St Pancras Renaissance
It would be hard to have a list of the best London hotels opening in 2011 and not include the St Pancras. The definitive grande dame, it had shamefully been allowed to fall into near rack and ruin (and on a couple of occasions in the last few decades even faced demolition) before it re-opened this year. Now with a couple of hundred sleekly stylish rooms, a cool bar and, in the Gilbert Scott, a Marcus Wareing-run restaurant, added to that iconic exterior, it's back to its former glory.
Read our full review of the St Pancras Renaissance
W Leicester Square
From one extreme to the other Where the St Pancras is graceful, elegant and timeless, the W is brash and more than bit of a show-off. Its not every day an American hotel mega-brand comes to London, though, and unique colour-changing exterior aside, it launched with a big celeb-y bang in an opening party attended by Kate Moss and Alexa Chung. But whats it actually like? Glittering, with more than a bit of bling there are sparkling disco balls in the lobby and padded leather lifts and actually really pretty sexy.
Read our full review of W Leicester Square
The Zetter Townhouse
When The Zetter Townhouse opened back in April 2011, much of the media attention focused on Tony Conigliaros cocktails. Just next door to long-established boutique favourite The Zetter it seemed to be regarded as more of an extension than a new hotel in its own right. But the character of the Townhouse could hardly be more different quirky, whimsical and, from its amazing cocktails and ping-pong table to a stuffed cat carrying a parasol, a lot of fun.
Read our full review of The Zetter Townhouse
Corinthia Hotel London
The Corinthia falls firmly into the luxury end of new London hotels that opened last year. Its got an old-school White Hall location (surrounded by embassies and royal addresses), stylishly understated rooms, a fab restaurant in the Northall, and wonderfully grand public areas of high ceilings, gleaming marble columns and glittering chandeliers. But its the Espa spa thats really been setting beauty industry tongues wagging with its four underground floors of treatment rooms, pools and utterly decadent heated day beds.
Read our full review of Corinthia Hotel London
Z Hotel Soho
The early reports from our hotel scouts of this budget (for which read: not absolutely extortionate) West End hotel are good. Opening at the end of November you dont get much in the way of frills and fripperies, but you do get a dead-central location just off Cambridge Circus and double rooms around the £100 mark. All in all, its a winning formula which is why 2012 is set to see a handful of other Z Hotel openings in London.
Read our full review of the Z Hotel Soho
Five More Recent Hotel Openings in London:
The Savoy: Like the St Pancras, the re-opening of the Savoy at the tail-end of 2010 was a genuine event a cause for celebration at the return of a London institution.
Ten Manchester Street: On the surface of it this Marylebone hotel wouldnt appear to quite have the wow factor of some of the others weve picked out. But in its own discreet way its very good. (Read our full review of Ten Manchester Street.)
The Town Hall Hotel & Apartments: You dont open a 91-room design hotel in Bethnal Green without meaning business and right the way through, from the super-cool rooms to the gorgeous little cocktail bar and restaurant, Viajante, Loh Lik Pengs Town Hall Hotel certainly does that. (Read our full review of The Town Hall Hotel.)
Aloft London Excel: Aloft Hotels have been springing up, mushroom-like, of late. Back in the summer, Brooklyn saw an installment of this super-charged hostel/budget hotel chain, while the Canary Wharf branch opened back in November 2011.
Four Seasons Park Lane: We wouldnt necessarily advise a stay at this Four Seasons flagship (unless youve got a cool £500 to spend on a standard room, of course ) but the spa is special. Up on the 10th-floor rooftop, you can lie back and enjoy a massage/treatment while looking out over Hyde Park. Spectacular.
Liking our edit of the best new London hotels of 2011? Keep an eye out for our pick of the best new London hotels of 2012.