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2 weeks ago

Step Inside London’s Best New Hotel Suites

London is awash with new luxury hotels and refurbished grande dames. We step inside their top suites.

By Elite Traveler

London — with its myriad landmarks, storied history, oodles of character, vibrant culinary scene and top-notch shopping — is always a good idea. Already home to a plethora of exceptional five-star hotels and amazing suites, London has seen a number of highly hyped new openings over the last few years. From years-long renovations, fabulous new suites and billion-dollar designs, these are the most exciting new openings in The Big Smoke.

Claridge’s

The Residence and The Penthouse

claridges residence suite
The Residence, a lavish two-bedroom duplex designed by André Fu / ©Claridge’s

“Claridge’s, daaaahling” — the phrase just walks off the tongue, each syllable heavy with the weight of unabashed luxury. An icon since 1856, the hotel remains special even among London’s five-star set. But what old and new money alike both love about Claridge’s is its constant ability to offer something new. Reputation alone would surely see it weather hard times, but the hotel does something more: It constantly reinvents and replaces itself, without ever losing any of the pizzazz that made it so great in the first place.

A recently completed seven-year renovation saw the hotel’s footprint double, with a jaw-droppingly intricate feat of engineering digging down to add five new floors below ground and a further three on top. This renovation touched virtually every element of the hotel (with historical features painstakingly preserved) but some highlights naturally stand out as the real stars. The top headlinegrabbers are the newly designed restaurant, which has returned to its Claridge’s Restaurant name for the first time in two decades and serves decadent dishes in flashy Art Deco surroundings; the subterranean, 7,000-sq-ft Claridge’s Spa; and 75 new guest rooms.

claridges penthouse
The Penthouse makes the most of its lofty position within Mayfair / ©Claridge’s

Included in the new room count is The Residence — a lavish two-bedroom, André Fu-designed duplex, centered by a marvelous circular lounge space, with floor-to-ceiling windows for gazing out on the city skyline. On the second floor, accessed by a grand spiral staircase, a rooftop terrace complete with a whirlpool beckons.

Miraculously topping even this, though, is the all-new Penthouse. Sprawling over 16,145 sq ft and occupying the entirety of Claridge’s top floor, the four-bedroom suite is accessed via a private elevator; it was envisaged by legendary yacht designer Rémi Tessier. Resplendent details are too many to list entirely, but — deep breath — the floating piano pavilion, inclusive fine wine fridge, the world’s largest private Damien Hirst collection, an outdoor ‘lake,’ 29.5-ft heated pool, private gym, marble bathtubs and 360-degree city views help paint the picture. There really is nowhere else like it in London, new or old.

Price on request. Contact info@claridges.co.uk, +44 207 629 8860, claridges.co.uk

The BoTree

The BoTree Suite

BoTree suite living room
The BoTree Suite delights with vibrant interiors / ©The BoTree

Fun, carefree and modern: The BoTree belongs to a new brand of London hotels. Opened September 15, 2023 to much fanfare (and with a star-studded launch party), the Preferred Hotels member property quickly swished into high regard, not least for its great location bridging Mayfair and Marylebone. As part of the hotel’s fun-loving vibe, service is intentionally informal (but always very slick) — in place of a standard check-in desk, guests are greeted by a smiling, iPad-wielding team and quickly coaxed toward a glass of champagne while they get the boring bits out the way. The impeccable service extends to your room — each floor gets its own dedicated host, on hand to press garments or explain the high-tech in-room facilities all at the push of a button.

Each of the hotel’s suites exudes the now-signature BoTree style (read: lots of delicious unashamedly pink hues and floral prints), but up on the seventh floor, the one-bedroom BoTree Suite takes things to the next level. Designed by Amsterdam-based studio Concrete, the room is a lesson in modern maximalism, with a clean, neutral base palette bolstered by a number of brilliant extra touches. What kind of brain conjures up a mohair-covered wall, a flower ceiling and a golden cocktail station? A smart one, for sure.

botree suite bedroom
The BoTree Suite comes with eucalyptus tencel bedsheets / ©The BoTree

The suite enjoys all sorts of top-notch amenities, too, including a Dyson AirWrap, Jo Loves toiletries, irresistible eucalyptus tencel bedsheets, a swanky dressing room and a freestanding marble bathtub, not to mention the great city views. Bringing the team with you? The BoTree Suite has you covered — make use of the option to interconnect nine adjoining rooms for a mammoth accommodation with space for the whole entourage.

