In September 2021, a new hotel star was born in the city. The Londoner premiered on Leicester Square as the world’s first super boutique hotel. The size of a resort with the attention to detail of a boutique hotel, The Londoner features 350 bedrooms and suites, six restaurants and bars, two private screening rooms, a collection of inspiring event spaces and a stunning ballroom. All guests also enjoy access to three beautiful guest-only spaces at The Residence, as well as The Retreat, featuring a pool, cabanas, gym, hair and nail salon, gentlemen’s barber and superfood clinic.
The hotel’s opening coincided with a milestone birthday. Leicester Square itself had just turned 350 years old, stretching back into an illustrious history that had seen eminent tenants such as Frederick, Prince of Wales, William Hogarth and Sir Joshua Reynolds take up early residency. Over time however, Leicester Square’s sparkle began to fade and its appeal waned. The Londoner is part of a great regeneration project, with the ambition of restoring the area to its former glory as the West End’s beating heart of culture.
The Londoner’s magnificent edifice fronts more than a luxury five-star hotel. The building is home to a spectacular living art gallery, comprising over 100 modern paintings, sculptures, murals and objets d’art. This meticulously curated collection, in tandem with live music and regular experiences, are helping to redefine Leicester Square as a vibrant, creative hub of art and culture.
While The Londoner was partially conceived to bring prosperity to the area, it was also important that it fulfilled and exceeded its ambitions to be sustainable. To this end, the hotel secured an industry-first £175m Green Loan from HSBC UK to fund the building and implement sustainable technologies. This resulted in 30 per cent less carbon usage than regulations demand and helped The Londoner achieve an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) rating, allowing guests to stay and meet at the hotel with clearer consciences.
Yet there was another, Covid-shaped obstacle in the way, and opening in the midst of a pandemic presented many challenges. But, as Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘Out of adversity comes opportunity’. With 16 storeys featuring bedrooms, restaurants, bars, a spa and event spaces, The Londoner was in a position to offer hundreds of jobs at different levels during a time when the market was uncertain and volatile.
From securing jobs to building relationships, The Londoner enjoys close ties with other great British brands, institutions and organisations. Partnerships with those such as London Fashion Week, British Fashion Council and Royal Academy help strengthen and support the arts and culture community, building a bridge between people and their city. One of the highlights of 2021 saw The Londoner hosting the next generation of young influencers and trendsetters across various key industries.
Over Christmas, The Londoner continued the important work of supporting young artists, commissioning student Max Boyla from Royal Academy Schools to create a Christmas installation. The Unreachable Star was spawned from our post-pandemic world, portraying a wishing well in the form of a helping hand. Everyone has probably either accepted or offered a helping hand recently, so this installation was a powerful reminder that we can overcome anything together.