Thursday, February 2, 2017

London’s The Churchill hotel fully reopens following major refurbishment

New year, new start for venerable London property

The five-star London hotel that is the namesake of Sir Winston Churchill fully reopened in January following the completion of a multi-million pound restoration project.

Guest room at Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill
Guest room at Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill
With the help of Churchill’s family, the refurbishment of the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill illuminates the legend that is the hotel’s namesake.

“It was an honor to work so closely with Churchill’s family to bring to life the character and history of the hotel’s namesake and we are delighted with the results,” Arnaud de Saint-Exupery, the hotel’s general manager said.

The project incorporates Sir Winston’s sartorial elegance in the design of the new guestrooms, suites and meeting spaces. Original artworks as well as fine fabrics and iconic designs reflect Churchill’s love of quality craftsmanship and his regard for the world-renowned British tailoring industry.

Churchill’s relationship with his wife Clementine is also venerated in the refurbishment. Original photographs, art works and love letters are displayed throughout the hotel. In The Churchill Bar & Terrace, elegant bookshelves feature a range of literature reflecting the couple’s shared and disparate interests. Lawrence Holofcener’s sculpture of Young Winston also sits on the bar’s outdoor terrace, and staff place a fresh rose in the sculpture’s lapel every morning, just as Clementine did for Sir Winston.

Churchill details at The Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill
Churchill details
The hotel was closed completely from Nov. 21, 2015 to March 16, 2016. After the partial reopening, renovations continued floor by floor to minimize disruption to the property's guests.

Now that is has been completed, the hotel boasts the addition of six new guestrooms and suites, bringing the total number to 440. In addition to guestrooms, three meeting and event spaces were completely refurbished: the Blenheim, Marlborough and Spencer Suites. The spaces take advantage of natural daylight, and were designed to reflect the contemporary-classic style of the hotel.

While the spaces hark back to the first half of the 20th century stylistically, they are completely modern technologically. The hotel’s 11 meeting spaces include features like digital signage, wireless audio-visual control, retractable projector screens, airplay connectivity and “Bring Your Own Device” functionality. Those features allow for a seamless, connected and highly professional experience giving full control of the room to the event host via a portable master controller.

In celebration of the project’s completion, the hotel is offering a new luxury suite package in collaboration with world-renowned department store Selfridges. The stylish Life is Suite Package with Selfridges offers guests a VIP welcome, accommodations in one of the property’s luxury suites, and a behind-the-scenes experience at the legendary Selfridges department store on Oxford Street.

Situated in the heart of London’s West End at 30 Portman Square, the hotel is within walking distance of many of London’s leading attractions including Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, and the exclusive shopping areas of Oxford Street, Soho, Bond Street, Mayfair and Marylebone.

The property is also convenient to a number of transportation links. The Marble Arch tube station is 350 meters away. Paddington Station, the terminus for the Heathrow Express train that whisks passengers between central London and Heathrow Airport (LHR) in just 15 minutes, is two kilometers away. Kings Cross and St. Pancras stations are less than four kilometers distant.

My take

I love London; an immigration stamp at LHR was my first scar on my first passport, and London was the destination for my wife’s first-ever trip outside the U.S. and Canada.

Here are my recommendations whether you are a first-time visitor or London veteran.

Visit Hyde Park and listen to those who literally climb onto their soap boxes and pontificate at Speakers' Corner.  Then head to the Marble Arch Tube Station, where visitors can hop aboard subway trains and get virtually anywhere in the city. Purchase a 1, 2, 3 or 6 day London Pass + Oyster Travelcard, which covers journeys on London’s public transport network including underground, buses, overground trains and the Docklands Light Railway, any time of day, any day of the week. Use it for the Tube, and be sure to experience the double-decker buses.

The London Eye and the Thames at night, Photo by Carl Dombek
The London Eye and the Thames at night
Photo by Carl Dombek
The Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill is less than a mile from my favourite fish-and-chippery in the entire world, The Seashell, at 49-51 Lisson Grove. Have lunch there, then continue walking north. Lisson Grove becomes Grove End Road, which then becomes Abbey Road, home of the Abbey Road Studios and the zebra crossing made famous on the Beatles’ album of the same name.

There are several other famous and not-so-famous attractions that are in the "must-see" category for anyone visiting London, In keeping with the hotel's focus on Churchill, head to the Parliament Square area where you will also find Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, and visit the Cabinet War Rooms, an important facility used by Churchill and the British Cabinet during World War II.

Stroll along the Thames and visit the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the London Eye. Head to the East End and visit the Mayflower Pub on Rotherhithe Street, the tavern where Christopher Jones was reputedly drinking when he got the commission to sail the Mayflower with a boatload of religious dissenters to the New World.

And that doesn’t begin to scratch the surface.

As the 18th century literary titan Samuel Johnson said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

Go. See. Enjoy.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



Photos courtesy of Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill unless otherwise noted
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