London Openings Ramp Up Before Olympics
LONDON (MainStreet) -- Opening ceremonies aren't until July 27, but already a marathon of hotel, restaurant and club launches has begun in London ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. The past year has already seen ambitious openings such as the Corinthia, Marriott's St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel and 45 Park Lane. What hotels aren't new have are being buffed and updated to shiny perfection, while a few others are prepping for their own debut early next year.
Thompson Hotels will open its Belgraves London for bookings Jan. 16 in posh Belgravia, bringing a hefty dose of luxury boutique-style to the heart of London. The property includes an eatery by legendary Chef Mark Hix, of HIX in Soho and HIX at The Albemarle, offering his pop-art infused world of new age British cuisine that frequently makes for the hottest restaurant reservations in the city. The opening follows the Oct. 1 merger of New York-based Thompson Hotels and San Francisco's Joie de Vivre Hospitality.
|A Bulgari Hotel is setting up in London's Knightsbridge neighborhood ahead of the Summer Olympic Games.|
That's not the only American hotelier with London in its scope. The Mercer and Chateau Marmont owner Andre Balazs is reported to be working on a London hotel within a refurbished fire station in the city's Marylebone neighborhood. Several local media outlets have reported the property will open as part of the Standard Hotel brand next year. Richard Scott, who handles international press for Andre Balazs Properties, says, "It will not be a Standard -- it will be a higher-price-point property within the ABP portfolio." As for opening, Scott advises that the property won't debut until 2013, not next year as reported in the U.K.
Those who travel with the 1% will likely prefer the new installment of Bulgari Hotels & Resorts setting up in London's Knightsbridge neighborhood before the Summer Olympic Games. The property is in walking distance of Hyde Park and department store Harvey Nichols, as well as to the Mandarin Oriental London and The Dorchester, its direct competitors. Located in a Victorian-era hotel haunt, the overhauled property include Bulgari-branded private residences managed by Marriott's Luxury Group. The Luxury Group by Marriott also manages the chain's Ritz-Carlton brand, as well as other Bulgari Hotel locations in Milan and Bali. Designer Antonio Citterio, whose work at Bulgari Hotel Milan has made the property a fashionable mainstay since opening, pens interiors at the forthcoming London hotel.
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