LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
October 20, 2016
By: Rachael Weir
Across the street from Hyde Park in a 1920s townhouse, The Wellesley offers an elegant Art Deco setting in the upscale Knightsbridge neighborhood. Beautifully restored, the hotel is named after Sir Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, who served as the Prime Minister twice between 1828 and 1834, and later served as the leader of the House of Lords. The building was originally built by architect Lesley Green as the Hyde Park Corner underground station, and is the former home of Pizza on the Park - an iconic jazz and cabaret venue.
Tranformed into a chic boutique hotel in 2012, the property offers guests a modern Art Deco setting with an exclusive location steps away from Hyde Park, Green Park, and Buckingham Palace. Guest rooms combine vintage influences with contemporary styling, including tufted headboards, crown molding, sleek wood furniture, and elegant Art Deco-inspired artwork. Carrara marble bathrooms have walk-in showers, TVs recessed into the mirrors, and exclusive Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte toiletries. Luxurious amenities and modern conveniences include integrated room controls, 24-hour butler service, and Samsung tablets. Plus, the hotel's team is known for it's impeccable knowledge and unparalleled discretion. Continue reading below the photo for our favorite experiences.
Here are five things we love about The Wellesley:
1. Complimentary Rolls-Royce drop-off service within 1.5 miles of the hotel. What better way to start a shopping trip at Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, or Harvey Nichols?
2. The Running Butler. Available during the summer months upon request, the Running Butler tends to runners' every need including waiting with refreshments, homemade protein snacks, or drawing post-run aromatic bubble baths.
3. Live at The Wellesley jazz nights. A unique Knightbridge opportunity to enjoy live Jazz in an Art Deco setting while dining on fine Italian cuisine.
4. The Private Cigar Terrace. Offering inviting leather chairs within a heated outdoor terrace, the hotel offers an extensive cigar collection to please aficionados and novices alike, plus an on-site humidor specialist to guide guests through the process.
5. Magical Christmas Memories. These packages provide guests with special amenities such as Christmas stockings and a full English breakfast. Plus, the hotel offers opulent holiday decor, and a prime location close to Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland, as well as the city's finest boutiques and department stores.
Did we mention that the hotel offers a yacht experience with the same bespoke setting? MY The Wellesley is available for private charters in the Mediterranean during the summer months, and in the Caribbean during the winter. Built in the Netherlands by Oceanco, the yacht's interiors were designed by Dennis Irvine Studios, and feature the 1920s glamour that epitomizes the hotel.
Check rates and availability at The Wellesley >>
By: Rachael Weir
October 20, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
The capital city's historic Old Post Office, listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, has been tranformed into a five-star luxury hotel. Overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue, the Trump International Hotel Washington D.C., offers the BLT Prime restaurant, spa, Old Post Office Museum Gallery walkway, escorted Clock Tower tours by the National Park Service, children's programs, and sumptous pet amenities. Learn more about the transformation in the article below from our sister publication, Hotel Management, by Mick Tan.
HBA brings D.C.’s Old Post Office back as Trump Hotel
Interior design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates completed a historical hotel preservation project and opened the Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C., formerly the Old Post Office. Working with Ivanka Trump, HBA associate Betsy Hughes and her team of interior designers and architects restored the European-style building to its original glory, creating a 263-room five-star hotel. Continue below the photo.
The 118-year-old historic and castle-like structure is located between the Capitol Building and the White House. Using the building's story as the design narrative, the space is defined by the architectural detailing of the clock tower, columns, archways and historic metal truss-work that spans the lobby. Designers used the framework as a support system for chandeliers that dot the public spaces.
The lobby faces the clock tower, reception and bar; it serves as the heart of the hotel, opening up to the nine-story atrium with glass skylights. Read more below the image.
There are 263 guestrooms, seven of them created within the previous attic space, and featuring floor-to-ceiling skylights in the roof. The former postmaster's offices were converted into four luxury suites. The largest of the group has restored wood-stained paneling, a fireplace and a reading nook in a turret. One suite is located in the clock tower with an arched window that HBA designers created a mezzanine around to keep from blocking the window. The Trump Townhouse suite has multiple stories and a private entrance from Pennsylvania Avenue.
The European-style suites have a color palette of creams, silvers and soft blues with pops of red and gold leaf trim along with crystal chandeliers. A standout feature is a canopied bed in the center of the bedroom.
Due to the historic restoration, each guestroom has a unique layout with distinct features. Arched windows on the upper floors offer views of the Capitol Building and Washington Monument, while historic columns were found and restored. Large bathrooms were built along the window walls of several rooms, while turrets, eaves, dormer windows and skylights are showcased within several guestrooms.
Canvas Art Consultants, the art consultancy division of HBA, also worked with the HBA interior design team and The Trump Organization. Canvas developed a guestroom and corridor art program that pays homage to the city's history through a collection of imagery specifically assembled to reference various aspects of Washington D.C. and the Old Post Office. Visual elements include signed original watercolor renderings of the Clock Tower and renderings of gilded architectural details.
The main restaurant, BLT Prime by David Burke, is a two-story marble-clad box overlooking the lobby. The two private dining rooms have views overlooking the main arrival lobby. Two function rooms with high ceilings, original millwork and stained wood floors are found in the main building. The Lincoln Library has navy velvet drapes and Empire-style bronze pendants in one room, while the second has painted millwork, cream silk draperies and crystal chandeliers. A conference space is located in an existing building on 11th Street, the edifice of which was built as a shopping mall in the 1980s. It is now the largest luxury ballroom in Washington D.C., Presidential Ballroom, modeled after Mr. Trump's Mar-a-Lago.
Illuminate Lighting Design, the architectural lighting firm from HBA, provided lighting design for the public areas, including the Congressional Bells Museum and BLT Prime by David Burke. A standout lighting feature includes an integrated custom bar detail that illuminates restored post offices boxes as a backdrop in Benjamin Bar & Lounge, highlighting the building's history.
Check rates and availability at Trump International Washington D.C. >>
October 18, 2016
By: Rachael Weir
Nestled amongst its own park overlooking the lake, the Baur au Lac is a historic hotel steeped in 170 years of tradition, enhanced with modern styling and state-of-the-art technical amenities. Luxurious guest rooms have modern styling, and marble bathrooms have heated floors and high end amenities. Learn more below the image.
Showcasing the finest of Swiss traditions, the hotel's on-site 1844 Chocolat offers exclusive Swiss chocolate creations using a selection of handpicked cocoa varieties. A short stroll from the Paradeplatz financial district and the celebrated shopping street of the Bahnhofstrasse, the elegant property is close to Zurich's landmark destinations, yet removed enough to offer an upscale retreat with views of the Alps. Continue reading below the photo.
The hotel's Le Hall offers a celebrated traditional afternoon tea from October to April, and the Christmas season is particularly festive with a Christmas Tree Lighting celebration, Chalet au Lac with fire tongs punch and mulled wine with Swiss dishes, and the New Year's Eve Ball ends with a fireworks display over the lake.
Five Star Alliance Perk: All guests that book the "Best Available Rate" with Five Star Alliance will receive complimentary breakfast for two at Pavillon, $100 food and beverage credit, fruit amenity, and homemade chocolate from 1844 Chocolat.
Check rates and availability at Baur au Lac >>
By: Rachael Weir