This is a guest post by Nassar Khalil who provides an alternative perspective to standard business consulting, operating as an independent hotel and hospitality consultancy.
Nassar shares with us the 10 new London hotels set to have an impact in 2014.
2013 saw continued growth of London's hotel industry, with the opening of numerous new properties at all levels of the market, from the stylish London Edition to the fashionably affordable Nadler Soho. The first quarter of 2013 saw record numbers of overseas tourists visit the capital, damping down fears of a post-Olympics slump.
Occupancy rates in 2014 meanwhile are predicted to reach 82% – up from 80% in the first half of 2013 – according to PwC's Hotels Forecast. There is clearly plenty of demand for new hotels in London, and familiar brands and newcomers are eager to capitalise on this. Here we take a look at 10 of the most exciting openings set for 2014.Shangri-La at the Shard – 2014
One of the most eagerly anticipated luxury hotel openings, located in London's newest high profile landmark, the Shangri-La at the Shard has graced lists of upcoming hotels since 2011, most recently having its opening pushed back to 2014 due to fit-out delays. At time of writing there is still no exact opening date available, but the hotel's operators have said that they expect to have news to announce in early 2014. The five-star hotel will have more than 200 rooms, a restaurant, pool and gym when it eventually opens, not to mention some undoubtedly breathtaking views from floors 34-52 of the Shard.Art'otel London Hoxton – 2014
Another property which was originally expected to open in 2013 is the Art'otel London Hoxton. The 350-room Shoreditch property promises to combine art and luxury, and will prominently feature art by an as yet unnamed local artist. The hotel will feature an arts centre with a gallery and studio space for artists. The exterior is also set to be distinctive, with a unique ‘rain skin' for extra thermal efficiency.Ham Yard Hotel – May 2014
One of the most exciting prospects for 2014 is undoubtedly Firmdale's Ham Yard Hotel, which has been in development by husband and wife team Kit and Tim Kemp since 2011. The hotel in Soho will be Firmdale's eighth in London, and will have 90 bedrooms and suites as well as 24 residential apartments. The development also features a theatre-cum-cinema and a variety of retail and leisure spaces.Citizen M St Paul's – mid-late 2014
After the opening of its first London hotel in 2012 – Citizen M London Bankside – innovative boutique brand Citizen M appears eager to expand. Citizen M St Paul's is one of two new properties set to open in 2014 and will have 246 stylish bedrooms available for visitors on a budget.Citizen M Tower of London – mid-late 2014
Citizen M's second property will continue the trend of offering locations close to famous London landmarks when it opens close to the Tower of London. With 370 bedrooms and nine floors, it will be slightly larger than its sister hotel, and will offer superb access to Tower Hill Tube station.Tune Canary Wharf – Late 2014 – early 2015
Tune is another hotel group looking to expand its innovative budget concept in the capital. Tune Canary Wharf is expected to bring in several new budget boutique features (including movable beds we are told!) and will be the company's fifth London property, to sit alongside its Liverpool Street, Paddington, Kings Cross and Westminster hotels. Ideal for style-conscious travellers who want their money to go further, the 130 bedroom Tune Canary Wharf will showcase a funky new style of interior, along with the latest technology. Tune Hotels is a growing group that has embraced the pay-per-use service model used by low-cost airlines.The Beaumont – Summer 2014
The Beaumont in Mayfair will be the first foray into the hotel market by successful restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King (of The Wolseley fame). The hotel is set to offer grand elegance within an Art Deco grade II listed building, with 73 rooms apparently inspired by Manhattan in the 1920s. One of the most intriguing aspects is a sculpture of a crouching man by Anthony Gormley, which is reportedly ‘inhabitable'.Mondrian London – Early 2014
Another soon to open hotel with a distinctly American vibe is the Mondrian London, which is setting up shop in Sea Containers House by the Thames. The hotel will be the first property in Europe to bear the Mondrian name, and according to parent group Morgans, 'Mondrian is a place to see-and-be-seen'. The new hotel will seek to capture the atmosphere of its sister hotels in New York, Los Angeles and Florida, with a heavy dose of nostalgia. The interior and the hotel's 360 bedrooms are said to resemble that of an early-20th century transatlantic cruiseliner, but Morgans will inevitably be hoping that that cruiseliner is not the Titanic.10 Trinity Square – Late 2014 – early 2015
10 Trinity Square is another London Landmark with nautical connections. The Grade II listed building was originally designed as headquarters for the Port of London Authority, and is now set to open its doors as a luxurious 120-room hotel. The hotel development retains much of the existing structure, and offer guests views out over the Thames.Untitled Andre Balazs hotel, 1 Chiltern Street – Early 2014?
Finally we turn to one of London's most enigmatic hotel developments. Hungarian-born Andre Balazs has made his name with a series of luxury properties in the US, including New York's Mercer Hotel, and has for the past couple of years been linked to a development in the old fire station on Chiltern Street in Marylebone. Few details are available as yet, but it is widely believed that the hotel will have only 26 luxury suites and is set to open in early 2014.
Nassar Khalil of Nassar Khalil and Associates
is a leading Independent Hotel and Hospitality Consultancy firm that provides bespoke and independent business solutions within the Hotel and Leisure sector.
Photo credits: TJ Morris
, Art'otel Hotels, Firmdale Hotels, Mondrian Hotels, Tune Hotel, KOP Properties
Appeared at: www.londonhotelsinsight.com