The Mondrian at Sea Containers – designer Tom Dixon’s latest project – is set to bring a slice of Miami Beach to the South Bank when it opens its doors at the end of September.
Yet while The Mondrian – with its trendy Dandelyan bar (Ryan Chetiyawardana from Hoxton’s White Lyan will be mixing the drinks) and rooftop terrace – will be shaking up the South Bank scene, it’s not the only hot ticket in town.
Here’s our guide to three of this year’s hautest high end hotel openings
Ham Yard Hotel
Designed by husband and wife team, Tim and Kit Kemp, Ham Yard Hotel (the Soho property takes its name from a neighbouring 18th century pub called The Ham) is the most ambitious protect from Firmdale Hotels to date.
Chances are you’ll arrive at the £100 million hotel a little later than planned. For Ham Yard Hotel is accessed via a tree filled pedestrianised public thorough-fare that’s lined with 13 individual specialist stores – including Brazilian beach brand Frescobol Carioca and luxury Australian home ware store, Dinosaur Designs.
Should you manage to make it to your suite, further wave of happiness will wash over you. Despite being individually designed – no two rooms are alike – all are a riot of colour, pattern, texture and art for which Kemp is world renowned. They’re also luxurious and comfortable: think large elegant headboards, full length curtains and generously sized marble bathrooms stocked with Kemp’s new range of bath products, Rik Rak.
Beyond the bedrooms, there’s the buzzy, Ham Yard Bar & Restaurant where you can hang out and enjoy dishes such as Seared scallops with tempura courgette flower washed down with a Black Margarita.
Or curl up in the lovely ground floor library with its honesty bar, oversized Chesterfield sofas and shelves stocked with carefully curated books by literary expert, Philip Blackwell.
But Ham Yard Hotel’s biggest headline grabber has to the bijoux 1950s bowling alley – imported pin-by-pin from Texas.
Bottom line? With so much on offer, you might be booking your next stay before your first has even finished…
This high octane hotel is housed in a beautiful 1914 Belle Epoque building that was once the headquarters of Pearl Assurance. The elegant facade certainly makes you think you’ve stepped back in time to a far more graceful age.
Guests arrive through wrought iron gates into a charming courtyard before turning right into the lobby that’s divided into zones where you can read (there’s an elegant edit of books artfully scattered around the room), enjoy a drink or simply listen to the contented chirping of the birds who are housed in gargantuan cages.
Upon check in, you’ll be shown to your refined accommodation (expect a tasteful palette of grey, beige and taupe) that will soon feel like home. The suites are truly fab, taking glamour to a Hollywood level. Every conceivable luxury and comfort has been thought of: floor to ceiling mirrors, electric black out blinds, enormous (unbranded) widescreen televisions and film star bathrooms boasting family sized baths that could fit Aunts and Uncles too and divine Czech & Speake toiletries.
All of the suites elate but if you’re of the opinion that big is better, then the Grand Manor House Wing – a suite that makes Buckingham Palace look like a Travelodge – is the one to go for. It’s the first hotel suite on the planet to have its own postcode (W1CV 7DZ if you’re interested). The £25,000 a night suite is said to be seven times larger than the average British home and boasts six bedrooms, film star worthy bathrooms, several sitting rooms and a library. Oh and the suite has a dedicated 24/7 butler. Little wonder then that it’s always full – booking the Grand Manor House wing can be as challenging as getting a table at Chiltern Firehouse.
Assuming you decide to leave your room, the cuisine proves a major draw. Holborn Dining Room – the latest venture from Des McDonald– is the official restaurant but there are lots of places to eat including the marvellous Mirror Room(afternoon tea here is a treat) and Martin Brudunizki designed Scarfes Bar.
It’s a bold boast but this may just be the best new hotel in town.
Located in the tallest building in Western Europe on floors 34 to 52, Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, is the city’s first high-rise hotel offering arresting views of London in every direction so ready your Instagram filter.
The spire-shaped, 306m glass-clad Shard provides the perfect foil for the hotel’s elegant, contemporary design, which drew inspiration from the rich cultural offerings of London’s vibrant art, fashion and entertainment scene and Shangri-La’s Asian heritage.
Every one of the hotel’s 202 guest rooms and suites has a view and the rooms are among the largest in London, averaging more than 42 square metres. They feature Chinese art reinterpreted in a modern, abstract way alongside a soothing colour scheme and mood lighting.
The hotel’s Asian touches extend to its dining destinations: don’t miss the chance to enjoy a meal at Tīng (derived from the Chinese word for a living room) and drinks at Gŏng. The latter (which takes its name from ‘dougong’ – an ancient Chinese structural element of interlocking wooden brackets that is a component of the bar’s interiors) is London’s highest champagne and cocktail bar.
But arguably The Shangri La At The Shard’s real standout is its stunning infinity swimming pool: located on the 52nd floor of the tower, the 10m skypool – the highest in Western Europe – affords swimmers stunning views of St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, Westminster, Wembley Stadium and other iconic London vistas.