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If you can drag yourself away from the enveloping comfiness of your room, you needn’t travel far for a decent meal. The BoTree has transported Los Angeles favorite Lavo, with its signature take on Mediterannean dishes, to London’s pretty streets. Don’t be fooled by the flashy decor — the food is great. Think: fresh-out-the-fryer, fingertip-burning fritto misto; rich, tomatoey lobster pasta; and a show-stopping 20-layer peanut butter cake, which has (deservedly) been making the rounds on social media.

Price on request. Contact reservations@thebotree.com, +44 207 309 9700, thebotree.com

1 Hotel Mayfair

Green Park Penthouse

1 Hotel Mayfair penthouse living room
The Green Park Penthouse spans a humongous 2,949 sq ft / ©1 Hotels

The antithesis to the city’s old-school glamour, 1 Hotel Mayfair has a style all its own. Decidedly cool and laid-back, the hotel is within walking distance of Green Park, Regent Street and the West End, and so attracts a smorgasbord of guests: finance bros, hipsters, well-heeled tourists, fashionistas and theater darlings. Remarkably, the eco-conscious hotel has a number of living green walls as well as 1,300 plants, shrubs and trees — there are even plants in the ceiling of the elevator and rosemary growing on one of the suite’s terraces.

More greenery can be found in the Signature Suites — the Garden Terrace Suite, a 1,873-sq-ft, one-bedroom haven, is just made for summers in the city. Its 1,097-sq-ft private terrace has an alfresco dining space and huge L-shaped sofas arranged around a trio of wooden coffee tables, plus views across the city’s skyline. The Green Park Penthouse is the top key (which is made of wood, in keeping with the hotel’s green ethos) and spans a humongous 2,949 sq ft.

Named for the park it overlooks, the suite feels like an extension of the verdant park with its natural color palette, live tree stump bar, raw timber dining table and, of course, even more plants. The one-bedroom penthouse also comes with a two-person sauna and has a stunning double-height living area with a two-sided fireplace and a spacious terrace. Both suites have filtered water taps nestled among a live garden wall; guests receive their own branded water bottle to refill.

Be sure to book in at the Bamford Wellness Spa; the Bamford Body Signature Treatment is particularly lovely and features 90 minutes of a plethora of massage techniques (Japanese shiatsu, Swedish and Indian) using a fragrant rosemary oil. (Ask for Grace.) The treatment will leave you feeling remarkably supple and more flexible — not just immediately after, but for the days following, too. Dovetale, the hotel’s restaurant, is led by Tom Sellers, whose London venue Restaurant Story has two Michelin stars. Order the Burgaud duck tortellini in brodo and the juicy steak; wash it down with one of the cocktails that uses repurposed ingredients — the Purple Roy combines The Macallan 15-year-old Double Cask, Mancino Rosso Amaranto and purple carrot tincture. It’s practically healthy.

Green Park Penthouse from $18,815 per night. Contact 1hmf-reservations@1hotels.com, +44 203 988 0055, 1hotels.com

Broadwick Soho

The Penthouse

penthouse bedroom
The Penthouse, including the hidden mini bar inside the elephant / ©Broadwick Soho

Shushing all the whispers of quiet luxury, Broadwick Soho is a joyous scream for the maximalists. Leave stuffy British sensibilities at the door, for this boutique hotel offers bucketloads of the flair and flamboyance that this pocket of the West End is famous for. From the several hundred vintage artworks that line the walls to the corner displays of knicknacks, Broadwick Soho feels more akin to staying in an extravagant, if eclectic, relative’s townhouse — if your grandma was, say, Patsy Stone.

