By John O’Ceallaigh
Long awaited, The Peninsula London hotel’s opening date has finally been confirmed. When the first guests arrive from 12 September 2023, they’ll be entering what is slated to be one of the exclusive and expensive hotels in the city. Rates are set to start at £1,300 a night.
Notably a new build rather than a renovation of some grand old building, the property on Hyde Park Corner is in view of Wellington Arch and just up the road from Buckingham Palace. It’s an easy amble, too, from the likes of Harrod’s, Harvey Nichols and the rest of Knightsbridge.
Back on property, the hotel’s 190 bedrooms and suites feature mahogany-panelled dressing rooms; bathrooms decked out in honey-coloured onyx; and lots of bespoke touches; plenty of the rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows. Interiors for the hotel’s common areas have been designed by architect Peter Marino, who has had a long relationship with LVMH and up to now is perhaps best known within hotel circles for designing Cheval Blanc Paris.
Perhaps it was his influence that has contributed to The Peninsula London having what seems to be a stronger focus on shopping than much of its competitors. The hotel’s ground-floor retail arcade will feature nine boutiques including brands such as Asprey London; jewellery store DMR; a florist’s; and Topaz Detailing, which apparently is “one of the world’s most exclusive detailing and paint protection film specialists for supercars”. That’s quite niche, but this area has traditionally been a show ground for incredibly wealthy automobile aficionados to show off their latest purchases. Plus the hotel will offer a valet service, which is another rarity in London, so car owners are relatively well catered for here.
Something more likely to entice locals to the premises will be its restaurants and bars. The hotel’s rooftop restaurant Brooklands will serve Modern British cuisine from the hotel’s Michelin-starred chef director Claude Bosi. Cigar connoisseurs can peruse the hotel’s collection in an adjacent space “inspired by classic British aviation and motorsport”. At Canton Blue and its adjoining bar Little Blue, progressive Chinese dishes and cocktails will be served.
Afternoon tea in the lobby of the Peninsula Hong Kong is something of an institution – you’ll often see queues form as people gather for walk-in bookings over weekends – so no doubt the London team will be hoping to achieve similar success with their own offering. It’s going to be a traditional affair, also served in the lobby and often accompanied by live music. More casual snacks and cakes will be served at The Peninsula Boutique and Café.
So many years in the making, the hotel launches at an interesting time for London. Raffles London also finally debuts this year at the Old War Office, and Waldorf Astoria London should open next year at the beautifully Admiralty Arch building overlooking Buckingham Palace. Plus Maybourne Hotel Group’s The Emory will open near to The Peninsula (and its Berkeley Hotel) just a few months later. The property is also right by The Lanesborough and moments from the Four Seasons and The Dorchester, which is continuing to reveal fresh elements of its ongoing refurbishment. It really is a very busy, competitive time for the city.
Rooms at The Peninsula London start from £1,300 per night.
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