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HEALTHY EATING, AND LONDON’S FIRST HOTEL WITH A TURKISH BATH:
Hotel Xenia, South Kensington – opened May this year
Following a two-year development and a cost of approximately £9 million, Hotel Xenia opened in May on Cromwell Road in South Kensington. The Victorian building has been restored, and now has 99 contemporary guestrooms, including one suite – the first in London to have a Turkish bath. There is a tablet computer in each of the bedrooms. The hotel’s dining concept is good for health-conscious visitors – the restaurant, Evoluzione, was inspired by renowned nutritionist Chiara Manzi, and serves ‘healthy, low-calorie Italian cuisine' in the property’s conservatory, with daily demonstrations at a dedicated show cooking station. Hotel Xenia promises a delicious three-course meal for under 800 calories.
PR contact: Jacinta Stevens firstname.lastname@example.org
HOT IN THE USA AND A FIRST IN EUROPE:
Ace Hotel, Shoreditch – accepting bookings from 9 September
This is the first Ace Hotel to open in Europe – the Shoreditch site of choice isn’t a surprise for those familiar with Ace in the US, where the properties tend to be found in hipster areas. It’s sure to be hip and trendy, and a shop, bar and performance space are intended to draw in more than just hotel visitors. The restaurant is from the team behind super-cool Bistrotheque, also in east London. Downstairs will be a Square Mile Coffee Roasters and That Flower Shop (a trendy east London florist).
The hotel was formerly a Crowne Plaza and has been undergoing an extensive makeover.
FROM THE MAN BEHIND THE SANDERSON WITH A TOP CHEF IN THE RESTAURANT:
The London EDITION, Fitzrovia – opening 12 Septembe
Ian Schrager returns to London for the first time in 15 years since he introduced the Sanderson and St. Martins Lane. The brand is partnered with Marriott International. The London EDITION preserves the finest aspects of the historic, landmark building –formerly the Berners Hotel – but reinvents the spaces within to create a dynamic fusion of old and new, past and present. The hotel is inspired by the grand traditions of Great Britain: the traditional, aristocratic English country manor and the quintessential London private gentleman’s club with a modern, edgy, urban feel. The panels and rooms will be akin to cabins on a private yacht.
Hot chef of the moment Jason Atherton (the man behind super trendy Pollen Street Social and Little Social) will run the restaurant, so it will be a foodie destination in its own right. There will also be a downstairs nightclub called Crazy Box.
Sauce Communications are handling PR for the restaurant – contact Amy McMullin Amy@saucecommunications.com
DRAMATIC TRANSFORMATION ON THE SOUTH BANK:
The Mondrian, South Bank – set to open early 201
Sea Containers House, on the South Bank, is being developed into the Mondrian London by the Morgans Hotel Group. Situated on the banks of the River Thames, Sea Containers House holds a striking presence between the OXO Tower and Blackfriars Bridge. The building was built in the 1970s and intended as a luxury hotel, but ended up being used as offices instead. The hotel will embody the elegance of a transatlantic 1920s’ liner, combined with a healthy dose of 1980s post-modernism reference. The main lobby will feature a giant, external and internal copper-clad wall, inspired by the hull of a ship that will run from outside the building and glamorously lead guests to the entrance hall within. The vast, 1500 m2, ground floor area includes two river-side restaurants and a breakfast bar.
BUDGET-FRIENDLY OPTIONS SET TO OPEN IN LONDON:
‘Hub by Premier Inn’ – in trial now, opening from Autumn 201
The Hub is tipped to be the most space-efficient hotel and will be the UK's first hotel where the rooms can be remote controlled using a smart phone app. Guests will be able to check in online and control the room’s lighting and temperature, as well as what is on the radio/TV when they arrive. The rooms will also be 30% cheaper than a standard London Premier Inn. It will have ingenious storage solutions in every nook and cranny and is aimed at ‘guests who value location, price and design over space’. Each hotel will have its own deli-style restaurant serving local produce and guests will be able to pre-order breakfast using the 'hub' app.
St Martin's Lane – 167 beds, Autumn 2014
Goodge Street – 179 beds, early 2015
Great Tower St – 119 beds, early 2015
Spitalfields – 185 beds, early 2015
Kings Cross – 408 beds, early 2016
PR contact: Sara Lincoln or Katie-Jo at Frank PR email@example.com
NEW LUXURY HOTEL NEXT TO BUCKINGHAM PALACE
Peninsula Hotels coming to London – date TBC
In a prime location, the Peninsula is going to be built at Grosvenor Place (no’s 1-5). HSH (Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels) and Grosvenor will work together to design and submit a planning application to develop the site following an extensive consultation phase with the local community. More info to follow, but looks set to be a fantastic luxury property
PR contact: Gemma Frenzel, The Communications Store, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW BOOKS ROOM AND MORE CHANGES AT FLEMINGS MAYFAIR:
Flemings Mayfair, a luxury four-star boutique hotel based in the heart of Mayfair, has refurbished 50 rooms and revealed seven new room designs across 50 of its newly refurbished guest rooms. The new designs reflect the ambiance of the hotel, mixing modern elegance with punches of colour, combining humour with a feeling of luxury and opulence. One is a ‘Books Room’, which has Vivienne Westwood-designed tartan wallpaper.
