2017’S ONES TO WATCH
There’s a hotel bed for every style of head in London — we’ve plumped the pillows and bounced on some of the best
Full review by Anthea Gerrie at thejc. com
BEST FOR… A UNIQUE STAY
Gir Lion Lodge, London Zoo
If you’ve ever fancied sleeping with the lions, this is as about as close as you can get — if you want to be certain of having breakfast the next day, rather than becoming breakfast. Inside London Zoo’s Land of the Lions exhibit, in the heart of Regent’s Park, the nine Gir Lion Lodges have to be some of the capital’s most unusual beds.
Opened last summer, the brightly coloured lodges are inspired by traditional buildings in India’s Gir Forest, where the only wild population of Asiatic lions still lives. And while you won’t get the mod cons of even a budget chain, that’s not why you check in here — instead, there are exclusive after-hours tours at sunset, after dark and the next morning, along with two days’ access to the zoo.
Between your two-course dinner and breakfast, you might not be able to wander around at will but with the chance to lie back and listen to the roars of big cats or be woken by a flock of flamingos, you’ll hardly wish to.
From £438 per lodge, based on two sharing. www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo/ gir-lion-lodge
BEST FOR… BOUTIQUE BUDGET
Gloucester Place, Marylebone
The Z Hotels chain works on the basis that the main thing you want from your accommodation is a good night’s sleep and a decent location.
Designed for a one or two night stay, with the modcons you do want but without charging for the luxuries you won’t need, Z Gloucester Place is the latest to open in the capital — bringing the total to six hotels in London with
Ten Trinity Square This new hotel from Four Seasons is set in a Grade II-listed building near Tower Hill, with the first UK restaurant by Anne-Sophie Pic — the only female French chef to hold three Michelin stars — plus a Romaninspired spa coming this spring.
The Aparthotel company is opening its first venture in the capital in Stratford this spring, with the Olympic Park and Westfield Stratford nearby, and a string of rooms sized from studio to suite.
The Soho House group is opening its new flagship five-star hotel in the Grade I listed former Midland Bank headquarters in the City of London this spring. Originally designed by Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens in 1924, expect 20s and 30s styling and nine restaurants.
Nobu Hotel Shoreditch
The first European hotel from the Nobu Hotels two more planned, not to mention properties in Liverpool and Glasgow.
A conversion of five townhouses not far from Marylebone Road, space is definitely at a premium but all the essentials are there without compromising entirely on style. There’s a choice of Queen and King beds as well as suites (and a Club option nearby, including some extras thrown in on top of the normal buffet breakfast), plus en-suite shower, complimentary toiletries, 48 inch TV and free WiFi.
And if there isn’t a huge amount of brand is coming to east London this summer, with a promised London twist to the east-meetswest philosophy, as well as restaurant menus from chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
Great Scotland Yard Hotel
The original Scotland Yard HQ in Westminster is due to open as a luxury hotel this year after a multi-million pound transformation. Start saving, the most expensive rooms promise to cost £10,000 per night. storage or floor space, it’s a small price to pay — quite literally.
From £60 per night. thezhotels.com
BEST FOR… SHOPS & MUSIC
Brook Green hotel, near Shepherd’s Bush
Brook Green may not be the first area most people check when they’re booking a hotel, but there’s a good reason this spot has been popular with visitors to the capital for over a century.
And the former 19th century coaching inn here has had a rather more Mid-century style at Brook Green
modern facelift after its refurbishment last year.
Today, the retro touches in the 17 rooms are more Mad Men than Victorian, with dial phones, vintage map prints and mid-century mustards and teals. The beds are thoroughly modern, as is the free WiFi, Sky TV, laptop-sized safe and rainhead shower.
Downstairs, there’s a speakeasy-style bar with cocktails featuring locally distilled Sipsmith gin, as well as a restaurant, where chocolate hazelnut waffles and smashed avocado with poached egg are distinctly 21st century.
Only a short walk away lies Shepherd’s Bush Green, whether you want retail therapy in Westfield or gigs at the Empire at night, not to mention several cinemas and a string of restaurants plus the West End half a dozen stops away by tube. All without West End prices.
From £109 per person per night. brookgreenhotel.co.uk
Read our full review at thejc.com