Last year we published our top 10 London hotel openings in 2012 in what was a truly massive year for the city's hotel scene; now we reveal our 2013 hotlist and can promise you an equally exciting year ahead.
2012 was a time of great transformation in all parts of the hotel market, with everyone from the big chains to small independents racing to open new properties to capitalise on the Olympics and the Queen's Jubilee.
And while 2013 is shaping up to be another dynamic year, the drivers this time are slightly different with the arrival of several fresh faces and innovative brand extensions which perhaps lack the "safety net" of last year's showpiece events. It's clear that the new arrivals will need to compete fiercely both with last year's new hotels and previous incumbents, many of which have been significantly upping their game.
The opening dates listed below are in many cases provisional – keep reading London Hotels Insight to stay on top of the latest openings and to read about our bloggers' visits as and when we check them out.Travelodge Bethnal Green
Estimated opening: Late January
Seeking to cement its reputation as one of London's premier providers of budget accommodation, Travelodge has undergone a phase of building in various previously under-appreciated parts of the city over the past year. The latest addition is Travelodge Bethnal Green, offering all the usual facilities at relatively low prices, with good access to attractions such as the V&A Museum of Childhood and the restaurants of Brick Lane.Edition London
Estimated opening: Early 2013
The Edition London is sure to prove a hit with visitors to London looking for a stylish stay right in the city centre. The hotel will be situated just off Oxford Street in the former Berners Hotel. The previous accommodation has been completely revamped since its 2006 closure and is being reinvented in line with the Ian Schrager/ Marriott Edition style. Expect the hotel's 150+ rooms to provide intimate comfort combined with elegant design and practical functionality suitable for both business and pleasure.Shangri-La at The Shard
Estimated opening: March or April 2013
Occupying floors 34 to 52 of London's new tallest building, the Shangri La Shard is set to dazzle guests with its unparalleled skyline views and opulent luxury. Each of the hotel's 202 rooms (including 17 suites) will feature floor-to-ceiling windows, while the 52nd floor will house a spacious gym and an infinity swimming pool. When the Shangri La opens, it will be one of the prime London hotels with a view and certainly among the most luxurious. With its enviable London Bridge location, it's hard to see how things could go wrong for one of London's most anticipated hotels.Park Inn London Wembley
Estimated opening: Mid 2013
Park Inn London Wembley is set to add another attractive location for sports fans and those attending gigs at nearby Wembley Arena. The hotel is expected to feature more than 200 rooms, including family rooms and apartments. With meeting facilities and round-the-clock dining, Park Inn's latest addition is also likely to appeal to business travellers.Art‘otel Hoxton
Estimated opening: 2013 (hopefully – date not yet known)
Undoubtedly one of the most hotly anticipated hotels for 2013, Art‘otel Hoxton is set to bring a touch of artistic flair to Shoreditch. The 350-room hotel will include its own public arts centre with galleries and exhibition space. The hotel will also prominently feature work by one as yet undisclosed artist throughout its guest rooms and public spaces. It will be the UK's first Art'otel but quite possibly not the last.Andre Balazs Hotel Marylebone
Estimated opening: 2013 (date not known)
Despite still not having a name, one hotel has been much talked about over recent months. The Andre Balazs property on Chiltern Street is set within the old fire station, and will be a UK first from the hotelier who is famous for creating a stir with his creations. Details are scarce, but what is known is that it won't be one of Balazs' Standard brand hotels but instead something smaller and more intimate with an estimated 36 rooms.Hilton London Southbank
Estimated opening: 2013 (date not known)
Hilton is bolstering the already significant ranks of its London Hilton hotels in 2013. The Hilton Southbank was originally slated for 2012, but construction was delayed for unknown reasons. It is expected to have 281 rooms, accompanied by a swimming pool, fitness centre (great for all you gym bunnies), restaurant and the other perks you'd expect from Hilton.Hampton by Hilton London WaterlooEstimated opening: Late 2013
2013 will also see the arrival of central London's first Hampton by Hilton Hotel in Waterloo. The 278-room hotel will be one of the brand's largest outside the United States and its hub location is expected to attract both business and leisure London visitors. The brand's key features include little details like free hot breakfast and the all-important free internet access.Ham Yard Hotel
Estimated opening: April 2014
Firmdale has had great success in London with hotels like the Haymarket Hotel, Covent Garden Hotel and The Soho Hotel. Tim and Kit Kemp's latest venture is the Ham Yard Hotel in Soho, transforming a long-derelict site into a refined accommodation space with 90 guest rooms and 25 apartments. The Ham Yard project also encompasses cinema, retail stores and several entertainment and leisure venues. The hotel itself is expected to be another fine boutique offering, complete with an upscale restaurant, cocktail bar and rooftop garden…mouthwatering stuff.TrocaderoEstimated opening: 2013? If we're lucky!
One of the most intriguing possible openings for 2013 is the Trocadero ‘pod' hotel in Piccadilly. While the exterior building is the iconic and historic entertainment centre of the Trocadero, the interior is set to be transformed into an ultra-modern hotel, in the style of Japanese ‘pod' hotels. The plans for the hotel, which were approved by Westminster Council in mid-2012, will see the creation of 583 windowless pod rooms of varying sizes, each outfitted with 42" plasma TV screens, WiFi and programmable lighting and temperature settings. Dates for completion of the project are as yet unknown so our hopes of seeing this hotel in 2013 may be in vain.OK, we said we'd reveal 10 hotels but can't resist adding one more: Admiralty Arch
Estimated opening: 2013/2014
For some, proximity to London's iconic landmarks is a key factor when choosing a hotel. On these terms, the luxury hotel to be built within the famous Admiralty Arch will be hard to beat. Situated between The Mall and Trafalgar Square, the grade I listed building and former government office is set to be transformed into a 100-room hotel with publicly-open bars and restaurants. Located within such a prime piece of real estate with some fantastic central London views, don't expect rooms to come cheap.
That completes our rundown and has us licking our lips in anticipation. Do stay tuned to London Hotels Insight for the latest on the best new hotels.London Hotels Insight provides up-to-date, independent advice for your perfect stay in London. We research guest feedback, meet management and identify hotels at the top of their game.
www.londonhotelsinsight.com Photo credits: TJ Morris - www.flickr.com/photos/timmorris/3103896345 , Travelodge Hotels, Shangri-La Hotels, Park Inn Hotels, Hilton Hotels, Firmdale Hotels, Art'otel, markhillary - www.flickr.com/photos/markhillary/2757176015