PR contact: Emma Pritchard, William Murray Communications email@example.com
LAURA ASHLEY HOTEL OPENED IN HERTFORDSHIRE:
Laura Ashley The Manor, Hertfordshire, East of Englan
Earlier in the month, quintessential English lifestyle brand Laura Ashley opened the doors to its first luxury boutique hotel – marking 60 years of the company’s design heritage. Nestled in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside, Laura Ashley The Manor in Elstree has 49 elegant rooms and suites, each individually designed using the current Laura Ashley Home collections, which provide the perfect showcase for the brand’s prints and quality products. Laura Ashley The Manor is an impressive Tudor revival property that stands on the site of an old house dating back to 1540 and is surrounded by ten acres of natural woodland with landscaped gardens featuring classic English blooms. It’s 11 miles from London.
PR contact: Shelley Armes-Mather, Emma Oakley or Paul Wells firstname.lastname@example.org.
APARTHOTEL FOR LIVERPOOL:
Liverpool Aparthotel opened in June (north-west England)
The former Lewis’ department store in Liverpool reopened in June as the Adagio Aparthotel. Former features, like a colourful 1950s tiled mural that graced the fifth-floor cafeteria and the statue of a naked man (known locally as Dickie Lewis) over the entrance, have been retained. The 126 apartments are equipped for self-catering, but guests also have access to hotel-style services, such as 24-hour reception, free internet service and housekeeping. A studio apartment costs from £70 a night, with cheaper rates available for longer stays.
NEW ALL-ROUND LUXURY IN DEVON, WITH ‘CATCH IT, COOK IT’ RESTAURANT:
Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa, Devon, south-west England, opening Augus
Salcombe Harbour Hotel and Spa has had a major revamp and now offers a coastal retreat spa, cinema room, waterside restaurant and large terraces, overlooking one of the most dramatic coastlines in the UK. It now has 50 luxury linen bedrooms, most with private balconies. Binoculars come as standard in each of the bedroom’s ‘balcony baskets’.
The hotel will also have a new destination restaurant ‘The Jetty’, with menus created by award-winning Chef Patron Alex Aitken – who has retained a Michelin star in the New Forest and Dorset for 14 years – and top local chefs delivering fresh and seasonal dishes. Taking centre stage at The Jetty will be the Crustacean Bar, serving the freshest catch. As part of The Jetty experience, guests can even join Alex on ‘Catch it, Cook it’ adventures out at sea. Arrive by land or sea (train to Totnes, 20 miles away).
A POSH TRAILER PARK – AIRSTREAM CARAVANS ON A BRISTOL ROOFTOP
Brooks Guesthouse, Bristol, south-west England, to open Airstream caravan trailer park on its rooftop – soon (TBC)
Brooks Guesthouse, which opened in April 2011 and is located in the heart of the popular St Nicholas Market, will place four vintage airstream caravan parks on its flat roof in Autumn 2013, offering guests a unique overnight experience in the city centre. The caravans will be imported from America and will be customised by local artists and cabinet makers in Bristol to create a quirky addition to the city skyscape. The 23-bed stylish guesthouse has become an established hospitality business in the Old City, attracting corporate and leisure guests throughout the week.
PR contact: Wendy Johnson email@example.com
THE ONLY NATURAL THERMAL SPA IN A HOTEL:
The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath, south-west England – opening February 2014
Originally built in the 1800s, The Gainsborough Bath Spa occupies three listed and historic buildings, The Gainsborough, Bellotts and Hetling House, with distinguished Grade II Georgian façades and the one remaining Elizabethan building in the heart of Bath. Contemporarily redesigned to offer superlative service in an elegant environment rooted firmly in its classical heritage, its intimate public spaces, restaurant and bar are centred around Spa Village Bath, the only natural thermal spa within a luxury hotel.
IMMERSION IN THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE, WHERE MANOR MEETS FARM:
Heckfield Place, Hampshire, due to open March 2014
Built in the Georgian period and expanded in Victorian times, the new Heckfield Place manor house hotel has just been reunited with its 330-acre home farm. The hotel boasts 60 individually designed bedrooms, a historic walled garden of flowers, herbs and fruit trees, 65-seat subterranean screening room, cottages offering a variety of health and beauty experiences, restaurant and working farm with livestock and vegetables.
