London’s hottest hotels for fall 2021
Despite being wiped out by the pandemic last year, London’s luxury hotel scene is once again hot, with several opulent new hotels to choose from. With many returning hotels at pre-pandemic or higher prices, hotels near the City of London generally offer better value as the trend of working from home continues.
The latest five-star hotel in the City of London is the Pan Pacific. The Singapore-based company is taking its first step in Europe with the opening of the Pan Pacific in early September. The hotel feels like stepping into Singapore from the moment you arrive, but in a subtle way. Lush tropical planting is evident throughout the hotel, as well as gorgeous tropical foliage in vases. Even the bathrooms have bamboo rods to stay in the theme, though the toiletries are closer to home, with cult Parisian perfumers Diptyque being the suppliers.
The bedrooms are decorated in soothing duck egg tones and feature beautiful oriental-designed porcelain teapots with matching mugs. The oversized beds are some of the most plush and comfortable in London, and you won’t have to get up to open the curtains and take in views of some of London’s most iconic buildings. If you fancy a taste of Singapore, the hotel offers several options for tasting Singaporean dishes or modern dishes inspired by Asia.
The highlight is undoubtedly afternoon tea at the Orchid Lounge by famous pastry chef Cherish Finden, formerly of Langham. Of course, you can go traditional and try some English afternoon tea. Still, one of the best afternoon teas in London is the hotel’s Kopi Tiam option, which means coffee in Singapore. The menu is based on dishes from his childhood and even features the ubiquitous curry puff pastry, which will transport you to a hawking center in Asia from the first glorious bite. The presentation is as stunning as the bold flavors, with the taste of Umami Seaweed Sesame Shortbread and Soy Sauce Caramel being so good you’ll want more.
There’s also the Straits Kitchen restaurant, which serves that messy Singapore favorite, chili crab along with other Asian favorites and a few more international choices. Finally, Ginger Lily is the intimate cocktail bar tucked away at the back of the living room and perfect for a date or a nightcap in a quiet location. The cocktails are modern and tropical in decoration but sophisticated.
Many hotels in London only offer an underground pool, but not at the Pan Pacific. Next to the 18.5-inch infinity pool that overlooks the plaza below, the hotel has a high-performance interactive gym and a unique mindfulness studio for meditation, pilates, and yoga.
The Londoner shortly after the Pan Pacific opened in September, located in the heart of the tourist action in Leicester Square. The Londoner by Edwardian Hotels bills itself as the “World’s First Super Boutique Hotel” as it has 350 rooms and 16 floors, but still strives to retain the essence of a boutique hotel. Designed in collaboration with world-renowned architects Yabu Pushelberg, The Londoner is designed to capture British humor in its setting to appeal to tourists and locals alike.
From the luxurious 200m² duplex Tower Penthouse suite to the expansive Trafalgar Suites – covering 119 square meters and offering living areas, kitchenettes and fireplaces to the entry bedrooms, the spaces are all elegantly neutral. The style is decidedly with a British flair but with the latest technology and lots of natural light with floor to ceiling windows.
One aspect that sets The Londoner apart is that it offers its guests 24-hour access to its own private club-style space, The Residence. The 24-hour club is strictly for guests only and is hidden from public areas, adding to its sense of exclusivity.
Another draw for Londoner’s guests will be The Retreat, a wellness spa and sanctuary, hidden four floors underground. The area contains everything most would need in a city hotel, spa, etc. The retreat features a state-of-the-art gym, hydroelectric pools and pools, sauna, steam room, bespoke men’s treatments by Joe Vipond, blow-dry salon, nail bar by AMA and a range of treatments led by Omorovicza, Gentlemen’s Tonic and ila as well as a Refuel juice bar.
If you prefer more privacy, treatments can be done in your room, even outside normal hours. There are even pool-side and cabana-side experiences that you’d expect to see at a resort rather than a city spa. The Courtyard brings an indoor / outdoor experience into its bright and airy space for those who prefer to be outside for their fitness routine. Classes such as Sunrise Yoga, Core Strength Session, Energizing Moving Meditation Session, and Sunrise Pilates are available here for hotel guests, members and the public.
The Londoner is also likely to attract those keen to explore its multiple food and drink options with six unique hospitality spaces. The hotel’s izakaya lounge, 8 at the Londoner, due to its rooftop location with stunning city views will likely be the biggest draw. The restaurant and bar will serve modern Japanese cuisine and innovative mixology. The space itself is spectacular with its sophisticated deep and understated colors that highlight the views and the central round fireplace.
There’s also a lobby bar and Joshua’s Tavern which features over 50 regional and vintage gins with matching toppings, house infused bitters, and tonic to enhance the herbs of each gin. Plus, the Stage bar beaming down from the lobby offers an all-day menu to complement its main focus, champagne.
Still relatively new to the London hotel scene, the London branch of NoMad opened in May 2021. The hotel followed the previous two in Las Vegas and Los Angeles after the original NoMad in New York closed.
In an enviable position within walking distance of the Royal Opera House, Soho, the River Thames and Leicester Square, the hotel is located inside the historic Grade II listed building, known as Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station. The restoration of the building was inspired by both its history and its location as well as the original in New York.
The centerpiece of the hotel is Executive Chef Ashley Abodeely’s NoMad Restaurant. Set in a light-flooded atrium surrounded by cascading plants, its size gives an impression of the Ned Dining Room in the City of London. The menu features a modern eclectic mix from king crab tagliatelle to their famous three-course chicken dinner.
Their cocktail bar, Side Hustle, has already earned a reputation as one of the trendiest bars in town with a fun selection of small Mexican plates to counter their more gourmet cocktails. It’s located in the old building police station and is NoMad’s version of the classic British pub rather than a traditional cocktail bar. Cocktails feature a wide selection of agave-based spirits as well as classic and contemporary British, European and American choices.
For wellness, there are two very different options to choose from compared to the normal ubiquitous range of massages and facials. First of all, Ricari Studios offers a specific massage method for the face and body that stimulates the skin and tissues to stimulate circulation, facilitate lymphatic drainage, tone the skin, sculpt and calm the nervous system. Then, skin health specialist Annee de Mamiel offers the other options with a choice of just two facials. Her signature treatment is personalized, or there’s a digital anti-fatigue facial that uses Mamiel’s powerful natural skincare antioxidants to target inflammation and boost skin cell metabolism to restore your glow.
In 2022, London can expect several major luxury hotel openings with the Peninsula and Raffles brands expected to welcome their first customers. Overlooking Hyde Park Corner, the Peninsula London is slated to open in late 2022, featuring a spa and central courtyard. Raffles London at The OWO will be located in a historic building that was Winston Churchill’s home base during WWII. The hotel is also slated to open at the end of 2022.