Reigniting that familial feeling was an intentional choice by owner Noel Hayden, after a childhood in the ’80s spent helping at his family’s seaside hotel. Now Broadwick Soho is said to be Hayden’s love letter to that former property, employing interior designer (and friend) Martin Brudnizki to bring it into raucous reality. That sense of community spirit doesn’t end there: The on-site restaurant Dear Jackie and associated Bar Jackie are named after Hayden’s mother; and family photos are emblazoned onto matchboxes at the bar at Flute, the lively rooftop bar.

penthouse living room
The hotel was design by Martin Brudnizki in his inimitable style / ©Broadwick Soho

With all that personality bursting throughout the downstairs, it may come as somewhat of a relief (at least for the easily overstimulated) that things take a more mellow turn in the bedrooms. Toned down, yes, but The Penthouse remains far from boring. Here, wallpapers are daintier but still intricately detailed, and the color palette takes on a jewel-toned hue. Looking for the minibar? That can be found in the handmade brass elephant, of course. The TV? That’s in ornate gold framing. Soho may be the night owl’s domain, but The Penthouse makes staying in ever so tempting.

Price on request. Contact info@broadwicksoho.com, +44 207 047 4000, thebroadwicksoho.com

Raffles London at The OWO

Heritage Suites

raffles suite
The Churchill Suite was once the Army Council Room, where major decisions were made during WWII / © John Athimaritis

When a hotel is surrounded by so much history, so much hype, so much intrigue that when it finally opens, it leaves just one question: Does it live up to said hype? The answer, in the case of Raffles London at The OWO, is yes. Absolutely yes. Expletive yes. The cultural landmark, cutting an imposing silhouette in Whitehall, has been carefully restored over the span of six years and to the tune of a heavy $1.7bn.

Within the Edwardian Baroque building, there are 120 suites, 85 residences (including a $137m penthouse), a spa spanning 27,000 sq ft over four floors with a 65-ft pool, some 2.5 miles of corridor, a ballroom for up to 700 guests, and a number of bars and restaurants — including the invite-only Spy Bar, hidden in the depths, where you’ll receive a scratch card that will reveal a martini for you. (Mine was extra dry with pickles. Delish.) The grand staircase, crafted from Painswick stone and white-and-gray veined Piastraccia marble from northern Italy, is astonishing in its grandeur and only heightened by the plush red velvet carpet and glittering chandelier hovering above. (Stand at the top of the stairway, just like Winston Churchill did when he would address his officers below.)

The staircase leads to some of the five Heritage Suites; each one is a former office held by a leading politician or military leader. The Haldane Suite, named for Lord Richard Burdon Haldane, who was Secretary of State for War in 1906, is classically Edwardian with its preserved and restored wood-paneled antique fireplaces. Perched atop of an intricate mantlepiece is a bust of Churchill (this space was his office during WWII), looking down over his original desk.

Raffles suite london
The Raffles Suite / © John Athimaritis

The Churchill Suite was originally The Army Council Room — major decisions about the British army were made here, including during WWII. The 1,539-sq-ft suite has soaring arched windows with views over Horse Guards Avenue, gorgeous wooden paneling and sumptuous Damask upholstering. The Granville Suite is named for Christine Granville — Churchill’s favorite spy — and was originally military reception rooms, which have been transformed into an elegant one-bedroom suite with soaring domed ceilings and gilded chandeliers.

As this is a Raffles, there is of course a Raffles Suite. The 1,377-sq-ft abode overlooks the Edwardian inner courtyard (a rarity in London; only a few five-star hotels have one) and has magically restored stucco work and a scenic Chinois wallpaper. The bathroom is seductive with black marble and gold accents and a freestanding tub next to a towering floor-to-ceiling window. And finally, The Turret Suite is a duplex found in one of the building’s turrets. It has a ground-floor bedroom and bathroom with a magnificent lounge overlooking Whitehall on the upper floor.

Heritage Suites from $25,000 per night. Contact london@raffles.com, +44 203 907 7500, raffles.com

The Connaught

King’s Lodge

connaught kings lodge
The Kings Lodge is the result of a collaboration with Turquoise Mountain / ©The Connaught

As part of the Maybourne Hotel Group (which also operates Claridge’s, The Berkeley and The Emory, as well as The Maybourne Riviera in the south of France and The Maybourne Beverly Hills) The Connaught has old-school luxury, with a focus on discretion, running deep in its veins. Dating to the late 19th century, the Mayfair hotel is a mainstay in any list of London’s best.