ECCENTRIC ARCHITECTURE ON A STUNNING BEACH:
Pig on the Beach, Dorset, Spring 2014
The Pig on the Beach will be located above Studland Bay, Dorset, one of the most stunning beaches in England. The beautiful 18th century Manor House, which is a National Trust property, is a listed building with slightly eccentric architecture and is surrounded by 22 acres of farmland. Bordering the coastal path, it has dramatic views of Old Harry Rocks and the Jurassic Coast.
FOOTBALL FANS’ PARADISE:
Hotel Football, Manchester, opening October 2014
Combining a football theme with, and located on, the doorstep of Manchester United’s Old Trafford football stadium, Hotel Football is designed to be a fresh, contemporary venue using subtle references to football throughout.
MAJOR REFURB WITH ESPA SPA AT RADISSON BLU EDWARDIAN MANCHESTER:
Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester
The five-star Manchester Free Trade Hall – a Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel – has completed a multi-million pound refurbishment programme across all its 263 rooms and suites, as well as its award-winning destination restaurant Opus One and the Steak and Lobster casual dining restaurant. In addition, the landmark city centre property has invested heavily in creating a showcase spa experience with ESPA including a 12-metre swimming pool, Nordic sauna, steam room and multiple treatment rooms including one perfectly designed for couples.
EX-BBC BROADCASTING CENTRE WITH DOCTOR WHO CONNECTIONS RE-OPENS:
Wood Norton, Worcestershire The Wood Norton re-opened six months ago following a £4million restoration. The hotel was previously an ex-BBC broadcasting centre and before this, in the early 1900s, was owned by European royalty, where it was the venue for the marriage of Princess Louise of Orleans – the grandmother of the present King of Spain.
The Wood Norton was also used for some of the filming of the Doctor Who serial Spearhead from Space and it was later used for all of the location filming for another Doctor Who series Robot, where Tom Baker made his first appearance as the much-loved time lord.
PR contact: Charlotte Parsley, Pic PR firstname.lastname@example.org
MAJOR REFURB FOR CORNWALL HOTEL, NOW OWNED BY CHAIRMAN OF ASTON MARTIN:
Idle Rocks, St Mawes, Cornwall, south-west England The Idle Rocks Hotel on the harbour front in St Mawes, Cornwall, is now in the hands of Karen and David Richards, leading entrepreneur in the motor-racing world and Chairman of Aston Martin. It underwent a radical transformation and reopened in July to offer simple yet welcoming design in an idyllic location. Richards said ‘We wanted to create an experience that felt more like staying at a friend’s beautiful house than a hotel. It is all about re-engaging with the simple pleasures in life. There are no check-in desks or the usual formalities one expects at a hotel – guests can eat breakfast whenever they like and will be encouraged to throw another log on the fire. The food is local and fresh, with daily deliveries from fishermen on the harbour nearby.’
Located on the waterfront, guests can try crab racing, sailing and relaxing on the beach before returning for hot crumpets and tea in front of the roaring log fire.
PR contact: Luchford APM, Mary-Clare Gribbon MC.Gribbon@luchfordapm.com
ANDY MURRAY HOTEL TO OPEN IN APRIL:
Cromlix House, Perthshire, Scotland, from April Now that he's won the Wimbledon championship trophy, Andy Murray can finally concentrate on his budding hotelier career. Cromlix House dates from 1874 and is set in 50 acres of woodland and gardens close to Murray's hometown of Dunblane, and was the setting for his big brother's wedding in 2010. ‘I'm pleased to be able to give something back to the community I grew up in,’ he said in a statement.
The 15-room hotel will be managed by Inverlochy Castle Management International and is set to open on April 1 2014; in plenty of time for the Ryder Cup at nearby Gleneagles. The hotel is now open for bookings.
AFFORDABLE AND LUXURIOUS – B&B OPENS IN GLASGOW:
15 Boutique B&B, Glasgow
15 is Glasgow’s latest luxury boutique bed and breakfast hotel. Situated on the edge of Glasgow city centre, 15 is a step away from the heart of the West End and nestled in an A-listed Victorian townhouse in the city’s Park area.
NEW TRADITIONAL CASTLE HOTEL FOR SCOTLAND:
Fonab Castle, Perthshire, open now
A traditional castle hotel, Fonab is nestled on the banks of Loch Faskally in Pitlochry, Highland Perthshire, amid breathtaking highland scenery. The hotel has a total of 31 rooms, 13 of which are housed in the castle. Another 18 rooms, most of which have direct access to the lochside, are located in a modern addition. Fonab Castle grounds feature 36 rustic, yet luxurious lodges with private hot tubs. Originally built for the Sandeman family, port and sherry merchants, the hotel is aiming for five-star quality and will feature a panoramic, glass-fronted restaurant with stunning loch views, serving both locally and internationally inspired dishes in a stylish, yet casual setting.
