The stars are getting brighter in the British capital. London is getting a handful of new five-star hotels in 2023, maybe. The hesitance is those openings often get pushed back, particularly in an economy still susceptible to supply chain delays. So, if things go to plan, Mandarin Oriental will open its second property, and Raffles will return for the first time since the early 2000s. At the same time, Six Senses, Peninsula Hotels, and Waldorf Astoria will appear for the first time. Here’s what we know as of now.
1. Mandarin Oriental Mayfair
Mandarin Oriental brings its second hotel in London to Mayfair in Hanover Square with just 50 guest rooms adjacent to 78 private residences.
The building’s design is by Rogers Stick Harbour and Partners. Among their credits are several airport terminals, including the stunning Terminal 4 at Madrid’s Barajas International Airport. Interior design will be led by Tokyo-based studio Curiosity, with decor based on a concept of a hub of nature and art. Their work includes high-end retail for Louis Vuitton, Versace, and. Fendi.
Artworks by local British artists will feature throughout the public spaces, while one-off furniture pieces have been curated by Curiosity’s founder, Gwenael Nicolas. The hotel will have an Akira Back restaurant with its A Bar Lounge concept. There’s also a 25-meter indoor pool, a vitality pool, a sauna, a relaxation room, and multiple treatment rooms.
Of course, with all service businesses, people are the key. The general manager is Susanne Hatje, who was voted Hotelier of the Year by the luxury travel advisor network Virtuoso in 2017. She’s previously helmed hotels for the group in New York, Boston, and Hong Kong, and I’ve always found she runs a good ship.
The opening is listed as Spring 2023, but it’s not possible to book yet.
2. Raffles London at the OWO
Raffles’ return to London is set in the landmark Old World Office on Whitehall, which once hosted Britain’s most famous politicians and spies, from Winston Churchill to Ian Fleming. The group previously managed Brown’s Hotel in the early 2000s when it was independent. It’s now part of France’s Accor group, which includes Fairmont, Sofitel, Swissotel, and a new version of Orient Express.
This Raffles is in a Grade II listed building featuring soaring ceiling heights providing a grandeur rarely seen in new construction. The hotel stands on the corner of Whitehall and Horse Guards Avenue.
The hotel’s 120 rooms and suites are designed by Thierry Despont. The hall of fame designer’s credits include the renovation of The Ritz and the Mandarin Oriental in Paris and, recently, Casa Cipriani New York City’s Battery Maritime Building. The 85 Raffles branded residences were designed by 1508 London.
For epicureans, nine restaurants and three bars will be overseen by world-class chefs, including three unique dining experiences by chef Mauro Colagreco. A Guerlain Spa will have nine treatment rooms and offer traditional beauty therapies, while cutting-edge wellness brand Pillar will oversee active wellness training and health programs.
All this is complemented by a 20-meter indoor swimming pool, vitality pool, saunas, steam rooms, state-of-the-art gym, and movement studio. The extraordinary ballroom has seating for up to 600 people with access via the impressive grand marbled central staircase. It is complemented by ample pre-function space and six additional meeting rooms.
Like Mandarin Oriental, Raffles has tapped a well-known and well-regarded leader. Philippe Leboeuf, who helped Mandarin Oriental Paris and Claridge’s in London, is the managing director.
Spring 2023 is listed as the current opening target, but bookings have yet to open.
3. Six Senses, London
Six Senses, better known for its tropical resorts, will open with 110 guest rooms and suites and 14 branded residences in the British capital. There will be a cozy lobby bar and lounge, an all-day dining restaurant with an open kitchen, and a seating area in the courtyard.
In a space reminiscent of an old-fashioned London underground station, Six Senses Spa will mirror the different energies of city life, from the sensory stimulation and movement of the street to the stillness and calm of a quiet café or park. Highlights include 3,500 square feet dedicated to fitness, a 65-foot indoor swimming pool, the Alchemy Bar, and a relaxation room with vaulted ceilings.
On the second floor, residents and members will access a new kind of social and wellness club featuring a central bar and lounge, coworking spaces, a restaurant, and wellness and treatment rooms. It will offer pioneering programming to encourage growth, reflection, and reconnection.
For now, the hotel only says it plans to open this year.
4. The Peninsula London
The Peninsula London marks a rarity for the group – a new hotel. While the big names like Marriott, Hilton, IHG, and Accor seemingly have conveyor belts delivering new properties for their brands, Hong Kong-based Peninsula hadn’t opened a new hotel in more than a decade until its Istanbul location last month.
The London property is located at Hyde Park Corner and the Wellington Arch, in the heart of Belgravia, The Peninsula London is currently doing pre-opening media tours, although it has yet to set an opening date.
The hotel will showcase the best of British culture, art, and cuisine, as well as The Peninsula’s personalized hospitality. The completed hotel’s architecture and design will reflect Belgravia’s distinctive heritage and grandeur. A stately entrance and colonnaded courtyard lobby will greet arriving guests, as will 190 oversized guest rooms and suites.
n addition, 25 exclusive luxury residences are for sale where residents can enjoy the luxury of Peninsula hotel services while having their dedicated facilities.
Michelin award-winning chef Claude Bosi will lead the signature restaurant. Uniforms are from designer Jenny Packham. The Peninsula Spa will provide revitalizing wellness and beauty treatments, and a grand ballroom will host glamorous events. A one-story shopping arcade will offer nine retail shops providing over 1,100 square meters of shopping space.
Peninsula Tokyo veteran Sonja Vodusek is the managing director.
5. Waldorf Astoria Admiralty Arch
In one of London’s most iconic landmarks, Waldorf Admiralty Arch will house 96 rooms and suites with a rooftop bar. Luxury private residences and an exclusive private members club, and other exclusive components will join the hotel within the building. Shadowing over The Mall to Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and Nelson’s Column, Admiralty Arch was initially commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of Queen Victoria. The building has been the official residence of the First Sea Lords, a Royal Navy outpost, and a center for the UK Government’s Cabinet Office.
Since taking ownership of the building last summer, Reuben Brothers has been working closely with Hilton to upgrade existing development plans for the site in a partnership that will see the transformation of one of London’s most notable landmarks, staying true to its heritage and refined aesthetic.
The building, originally commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of Queen Victoria, stands proudly at the end of The Mall opposite Buckingham Palace, offering unparalleled views of the Palace in one direction and across Nelson’s Column and Trafalgar Square in the other. Central to the updated plans is a newly developed two-bedroom suite boasting the most sensational view of Buckingham Palace. The suite will sit at the very center of the building on the fourth-floor bridge and will be bookable for overnight stays and private events.
The hotel will provide restaurants and bars with world-renowned chefs. To take advantage of the incredible architectural beauty of the building and the impressive surroundings, the property will feature two outdoor spaces: the 6th-floor rooftop terrace and the ground floor, where guests can sit overlooking St James’ Park.
While still scheduled for 2023, some reports say the hotel may not open until…2025.