Despite the continuing chill in the air, spring is definitely on its way to London and we can't wait to see the daffodils put out their blooms. It's a time for new beginnings and this season will see refurbishments, special offers and brand new premises joining the boutique hotel scene.
Set to open in May, the new Xenia Hotel (pictured above) will bring a ray of sunshine to the tourist hotspot of South Kensington. The 99-bedroom property will join the Great Hotels of the World group, of which there are six others in London including the Landmark London and St James's Hotel. The management promises an innovative Italian restaurant, alfresco seating (assuming we finally get some good weather!) and an extensive cigar list.
The Xenia won't be the only new appearance on the streets of South Kensington. The recently-opened Adria Hotel and its 24 rooms set inside a beautifully converted Victorian townhouse have had a very warm welcome.
Of the first 25 reviews on TripAdvisor, 22 have been rated ‘excellent', with guests full of praise for the interiors and staff with one guest reporting that "the customer service and attentiveness was faultless as was the cleanliness and the new, stylish, modern-classical decor."
A couple of new boutique pads are set to hit the streets of Soho too.
One is a redevelopment of the former St John Hotel. One Leicester Street will open on May 1st under the management of Singaporean hotelier Peng Loh. Design Week reported on the upcoming unveiling, discussing the simplicity of the design by Universal Design Studio who have used "soft colour palettes, bespoke lighting and quality furniture pieces that provide comfortable, luxurious places for enjoyment."
The other Soho newcomer will be TheNadler Soho, a new incarnation of ‘affordable boutique' brandbase2stay. Unique aspects include mini-kitchens in each room and Local Ambassadors primed to give guests the full London lowdown 24/7. Bookings are being taken from June onwards.
In terms of spring cleaning, the Great Northern Hotel near St Pancras has had a serious going-over, finally opening for business this April after a 12-year closure. Many of this stunning building's original features, including the façade, windows, lead-lined gutters, cast iron grilles and drainpipes, have been perfectly restored. The ground floor bar opens directly into King's Cross Station, with owner Jeremy Robson saying "we have tried to create one of Europe's finest bars in a station."
May will see the Boutique Hotel Summit come to London on the 22nd and 23rd. Held at The Montcalm in Marble Arch, this b2b meeting will bring together industry experts for case studies, speeches, seminars and a tour of nearby boutique hotels including The Montcalm itself and The Arch.
Afternoon tea, it seems, is still on trend for the spring. St Ermin's has gone one better and launched an afternoon tea especially for kids. Little ones will love the superhero-inspired selection, featuring Batman cupcakes, special power mocktails and classic finger sandwiches.
With the hope that there is better weather to come, hip hotel The Hoxton has launched ‘Hox Bikes' - cool buttercup yellow bicycles which will be free for all guests to use. Who needs a Boris Bike?