WATCH THIS SPACE – DUNDEE TO GET A BOUTIQUE HOTEL:
Customs House Hotel & Harbour Chambers, predicted opening Summer 2014
Touted to be operated by M Gallery, this will be Dundee’s first five-star hotel and will offer 38 bedrooms.
NEW ROMANTIC TURRET SUITE OPENS AT THE WITCHERY IN EDINBURGH:
The Witchery, Edinburgh
The Turret is the Witchery's latest suite, open in July 2013. One of the largest of the Witchery's suites it takes its name from the historic stone turret that forms its entrance. This third-floor suite offers fantastic views over the Old Town to Princes Street and over the Firth of Forth.
You enter from a tapestry-lined lobby that leads to a large sitting room with panelled walls in lacquer red, which are lined with painted and gilded French leather panels. An even larger bedroom is hung with tapestries and features a super-king sized bed. The bathroom features a central silver bateau bath and twin handwash basins and a spectacular gothic floor. The adjacent shower room features a double walk-in shower with drench showers and rain bars all lined in blood-red Venetian glass moasaic.
PR contact: Mark Rowley email@example.com
NEW OWNERSHIP AND A TRANSFORMATION FOR CAIRNGORMS HOTEL:
The Monarch Hotel and Church Ruin, Newtonmore, Scottish Highlands
Under the new ownership of Australians Neil and Annie Whittle, the recently renovated and renamed Monarch is a far cry from the old Monadhliath that was there previously. There is a picturesque church ruin in the garden and, being in The Cairngorm National Park, the local scenery is spectacular. Whatever the weather or season there are numerous activities on the doorstep from walking and climbing to white-water rafting and pony trekking. The restaurant, bar and lounge have all been refurbished as have many of the bedrooms. It’s within two hours of Edinburgh and Glasgow by car.
PR contact: Diana Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW ECO COTTAGE IN WALES:
The Straw Cottage, Wales, opened earlier in year
Lighting in Straw Cottage is provided by candles and lanterns, rechargeable gaslights and a solar light. Nestling in a wooded glade on Ty Gwyn Farm, less than three miles from Victorian spa town of Llandrindod Wells, this is no ancient cottage refurbished for tourists. The cottage was built as recently as this winter on a 130-acre organic beef and sheep farm, using centuries’ old building methods. As the name suggests, the walls are made of straw bales and then coated with lime mortar inside and out. The roof insulation is sheep’s wool and the roof is covered with cedar shingles. Sleeping four in two bedrooms, there is also plenty of space for children to camp outside, making it ideal for two families to share. Combining farming with tourism, owners the Porters also have Granary Cottage, a stylish four-star self-catering cottage to let and an 18th century Cruck Barn, which is ideal for meetings and courses. They also run country courses and experiences, including Walking through History, dry stone walling and gundog training.
DYLAN THOMAS HOTEL RE-OPENS WITH FOUR-STAR GRADING:
The Black Lion, New Quay, west Wales, open now
The Black Lion Hotel, in New Quay, west Wales, opened this spring and was one of Dylan Thomas’ favourite spots for a tipple when he spent time in the town between 1944 and 1945. The property, once owned by Dylan Thomas’ friend Jack Pat (Patrick), opened with a four-star grading as a hotel and restaurant – with six, luxury en-suite rooms. Dylan Thomas lovers will marvel at the importance of this location; Gomer House, just across the road, was the home of Captain Tom Polly – Dylan’s inspiration for the Captain Cat in Under Milk Wood - and the hotel is home to a large collection of Dylan Thomas memorabilia. New Quay itself is a beautiful harbour town and The Black Lion Hotel’s garden offers stunning views across the harbour and Cardigan Bay. A great base for walking the Wales Coast Path, spotting dolphins and water sports. Rooms start from £70 per night including breakfast. www.blacklionnewquay.co.uk
AWARD-WINNING NEW GUESTHOUSE WITH ACOUSTIC ROOM:
Llwyn Helyg Country house, Carmarthenshire, south Wales, open now
The five-star Llwyn Helyg Country House in Carmarthenshire has been named AA Guest Accommodation of the Year for Wales 2013. Located in the heart of south Wales’ Tywi Valley, Llwyn Helyg Country House is set in three acres of tranquil, landscaped grounds. The property has three beautiful guest rooms as well as a therapy room, kitchen for cookery courses and dedicated ‘Listening Room’ with a state-of-the-art music system. This acoustically designed room, with a specially vaulted ceiling, hosts numerous musical events throughout the year and guests can also enjoy the room privately by listening to music they have brought with them or chosen from the guesthouse’s extensive library of vinyls and CDs. Guests can also take part in speciality cookery classes upon request. Rooms start from £119 per night including breakfast
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com