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London hotel

New ‘super boutique hotel’ in London to become leader in sustainability

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New ‘super boutique hotel’ in London to become leader in sustainability

Edwardian Hotels London has secured a £175 million Green Loan from HSBC UK that will help make its new ‘super boutique hotel’, The Londoner, one of the most environmentally friendly in the UK, with sustainability at its core…

Edwardian Hotels London has secured a £175 million Green Loan from HSBC UK to ensure its new super boutique hotel, The Londoner, situated in Leicester Square will be one of the greenest hotels in the UK.

The deal with HSBC UK breaks new ground in sustainability for the hospitality industry. It is the first Green Loan in the sector that meets the Green Loan Principles, which were set out in March 2018 to encourage and facilitate environmentally-friendly economic activity. The funding will be used to ensure the new hotel doesn’t just meet but exceeds the BREEAM Excellent category in building environmental and sustainable performance.

Thanks to the Green Loan, The Londoner’s impressive green credentials will range from use of construction materials with a low environmental impact, to new technologies including an innovative liquid film which will reduce evaporation and energy loss from the hotel’s swimming pool.

The hotel is also aiming to contribute to the sustainability of its neighbours by including a heat network connection. Initially, this will be linked to the Edwardian Hotels London-owned hotel next door to The Londoner, The Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire, but could also be extended to the surrounding area in the future. In total, the hotel is set to use 30 per cent less carbon than regulations demand.

 “Since its inception we have always had bold ambitions for The Londoner to write itself into the very fabric of the city, said Jasminder Singh OBE, Chairman and Founder of Edwardian Hotels London. “We have been dedicated to delivering a high-quality, sustainable, integrated hotel and this Green Loan supports that vision. We are delighted that this new property, designed to celebrate the character of the capital, has become the first in the hospitality industry to secure this.”

Rob King, Head of Sustainable Finance at HSBC UK, said: “HSBC has made a commitment to provide US$100bn of Sustainable Finance by 2025 to help businesses transition to a lower carbon economy. We are very pleased to have supported Edwardian Hotels London with a Green Loan to support the construction of this high profile hotel with very strong sustainability credentials.  Green Loans are an exciting development in Sustainable Finance which will encourage the investment urgently required to meet our carbon emission reduction targets.”

The Londoner is in a new hotel category of one. Boutique in feel, yet staggering in scale, at 15 storeys, the property will offer a multifaceted experience through its 350 exquisite rooms and suites, signature restaurants and dining offerings and with the bespoke meetings and event spaces infused with London character. It is scheduled to open in Spring 2020.

Main image credit: Edwardian Hotels

Mandarin Kensington Fire: Hotel issues statement

753 421 Hamish Kilburn

Just one week after completing “the most extensive restoration in its 115-year history”, the Mandarin Oriental London yesterday suffered a devastating blow when a fire broke out on the top floor…

The Mandarin Oriental has made a comment after a fire broke out yesterday afternoon.

“Plumes of smoke were seen rising from the five-star Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge just before 16:00 BST,” reported the BBC. Among the guests that were evacuated from the burning building was singer Robbie Williams who described the drama to the BBC: “I went on the balcony and looked up and there was just billows and billows of smoke.

“I came back in from the balcony and said, ‘The hotel’s on fire,’ and then the next thing a knock at the door came and there was a bellboy there and they said, ‘Get out’.”

The fire was believed to have spread across a vertical façade of plants and vegetation and into several floors of the hotel but was quickly extinguished, as reported by FT.

It happens after the hotel last week announced that its recently completed renovation, overseen by internationally renowned designers Joyce Wang and Adam D. Tihany was to confirm this historic hotel’s position as one of the best in the world.

In a recent press release from the hotel brand, the renovation was described to have given all 181 guestrooms and suites a more luxurious and comfortable feel than ever before. The designers took inspiration from art deco and included carefully curated artworks, and custom-designed furniture. The hotel had also installed a green living wall which surrounds the inner courtyard.

Since the fire broke out, the hotel has made a comment: “We would like to express our appreciation to everyone who has conveyed their concern about this sad incident.

“It is too early at the present stage to assess the full extent of the damage. A full investigation is under way and will take time to complete.”

 

Our thoughts are with the hotel and the Mandarin Oriental brand at this time.

Image credit: Twitter @Watersun555

 

Dark-toned room with high ceilings mixes plush velvet and low lighting

Fitzrovia’s mysterious and magnificent The Mandrake Hotel

1024 681 Hamish Kilburn

Nestled under a canopy of plants in London’s Fitzrovia district sits The Mandrake Hotel, an unlikely yet very welcome neighbour to this part of town. Hamish Kilburn takes a peek inside…

Blink and you will miss it. The unassuming framed ornate wrought iron gates are the first of many indications that rules have been broken when designing the concept of The Mandrake Hotel. Unlike other luxury hotels in the area, such as Charlotte Street Hotel and The London Edition, The Mandrake’s entrance is very low key – almost as if its exact whereabouts is on a need-to-know basis, which of course it is.

Five years in the making, and a first for the Fustok family, The Mandrake Hotel sits in a former Victorian office block and has been artfully converted into the cool, urban boutique hotel that it is today.

During fashion week last year, when The Mandrake opened, its unique Bohemian-Gothic style led to it becoming the venue of choice for British Vogue’s editor Edward Enninful and a stream of A-listers who followed. The most recent neighbour to move in and name the hotel its premium local hangout spot is Facebook’s new swanky London headquarters in Rathbone Square.

