Well the short answer to that question, as Owen Pritchard of CBRE set out, is huge growth! Owen, who heads up CBRE’s Hotels Development team, presented a fascinating summary of the current hotel market in London and how this compares to the rest of the UK and global markets. According to CBRE, there has been an astonishing 22% increase in operating performance within London hotels since pre recession levels of 2007, with another 5% increase to hotel supply expected this year. An important change has been the increased quality of room amenities and also facilities such as branded restaurants, to stand out in this increasingly competitive market, at both the luxury and budget level, within London.
Dexter Moren, from Dexter Moran Associates, who have designed a range of iconic hotels, then went on to set out some of the design trends for the sector. Dexter highlighted the importance of branding and being location specific; people want to know their location when they wake up. For example, when designing the Hilton Bankside, Dexter created a look appropriate for the location, so it had more of an industrial feel with concrete and metal, to distinguish it from other prime central Hiltons. Other trends include making the lobby a more active space, to encourage the neighbourhood to use the facilities and generate revenue. This includes the hotel restaurant, which should have its own entrance and distinct brand.
Mark Curry, who is the Director of Development for Grosvenor’s upcoming Peninsula Hotel in Hyde Park, talked about the importance of place making within Belgravia and Mayfair. Mark explained how landmark hotels drive footfall to the area and create public realm improvements with new public squares and water features etc. The Peninsula London, is being developed as a joint venture with Grosvenor and Derwent at 1-5 Grosvenor Place, and will provide the first truly grand London hotel in many years. It will boast an imposing central space with 9m high ceilings, a rooftop bar and restaurant and a large, grand ballroom. Overall he felt the long term prospects for London to continue as a top City hotel destination were very promising.
A really useful summary of the sector from all our speakers. Thanks in particular to our sponsor Grosvenor, who provided the recently launched Beaumont Hotel as the stunning art deco venue in Mayfair.