Miniview: St Ermin’s Hotel Westminster

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    Really I was too early. I had a map but turned the wrong way out of the tube, eventually arriving ahead of a lorry of building supplies reversing into the service alley – a service alley still full of hard hats and scaffold poles. This £30 million/$50 million rebuild (that’s what it is indeed, not just simple refurb) has not, unlike most of the old hotels in London, overrun its schedule (see Savoy for example) but it was the soft opening not the final completion. Around the front is still the temporary signage. Missing are the new gates and railings ordered at last to replace those taken in the 1940’s scrap metal drive to be turned into Spitfires or destroyers, not bothered with by previous owners of this gem hidden away behind New Scotland Yard. The new American owners, Amerimar Enterprises have been determined to restore the hotel to its past glories. Their £30 million investment will bring a good return I’m sure, as anyone who has read my Guide to a Return on Investment in Design will understand.

    The frontage has been given back its grace with the replanting of the garden approach. Car parking has been removed from in front of the hotel, and car parking for guests is now shared with the Rolls Royce showrooms around the corner, so guests will be impressed with the cars they park next too as well.

    Although the hotel has gone through its soft opening, and has its formal opening this June, the additional new suites won’t be finished until September. The soft opening featured the current 250 rooms and suites completed. Additional parts of the original building are being reincorporated to bring the room total up to 331 rooms, including 41 suites and 18 family rooms.

    Daniel Fountain / 03.07.2011

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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