London’s luxury hotels have vowed to stay open during lockdown, with many keeping rooms available for business travel purposes only.
While their restaurants and bars technically cannot operate under the new November lockdown guidelines in England, which came into force today, overnight stays and in-room service will be available for those who need a place to stay for work.
Government advice has said “hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions, which will be set out in law”.
Bulgari Hotel London in Knightsbridge said it “remains open for business travellers and travellers exempt from restrictions, providing a secure and sophisticated city base”.
Spa and all leisure facilities at the hotel will also have to temporarily close in line with the government’s precautions surrounding the pandemic, but its in-room dining continues.
The hotel is also ploughing on with festive promotions in the hopes it may get Christmas season guests back for leisure stays in December; a two-night “B.Festive Staycation” also includes a flexible cancellation policy, a must for hotels these days.
The hotel is also selling gift vouchers, as a way of keeping interest and sales going at the hotel (bulgarihotellondon.giftvouchers.uk.com), including Spa & Brunch for £315, or a Whiskey and Cigar Experience for £90.
Hotel Cafe Royal, part of The Set’s trio of European hotels, said “during the uncertain weeks ahead, we will continue to provide a safe and welcoming home for our guests”. Those staying will still be able to dine (in-room) on Albert Adria’s “cakes & bubbles” experience.
St James’s Hotel & Club will also remain open “for those who need us, such as business travellers making essential trips to London and to accommodate any key workers”; its in-room dining comes from Michelin-starred executive chef, William Drabble.
The hotel will also pivot to offering a takeaway service via Supper London, a high-end food service available for delivery within a three-mile radius of the hotel.
Posting on Instagram, Rosewood London said “despite new restrictions, we are proud to keep our doors open to welcome business travellers and those who are exempt. Our team is delighted to continue working hard to keep all of our guests safe”. But the hotel’s Holborn Dining Room, Scarfes Bar, Mirror Room and Sense, A Rosewood Spa will of course have to close.
The Corinthia has also decided to stay open along the same lines, while The Connaught said “the hotel will remain open for guests travelling for work purposes, as permitted by current government guidelines, with resident guests provided service by in-room dining. We will miss you and can’t wait to see you all again next month”.
But some London hotels have chosen to close their doors – The Stafford London said “it is with heavy hearts that we will once again be following the Government’s advice and temporarily closing for the safety of our team, our guests and our community”. Despite guest rooms being off limits now, the hotel will also operate a high-end food delivery service, with The Game Bird running “click and collect feasting and to order from Deliveroo and Supper”. The hotel is also however ramping up to offer new “decadent dining boxes” for nationwide delivery.
Elsewhere in England, The Newt in Somerset has closed its hotel, but will be keeping its impressive gardens open as well as its farm shop, with the hope of providing that all-important option of somewhere to go for permitted exercise.
The Mobile Newt home delivery service will also continue to deliver some Somerset favourites, pantry items, cyder and home and living gifts across the UK, with "fresh groceries and immune-boosting vegetables" available to Londoners and locals; a takeaway service will also be available from the Cyder Bar at the estate.
A new range of gift hampers will also launch this week, offering Christmas gifting options, while The Newt’s weekly Stop, Look Listen IGTV series – with resident horticulturist and head of programmes Arthur Cole – will also continue through this lockdown, with themed episodes streamed live from the gardens and estate.
The Story of Gardening at The Newt – an impressive immersive gallery experience – will however have to temporarily close.