High occupancy levels at London’s top hotels are helping fuel a boom in design-led new hotels and hotel refurbishment.
An analysis published by accountant Arthur Andersen last week shows a continuing boost in the profits of five-star hotels in London, as occupancy levels in the last quarter of 1996 exceeded 80 per cent. Luxury hotels have been able to increase their rates and cut down on special deals.
London-based United Designers is currently refurbishing the old Londonderry Hotel, restaurant and bar, now renamed The Metropolitan. The hotel, due to open in February, sports new features such as a restaurant concept from New York called Nobu.
One of the main designers on the project, Linzi Coppick, says: “There does indeed appear to be a boom in hotel design in London – in fact, in cities worldwide. We have been inundated with requests from many different countries since we redesigned The Clarence in Dublin last year. It is wonderful that contemporary hotel design is finally coming to London, creating a fresh look.”
John Whiles, of Jestico and Whiles, presently redesigning Number One Aldwych, explains: “Property in London has become so cheap. Whole office blocks have been put on the market and become affordable as hotels.”
In terms of design trends, Whiles explains: “It is an exciting time. What we are experiencing now is a swing away from hotels where you can’t even tell which country you’re in because the interiors are all the same. People are prepared to experiment a lot more, allowing designs to become much more contemporary.”