The Haldane Suite at Raffles London at the OWO
As autumn collections go, it’s looking pretty spectacular. On September 12, the Peninsula opens its doors in London for the first time. The position is superb – overlooking Hyde Park corner, close to Buckingham Palace. Architect Peter Marino has opted for a calm and considered approach in the 190 rooms and suites; they are as large and well-designed as you’d hope from their price tag, from £1,300 a night.
A Grand Premier Park Room at the Peninsula, which is opening in September.
Your eye will be drawn to the floor-to-ceiling windows and the views beyond of Wellington Arch, the trees of Buckingham Palace gardens and Hyde Park Corner. The wellness offering, opening in November, is every bit as strong as you’d hope from this leading Hong Kong brand; a 24-hour gym, group classes and workshops, 25-meter swimming pool and seven paneled treatment rooms, alongside saunas, steam rooms and relaxation lounges.
The Lobby at the Peninsula Hotel in London
Over the past three years, London’s leading hoteliers and restaurateurs have been bemoaning the fact that their best staff have been wooed to join the Raffles London at the OWO. On September 29th, it will finally open, in what were once the offices of Winston Churchill, John Profumo and James Bond creator Ian Fleming. In the heart of Whitehall, opposite Horse Guards Parade, this ornate Edwardian beauty – a heady blend of neo-classical proportions, exquisitely preserved interiors and sense of fun will open alongside 11 restaurants and 120 billets, all overseen by legendary general manager Philippe LeBoeuf, formerly of the Mandarin Oriental in Paris and Claridge’s History buffs will love it; actually we probably all will.
The Grand Staircase at Raffles London at the OWO
More quietly, a Mandarin Oriental is opening in Mayfair’s Hanover Square in late September. There will be just 50 guest rooms alongside 78 residences for longer term stays. Compared to the front and centre nature of Knightsbridge MO, it’ll be quieter but the Akira Black restaurant will bring Michelin-starred Korean fusion cuisine.
One of the bedrooms at the new Mandarin Oriental in Mayfair.
This summer, the 1 Hotel brand headed across the Atlantic to open in Mayfair. There’s no single-use plastic, living walls take the place of cut flowers but alongside a firm commitment to sustainability will be very seasonal food from British Michelin-starred chef Tom Sellers alongside 181 serene rooms and suites; some of which have views onto Green Park.
Cafe Laperouse at Raffles London OWO
Also just opened is The BoTree in the very delightful, villagey Marylebone, between Oxford Circus and Regent’s Park. There are 199 rooms, which bring the area’s greenery and relaxed feel with blowsy floral art and large windows. In September, the Italian LAVO Ristorante will translate over from its Los Angeles mothership.
A bedroom at the BoTree in Marylebone.
When Londoners want unadulterated fun, they head to Soho. The Broadwick, first tipped to open in 2021, will have 47 panache-laden guestrooms and nine suites when it opens in November, many of which come with private balconies for a bird’s eye view of Soho’s vibrant streets, designed by London’s leading interior interpreter of the past Martin Brudnizki, with playful 1950s ice cream colors and a welcome sense of eccentricity.
A bedroom at the Broadwick Hotel
With a rooftop bar, Flute and wraparound terrace plus speakeasy, there will also be a restaurant, Dear Jackie, that references Soho’s Sicilian heritage of the 1950s. Rooms will start at £590.
The furnishings are 1950s inspired at the Broadwick
And there are budget options as well. Just opened is Ruby Zoe in West London. Its interior pays tribute to Notting Hill’s West Indian heritage with artworks by Trinidadian-British artist Zak Ove. The fast-growing German Ruby group practices ‘lean luxury’, where bedding and showers are powerful but there isn’t a restaurant but the location – on Notting Hill Gate itself is perfect, and there’s a 24-hour bar, for both barista-made drinks and harder brews. Rooms start at under £200.