4 New Hotels In London’s Rapidly Transforming West End

An ever-important area of London, famous for its tourist attractions, shopping zones and theater scene, the West End is on a development and revitalization spree to help it prosper following the Covid-19 pandemic. Efforts include a review of the area’s public transportation facilities including the new Elizabeth line, which opened this year, as well as a focus on the proper balance of retail, dining and cultural amenities to keep it vibrant and relevant to multiple audiences.

The development of the Arts Quarter, bringing together several side streets around the National Gallery and Leicester Square, is also part of the growth plan. While all eyes have been on London recently due to the late Queen Elizabeth II, the city has been in heavy transformation mode this year in other ways, too.

The London Business Alliance is at the forefront of these efforts as it represents over 500 businesses and 100 property owners in various parts of the West End. In this area of London, there are many well-known neighborhoods including Covent Garden, Bond Street, St. James, Oxford Street (Europe’s longest shopping street), Soho and Piccadilly Circus among many others.

West End alone represents more than $5 billion to the British economy and attractions 200 million visitors per year. So it should come as no surprise that defining its importance and elevating its stature to promote further economic growth is gaining huge traction following the pandemic.

These renaissance efforts will help attract investment and create a more sustainable experience for businesses (the area is part of the city’s Zero Carbon City 2040 initiative). Since the pandemic’s start, there has also been a slew of new hotels that are helping to support the positioning of this area as one of the city’s most essential, vibrant and eclectic.

Like many cities, the hospitality scene is emerging from a Covid-induced pause and joining the dozens of newly opened hotels around the world that are delivering a healthy boost to local economies and job markets. Here are four of the newest hotel addresses to open in the past year and why their location in the West End can prove fruitful for any curious tourist.

NoMad London

Once The Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station, this dazzling newcomer now has a whole new life welcoming happier visitors. There’s still a small, free museum inside showing off the building’s interesting past, but today’s more than 1,600 pieces of art on the walls were surely not here during the police station days.

Almost a quarter of the accommodations here are sumptuous suites with separate living areas, ensuite soaking tubs and bathrooms as large as a New York City studio apartment. Many have views of the Royal Opera House across the street.

Come here for the Art Deco-meets-contemporary guest rooms, but stay for the subterranean bar’s colorful craft cocktails and exceptional dining. The atrium-style restaurant has a greenhouse roof that permits beautiful sunshine and is a hit with the pre-theater crowd.

Other tasty dining options in the West End include 34 Mayfair with an active, open kitchen and a steakhouse menu. Then, there’s Alto by San Carlo where everything from the menu and its ingredients to the staff hail from Italy. Its rooftop views from its vantage point atop Selfridge’s provide the perfect antidote to a credit card-fueled day of shopping.

Bullard’s Gin Tasting, also not far from the hotel, offers private tastings for those that want an afternoon that strays from shopping, art or theater. Ave Mario across the street is a favorite Italian eatery famous for its dessert cart with tableside, hand-carved fior di latte gelato cake concoctions.

The Londoner

Just opposite Leicester Square, home to the famous TKTS ticket booth offering discount tickets to theater performances, this swanky hotel has quickly created a legion of fans since opening in 2021. Theater goers especially will find it the perfect base from which to explore the city. London’s theaters attract more than 15 million visitors a year with 40% of them overnight visitors.

The hotel dubs itself the “world’s first super boutique hotel,” a reference to its cozy design, but 350 rooms and suites. As a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, its guests can earn and redeem points during their stay while enjoying its unique perks. The Champagne cart in the lobby is a draw for guests and locals alike serving nearly three dozen labels plus pairings with caviar or oysters. The subterranean spa and swimming pool plus the mesmerizing views from the rooftop bar are also big attractions.

From here, you can walk to Oxford and Regent Streets (the latter well-known for its festive, holiday lights) for some of the city’s best shopping featuring all price points plus a plethora of dining options. No visit to the West End would be complete without popping in for “Cakes & Bubbles,” a set menu of sweet and savory desserts paired with Champagne, at Hotel Café Royal on Regent Street.

Also around Leicester Square is the public art trail, “Brighter Future,” with beautiful sculptures and design pieces on display around the area. London’s Chinatown is within the West End’s borders, too, with a geographic span of east and southeast Asian cuisine. Famous for its dumping restaurants and so-called dessert alley, visitors will find everything from Filipino sweets at Mamason to Japanese green tea frozen yogurt at Tsujiri.

The Biltmore Mayfair

Biltmore Mayfair, facing Grosvenor Square, opened in 2019, but then quickly closed due to the pandemic only returning to the scene in late 2021. Its reopening is finally giving the luxury hotel a chance to shine in this neighborhood of high-end shopping venues. Part of Hilton’s LHR Hotels & Resorts, this upscale hotel gives guests the chance to earn and redeem Hilton Honors points (including through various bonus points promotions) and take advantage of any elite status perks.

With more than 300 rooms and suites, this hotel sits amid one of the world’s most iconic neighborhoods known for fashion boutiques and Michelin-starred restaurants. In fact, the hotel has its own Michelin-starred dining room. The hotel is more than a century old and has welcomed many American and British dignitaries. This is why eight of its most prestigious suites are named for the famous politicians that have slept here.

While in this part of West End, don’t miss the free Mayfair Fashion AR Trail, a new augmented reality experience which visitors can start from the hotel. By using a smart phone, the free tour shares lesser-known stories about the area’s history. QR codes describe the famous hotels, townhouses and gardens, often revealing secret tales and entertaining stories. “Bridgerton” star Kathryn Drysdale provides some of the commentary.

Mayfair Townhouse

New since 2020, Mayfair Townhouse consists of 15 Georgian townhouses including several suites with private patios. The hotel is known for its flamboyant design touches and literary theme. This street was the setting for Oscar Wilde’s famous play “The Importance of Being Earnest,” and designers used this as an inspiration for the hotel’s interior.

The hotel has dozens of art pieces around its public areas, but perhaps the most famous is Clarita Brinkerhoff’s peacock sculpture, which measures 67 inches high and is crafted from 25,000 Swarovski crystal. These pieces, too, have QR codes that guests can scan to learn more about them.

With 172 rooms and suites, guests are treated to complimentary minibars, Hypnos mattresses, blue, gold and red fabrics, and limited edition artwork. As a dog-friendly hotel, there are special amenities for four-legged guests, including water bowls and beds.

Close to the creative district of Soho, Mayfair Townhouse is not far from Savile Row, famous for its tailor-made pieces and couturier shops.

The hotel’s Les Clefs d’Or concierge can provide guests with curated tours of the neighborhood so that guests can explore every corner of London’s most famous cultural hub.

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