Jan 27, 2023
Inside the Over-the-Top Hotel Opening Right Next to Buckingham Palace
(Bloomberg) -- A new hotel is getting ready to shake up London’s already competitive luxury lodging scene.
When the Peninsula London opens later this year, it will be stocked with extravagant amenities. Every room will have a Dyson hair dryer, state-of-the art phone chargers, a walk-in closet with a vanity and a separate “valet box” — a way to leave items for staff to pick up from the room without opening the door, ensuring guest privacy. For a luxurious soak in the tub, the bathrooms lined with honey onyx marble are outfitted with mood lighting, music switches and do-not-disturb buttons within reach.
Famed architect Peter Marino designed the interior of the 190-room property. Rooms start at 51 square meters (549 square feet), making them among the largest standard accommodations available in London. Rates have yet to be announced, but at Raffles London at the OWO, a comparable five-star property, a night’s stay will start at £1,100 ($1,238).
Two elevators to the ballroom can transport cars, helpful for automakers who want to show off their latest models. Staff members will be outfitted in wardrobes influenced by the styles of the 1960s and designed by British designer Jenny Packham, who is one of Kate Middleton’s go-to designers.
The hotel’s Grosvenor Place location makes it a next-door neighbor of Buckingham Palace. Several rooms have views of palace gardens, as well as Wellington Arch. The property is particularly well situated for the coronation of King Charles III on May 6, when the world’s attention will be on that London neighborhood.
The hotel’s rooftop restaurant, Brooklands, will be led by Claude Bosi, who also runs an eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant in London. It will cater to fans of aviation and motoring who might enjoy a panoramic view. The menu will highlight European cuisine and British products. There will be a rotating display of original classic race cars from the Brooklands racetrack and museum at the bar, and the main dining room will be decorated with a model of the Concorde airliner. The ground-floor restaurant, Canton Blue, will offer Chinese specialties, including dim sum, and a tea room.
The Peninsula will also be equipped with a fleet of a dozen bespoke cars, anchored by the brand’s signature green Rolls-Royces and including a restored 1935 Phantom. Guests will have free access to rides in the cars for 20 minutes as part of their stay and pay for extra time.
The property also houses 25 apartments with the Peninsula brand — a must-have component at many new hotels these days. Residents will have access to a private entrance, a 25-meter swimming pool, a screening room and hotel services including dining and housekeeping. About 70% of the apartments have been sold, said Clement Kwok, chief executive officer of Peninsula owner Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, speaking on Bloomberg TV.
One of those apartments, a penthouse, was reportedly purchased by Citadel Securities founder Ken Griffin for £100 million. A representative for Citadel didn’t respond to a request for comment.
“We don’t comment on the identity of buyers,” Kwok said.
(Corrects title of Citadel Securities founder Ken Griffin in the ninth paragraph.)
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