London’s MICE offering has received a further boost with the news that a significant number of new and exciting, cutting-edge hotels and venues are set to open in the capital over the next few years.
According to findings from a new report monitoring hotel capacity across European cities, London is set to add 11,600 rooms to its hotel market by 2020, providing meeting and event planners with an even greater choice of accommodation and meetings options1.
Further analysis from the 2018 London Hotel Development Monitor Report published by JLL and London & Partners, shows that the growth of the capital’s hotel market is set to outpace a number of major European cities by 2020, including Paris, Berlin, Lisbon and Milan.
As London continues to attract high levels of business and leisure visitors, hotel operators are showing a strong appetite for increasing hotel capacity across the city, with an 8% uplift predicted by 2020. This growth will provide international MICE buyers with innovative options across a range of price brackets, with the research predicting increases for both high-end and economy hotels in London.
The report also highlights the growth of the lifestyle hotel market segment or those that place an emphasis on design, art and the latest technology features. Hotel brands of this kind in London include: CitizenM, Soho House, Rosewood and The Ned.
The findings of the report have been released to coincide with IMEX America, a worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events buyers. The London Convention Bureau will showcase the very best of the city’s MICE offering at the trade show alongside leading hotel and venue partners.
Separate research found that London continues to be a hot spot for North American meeting and events planners, with latest data from the London Convention Bureau revealing that bookings for 2018 are already up 20 per cent compared with the same time-period last year.
London’s largest conference venue, ExCeL London, is also reporting its busiest year for meetings bookings from North America with a 50% uplift in 2018. This follows the recent news that London was ranked as the top EMEA destination for meetings and event planners by the Cvent Top 25 MICE cities report and the Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) Top 10 EMEA cities for corporate meetings and events in 2019.
Tracy Halliwell MBE, Director of Tourism, Conventions & Major Events at London Convention Bureau said: “London is a world class destination for leisure and business travellers and it’s no surprise to see that hoteliers are showing a strong appetite for opening some of their best and most exciting properties in the capital. We’ve seen a number of different styles of hotel open across a range of price bands, providing even greater choice for visitors from all over the world.”
“London’s wide range of venues and hotels allow meeting and events planners the opportunity to be creative and innovative with their event concepts. From blank canvas warehouse spaces and trendy pop-ups, to purpose-built meeting rooms, conference centres and state-of-the-art-auditoriums, there’s an outstanding solution for every event.
“We’re delighted to hear that London is continuing to attract large numbers of North American meetings and event planners and the London Convention Bureau looks forward to helping even more MICE buyers unlock all that London has to offer.”
Graham Craggs, Managing Director, JLL Hotels & Hospitality: “London is one of the most liquid hotel markets in Europe and a popular investment hotspot for both domestic and international investors. The weaker pound has attracted a variety of overseas hotel operators and investors to invest in hotel real estate.”
“Despite political uncertainty, investors and hotel companies continue to view London as a key destination. This is evidenced by the willingness to consider new development opportunities and the number of new hotel brands opening in the London market.”
Some of the top new hotels in London include:
- The Londoner: Located on Leicester Square, this ambitious hotel will aptly be called The Londoner, a name dedicated to the iconic city that inspired this pioneering purpose-built destination. Scheduled to open in 2020, this five-star 15 level hotel is set to transform London’s hospitality scene. Designed for grand and intimate occasions; The Londoner has 350 rooms and 15 suites; five concept restaurants and lounges including a spectacular rooftop bar; a state-of-the-art ballroom for up to 1000 guests, two new Odeon Luxe cinemas and a unique subterranean spa.
- The Principal London - Opened earlier this year, The Principal London is a Grade II* listed landmark building that occupies the eastern flank of Russell Square in Bloomsbury. The opening of the 334-room hotel this spring has restored the original grande dame to her original glory while administering a shot of adrenaline to the heart of London’s most literary neighbourhood. The Principal London hopes to create a hub not only for its guests but also for Londoners who have a passion for great food, fabulous cocktails and memorable nights in the city.
- Former US embassy turning into a Rosewood Hotel: The former US Embasy in Mayfair will be transformed into a world class, Rosewood Hotel. The property will offer 137 spacious guest rooms and suites, as well as a variety of dining and entertainment spaces, including five gourmet restaurants. The property will also feature a signature spa, which will provide guests with a luxurious retreat from the bustling streets of London, as well as six flagship retail spaces and a grand ballroom with space for up to 1,000 guests.
- Manhattan Loft Gardens design hotel: Planned to open in October 2018, a high-quality design hotel concept into this progressive new building marks an exciting chapter for the growing creative community that is London’s East End. The Manhattan Loft Corporation is behind the stylish Manhattan Loft Gardens Design Hotel. The 150-room hotel occupies the seven lower levels of Manhattan Loft Gardens, a mixed used development with three 'sky gardens', ensuring that residents are not far from an outdoor space. Premium hotel facilities and services will include a gym, spa, restaurants, cafes and bars.
- Hard Rock Hotel London: Opening in spring 2019, London’s first Hard Rock Hotel is taking over the site of the Cumberland Hotel. A stone’s throw from Oxford Street, the hotel will comprise of 1,000 rooms and suites and, of course, a Hard Rock Cafe, as well as two bars. As with all Hard Rock properties, the London hotel will showcase its memorabilia collection, paying tributes to celebrities such as Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder.
- Art’otel London Battersea Power Station: Situated around the site of London’s historical Grade II listed, Battersea Power Station, the property is expected to open in 2020. The 160-bedroom lifestyle hotel will boast a rooftop pool and bar, a signature restaurant and a gallery.
London is also home to more than 1,000 diverse venues, with event space for all your meeting and event’s needs.
Some of the latest venues and meeting spaces to open in London include:
- Design Museum: The Design Museum’s new home is the only public building designed by John Pawson and features an incredible copper-covered roof. Located in Kensington, the museum offers a variety of spaces for hire suitable for conferences, dinners, drinks receptions and meetings. The space is ideal for cultural, tech events, entertaining and brand building.
- Here East: Here East is one of London’s newest venues with 33,000 square feet of unique meetings and events space in the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Here East has been transformed into an innovation campus for entrepreneurs, start-ups, universities and big brands. This exciting new venue combines unparalleled infrastructure with a unique environment and is a great venue for events with a focus on innovation and technology.
- Tottenham Hotspur New Stadium: Tottenham Hotspur is one of the most famous football teams in the world. Discover its new stadium, which will also be home to the NFL in the UK when it opens later this year. With more than 62,000 seats, it promises to be a grand addition to London’s stadia and is set to have plenty to offer to event planners. Fit for small and large-scale events with a capacity of up to 1,500, you’re sure to impress your delegates with an event overlooking the pitch.
- Kensington Palace: Soak up almost 400 years of history with a dinner or reception at Kensington Palace. Its new events space, the Kensington Palace Pavilion, which opened in March of this year, can host from 100 guests to the maximum capacity of 800. The Palace has been home to many popular royals including Queen Victoria, Diana, Princess of Wales and is now home to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan. Other Historic Royal Palaces venue available for hire include: the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle.
- The Postal Museum: The Postal Museum is a venue with a rich history and a firm plan to deliver first-class events. Up top, the contemporary museum building suits receptions or networking events. But it’s down below that will make the biggest impact! The Mail Rail is a blank canvas space that includes impressive architectural features from its working past. In a series of vaulted brick arches, it was a depot for a secret, six-mile-long mail railway. Fifteen-minute train trips around the original network and platforms beneath Mount Pleasant is a signature add-on to dinner. The venue hosts up to 275 guests for a reception, 140 guests for dinner and 150 guests for a meeting.