But despite its time-honored reputation, the hotel still keeps its eyes firmly open to modern-day concerns and causes — a trait perhaps best exemplified in its ongoing partnership with Turqouise Mountain, a UK-based charity dedicated to championing, uplifting and preserving heritage crafts and craftspeople, particularly in conflict-affected regions. The relationship between hotel and charity is a long-standing one: Turquoise Mountain’s volunteer creative director Guy Oliver was appointed as the lead designer for The Connaught’s 2007 refurbishment, when he neatly united the two — a stroke of genius that birthed The Prince’s Lodge suite.

This year, The Connaught revealed the product of its second collaborative relationship with Turquoise Mountain: The King’s Lodge. Tucked away up in the eaves of the hotel’s fifth floor neighboring the existing Prince’s Lodge, the King’s Lodge is an enveloping space, rich with the singular crafts of some of the world’s most creatively abundant countries. Its one bedroom is dominated by a one-of-a-kind, four-poster bed, crafted by hand in walnut by Syrian artisans.

connaught kings lodge
Each element of the suite has been commissioned specifically for the project / ©The Connaught

Dividing the sleeping quarters from the sumptuous living area are intricate wooden screens — examples of walnut jali fretwork, an Afghan craft that delicately connects pieces of wood. On the floors, handwoven carpets from Afghanistan; in the bathroom, a showstopping marble panel — so large the hotel’s elevator barely accommodated it — was created by carvers from Makrana, India, considered some of the finest stonemasons in the world.

Each element of this singular suite has been commissioned specifically as part of this project, with the work of over 100 artisans employed to bring it together. In addition to the financial merits of the commission, a portion of proceeds from each King’s Lodge and Prince’s Lodge booking will be donated to Turquoise Mountain.

From $2,495 per night. Contact reservations@the-connaught.co.uk, +44 207 107 8843, the-connaught.co.uk

The Peninsula London

The Peninsula Suite

peninsula suite london
The Peninsula Suite has been designed with the brand’s signature cues / ©Will Pryce

The Peninsula was one of two $1bn hotels to open in London in 2023, but this one could not be more different from its counterpart, Raffles London at The OWO. Raffles occupies a historic military site oozing grandeur and historical anecdotes; The Peninsula, on the other hand, is a built-from-the-ground-up, 21st-century hotel. What it lacks in storied walls, it makes up for in high-tech toilets, digital infotainment systems and an interior style that Peninsula loyalists will find instantly comforting.

The lobby is lifted straight out of its property in Hong Kong. There are a few local touches, such as hand-painted murals depicting nearby Hyde Park, but The Peninsula came to London not to settle into local customs, but to introduce the city to its way of doing things.

Take The Peninsula Suite, for instance. At 5,059 sq ft, it is one of the biggest in London. If you take the option to connect the six additional rooms, it becomes the biggest suite in town. It’s on a scale that the cramped legacy hotels of Mayfair cannot offer. Beyond the huge living area, you get a private gym, a dining room, an office, not one but two huge dressing rooms and a 13-seat cinema. There’s a wraparound terrace for the two weeks of summer that London usually enjoys and floor-to-ceiling windows for the other 50.

peninsula suite london cinema
The Peninsula Suite private cinema / ©Will Pryce

Interiors-wise, you’ll find everything feels very Peninsula, once again. The hotel’s top suites have been designed with a similar look and feel so that VIP guests won’t feel out of sorts should their usual suite be occupied. Expect plush carpets, heavy drapes, high-quality handmade furnishings and a reliance on dark woods.

If you do want a taste of London, you don’t have to go far. Head up to Brooklands by Claude Bosi, a two-Michelin-star restaurant inspired by Concorde. The chef has designed a menu that pays homage to some true British classics such as coronation chicken and roast lamb.

Price on request. Contact reservationpln@peninsula.com, +44 203 959 2888, peninsula.com

Mandarin Oriental Mayfair

The Mayfair Suite

Mandarin Oriental suite
The Mayfair Suite at Mandarin Oriental Mayfair / ©Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental’s hotly anticipated Mayfair outpost is more intimate than its Hyde Park sibling; the sleek boutique comprises just 50 hotel rooms and 77 exclusive private residences. Located on London’s historic Hanover Square, next door to the Jimmy Choo Fashion Academy and across the street from the gleaming new Elizabeth Line, the chestnut-hued building looks right at home among the neighboring Georgian townhouses.

