rest they’re keeping a closely guarded secret. Watch this space.