One thing that is immediately apparent when entering the building is that the design elements of the hotel feel very personal. Interior designer Tala Fustok’s creativity literally runs through the walls of the hotel. “It was important to keep the honest feel of the building, and preserve its identity,” explains Fustok in a recent press release. An example of this can be found in the public areas that have been carefully curated with surrealist sculptures to portray the feeling that nothing in this hotel is what it first seems.

The Lobby. Image credit: The Mandrake Hotel

Striking pieces of art depicted by nature make a lasting impression when entering the strangely calming lobby. Industrial-style walls marry nicely with the understated yet stylish reception desk. The lobby hangs under a large gothic-style chandelier, lit by 30 wax candles, and the soft ambient lighting is well balanced to welcome guests into a curious new world.

The theme of outdoor indoor space has been well examined throughout the building, with natural light and the hotel’s incredible terrace being seen from almost all corners of the public area. A modest courtyard is poised and readily equipped for all occasions and looks up to the terrace, above which is a large living wall of plantation.

Outdoor terrace looks down onto a palm courtyard

The terrace. Image credit: The Mandrake Hotel

The dramatic Labradorite bar, at some 30ft in length, is the hotel’s source of energy. The dark Victorian panelled mahogany long bar is balanced by the room’s inspiration of nature. This area is rich in greens, with a gentle riot of Parisian fabrics and thick verdant palm textures of green, purple and red. Above the bar hangs the specially commissioned mythical-gazelcock (part-impala, park peacock) by Enrique Gomez de Molina, adding the mixture of eclecticism and humour.

The guestrooms

Considering the hype, only 34 guestrooms, three suites and one incredible penthouse are sheltered on three levels, each designed to unlock a chic, unique, cosy, quiet, high-ceilinged refuge, worlds away from the hustle and bustle of London life below.

All guestrooms are carved around the palm tree-studded interior courtyard, which centres the hotel and provides rooms with ample natural light. Designed with a mixture of maximalist bohemian throughout, the rooms create “a glamorous constructed garden of Eden” as Fustok puts it.

There is a sense of harmony as if two cities are colliding in the room’s interior fittings. Indulgent Parisian jewel-toned velvets, gilding mirrors and commanding metallic coffee tables add a flare of glitz in the interiors. This is balanced with a cool London city vibe of earthy-toned drape curtains, an curvaceous wing chairs.

Guestroom with statement circular mirror on the wall

Image credit: The Mandrake Hotel

“I wanted to keep the feel of the building’s natural, raw energy,” explains Fustok when describing the well-proportioned rooms and high ceilings of the Victorian shell. Clean lines have replaced the unusual period mouldings, resulting in bedrooms that envelop you in their infinity of moody hues. Striking vintage one-off pieces compliment the dark paint tones, while accents of colour are added by interesting artwork. Together, 33 different chandeliers and vintage panel screens covered with lush botanical plants in the guestrooms echo the bohemian vibes weaved around the hotel.

The pièce de résistance is The Mandrake Suite, painted in dark sultry tones that echo through from the bar and seductive hallways. The luxurious bed is swathed in Bedouin-style folds of fabric. A standalone bathtub set on a slab of black-veined marble adding to the majestic look and feel of the suite.


Image credit: The Mandrake Hotel

As I descend down the lift towards check-out, the courtyard emerges and the sense of coming back down to earth feels very real. My conclusion is that, among the hundreds of hotels to open in London, The Mandrake stands as a shining example of how taking risks and following the heart when injecting a hotel’s personality pays off. Bravo Tala, the rest of Fustok family and all others who were involved in creating what we hope to be the first of many truly transformational boutique luxury hotels.

Fitzrovia’s ever-evolving trendy hotspot is rumoured to soon welcome a new Bluebird cafe as well as one of London’s premium HIIT and spin studios, Digme Fitness, which will open directly opposite the new Facebook offices in Rathbone Square. With these major openings, I get the feeling that The Mandrake’s quirky shell could soon well become ‘the local’ for many premium businesses nearby.

Telling the theatre story in Leicester Square’s latest hotel

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Hotel Indigo opens in central London with a vision to reflect the historic patina of a theatre through quality design…

Nestled in the heart of London’s theatreland district, Hotel Indigo has used the power of surface design to tell the neighbourhood story.

In collaboration with London-based architectural design practice Michaelis Boyd, specialist surface finishes firm Viero UK used Marmorin Hydro decorative plaster across the 95 rooms and en suite’s. The project featured lime-based plasters with a view to ensuring high durability as well as great textures and effects on the interior walls.

“We wanted to reflect the distressed walls of old local theatres and to bring some depth to the wall finishes throughout the building,” said architect Pauline Dellemotte.

The Viero UK team worked on the worked on the narrative brief with six of its skilled craftsmen working tirelessly across the site for a period of 12 months to bring the project from vision to reality. “This was a large-scale project and one we took enormous pride in,” said Viero Managing Director Chris Walters. “We really lived and breathed the project and wanted to show just what was possible using plaster.

The guestrooms mirror the 1920s glamour of the hotel’s theatrical surroundings. The bespoke rooms have walls adorned by framed scripts, gently spot-lit with stage lights hanging from rigging.

“We do a lot of work in the hotel industry and this was a particularly exciting project to be involved with, due to it being featured right in the centre of our home city London.”

Following the completion of the project in April this year, Dellemotte said: “Having worked with Viero UK on previous projects, we were interested to explore possibilities of polished plaster to reflect the historic patina of a theatre.

“We are very pleased with the result which is elegant and refined. The decorative plasters bring texture and depth to the walls. It is a very rich finish which can tell a story through the different layers of the application.

“The green and gold plaster in the auditorium bedroom is particularly effective, reflecting the light and creating an atmospheric glimmer effect.”