From the moment you step foot inside the green Ming marble lobby, it’s clear no expense has been spared. The most extravagant abode is the Mayfair Suite, found on the fifth floor of the hotel. London-based Studio Indigo was brought in to put its stamp on the stylish interiors. A picture of refined elegance in shades of burgundy, cream and bronze, the one-bedroom suite features a lavish red marble kitchen, complete with a fully stocked bar and wine fridge (private chefs are on hand to prepare gourmet meals, too). The spacious living/dining room is ideal for entertaining; a table for six sits beneath a glittering light installation bedecked with hundreds of porcelain leaves. The apartment features beautiful hand-painted de Gournay wallpaper inspired by the magnolia trees in Hanover Square.

In a thoughtful touch, the Mayfair Suite is the only accommodation where some of the magnolia petals have been hand-embroidered with crimson-colored silk threads. Other highlights include the enormous walk-in wardrobe; striking marble bathroom complete with a soaking tub; and bespoke silk dressing gowns designed especially for the Mayfair Suite by coveted British brand New & Lingwood.

When you can bring yourself to leave the suite, you’ll find a generously sized fitness center, a subterranean spa with an 82-ft heated pool and a cozy bronze-paneled cocktail bar downstairs. Chef Akira Back, whose Seoul-based Dosa earned a Michelin star, oversees the culinary offering at Mandarin Oriental Mayfair: a laid-back Japanese/Korean fusion eponymous restaurant, Akira Back, and the ultra-exclusive 14-seat chef’s table experience, Dosa.

Price on request. Contact momay-reservations@mohg.com, +44 207 123 6200, mandarinoriental.com

The Emory

The Emory is one of London’s latest new openings / ©The Emory

The Emory opened its doors in May 2024. Back in March, garbed in a hard hat and hi-vis vest, we took a sneak peek behind the closed doors to see what the new kid on the block has to offer. Situated on Old Barrack Yard and overlooking Hyde Park, The Emory is in good company — namely, its neighbor, The Berkeley, also a member of the Maybourne Hotel Group.

So, there is an elephant in the room — why create a whole new hotel, next door to the already well-established and well-loved Berkeley? Why not extend the hotel instead? I’m told it was a deliberate choice to bring a new style, a new flavor — a decidedly different property with a personality all its own from the pink staircase (a signature design by the late Sir Richard Rogers, the legendary architect) to the suites that have been designed by some of the biggest names in interiors (André Fu, Pierre Yves Rochon, Alexandra Champalimaud, Rigby & Rigby and Patricia Urquiola), each with a unique character.

[See also: Jean-Georges Vongerichten Opens New Restaurant at The Emory]

The Emory is, in fact, a suite-only hotel. It has 60 suites over eight floors and one penthouse that covers the entire ninth floor, including a huge terrace with a firepit and outdoor dining space. All the suites face either the courtyard or the park, and the entry-level suite is a huge 538 sq ft — on par with the nearby Peninsula London (549 sq ft). The hotel will also implement the ‘Emory Standard’ — meaning that there are a bunch of complimentary perks for guests, from two-way airport transfers (or, you can be collected from your home if you live within a certain radius); no charges for the in-suite minibars; breakfast included as standard; and five items of clothing pressed per guest.

Above the penthouse floor, there will be a rooftop bar and cigar area, which will be for the exclusive use of hotel guests. Head downstairs to Surrenne, the four-floor wellness space that will serve both The Emory and The Berkeley. The first level will house a 72-ft lap pool, and the other floors will have a steam room and sauna, pool cafe, gym, treatment rooms and a Tracy Anderson studio (the first in the UK; the woman herself will be doing treatments). There will also be a Longevity Suite — members of the wellness club will have access to a doctor for in-depth biological analysis and a curated treatment plan.

Contact reservations@the-emory.co.uk, +44 207 862 5383, the-emory.co.uk

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