As a relatively new hotel group, Guoman Hotels operate an exclusive collection of five deluxe London hotels, namely Charing Cross, The Cumberland, The Royal Horseguards, The Tower and The Grosvenor. Having recently visited the newly refurbished grandeur of The Grosvenor, EatSleepDrink takes a closer look at Guoman’s impressive credentials and ambitious plans for the future.
Although each of Guoman’s properties is different with their own unique identity and style, each property provides the same high level of comfort and service to its guests. Indeed, all of the Guoman properties offer a unique London experience in their own right. So whether that is by offering views directly over Tower Bridge at The Tower; a contemporary minimalist stay at The Cumberland; or tasting a piece of political history in Whitehall, with the five-star flagship hotel The Royal Horseguards, guests can be rest-assured that Guoman has a property to suit their needs.
Building on success
Earmarked as the fifth member of the Guoman collection, The Grosvenor has recently undergone a major multi-million pound restoration programme, which saw the entire hotel refurbished – something that Michael Parker, General Manager at The Grosvenor, is eager to describe. “As The Grosvenor had such heritage and was a beautiful Victorian building, it was decided the group would work closely with English Heritage to restore the hotel exactly to its original Victorian splendour – creating an experience as grand as the hotel was in 1862, alongside all of the modern features of a hotel a guest would expect”.
During the course of the 18-month restoration project, Guoman worked hand-in-hand with experts from English Heritage to lovingly preserve and revitalise the building’s original architectural features. This included the reinstatement of the original gold leaf finish, hand painted onto all of the columns in the grand lobby, as well as the uncovering of original white marble on the iconic pillars, which were discovered as the works progressed.
The recent completion of the project saw The Grosvenor officially become the fifth member of the Guoman Hotels portfolio. As a result of the extensive and painstaking restoration work, the property is now rightly presented in all its former glory as an impressive four-star deluxe hotel. Indeed, all of the hotel’s 346 bedrooms have been finished to an extremely high specification. There is also a brand new residents’ gym, offering the latest fitness equipment, as well as a fully-enhanced meeting and conference space where all of the rooms have been named after iconic trains – an homage to The Grosvenor’s heritage as a central railway hotel.
The flagship property
As the Group’s flagship London hotel, The Royal Horseguards offers a truly remarkable five-star experience. Situated in Whitehall Court, the hotel is in the perfect location for a London stay near Charing Cross, Trafalgar Square and The Strand. Built in 1884 in the style of a French chateau, it is now a Grade I-listed building of architectural interest, thanks to the tireless refurbishment of Guoman.
Today, The Royal Horseguards stands as a testament to Victorian splendour. With its original tiled floors, high ceilings and chandeliers, it combines an extraordinary heritage – it was the headquarters of the Secret Service during the First World War and the former home of the National Liberal Club which was often the drinking place of choice for Sir Winston Churchill – with all the five-star comforts of the 21st century. Offering a choice of bedrooms and suites, restaurants including One Twenty One Two (named after the famous telephone number of Scotland Yard), The Terrace Room, which overlooks the River Thames, and Equus Bar, The Royal Horseguards is the destination of choice for business or leisure.
Furthermore, the hotel’s decor reflects the political heritage of Whitehall, as well as its connection to British politics. As one would expect from such an iconic five-star property, guests receive the quintessentially British experience, delivered with a professional and comprehensive five-star service.
Ticking every box
As well as The Royal Horseguards and The Grosvenor, Guoman is also the proud operator of three additional deluxe hotels in central London. Inspired by cutting-edge design, The Cumberland captures the imagination with its vibrant and creative environment. The 1,019 bedroom hotel at the top of Park Lane is the perfect base to explore the capital from. The hotel offers quality restaurants and bars, including Gary Rhodes’ Rhodes W1 Restaurant, Brasserie and Rhodes Patron Bar. If this wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, The Cumberland is also home to Carbon, a late-night bar venue.
As one of London’s premier venues for business meetings and other events, The Cumberland also has its own private entrance and lift access. The meetings and events facilities are situated on the lower ground floor of the hotel, but share its striking design and impeccable service standards. Indeed, the largest space, the dramatic Ocean Room, can accommodate as many as 350 guests, while the additional 25 meeting and event rooms offer a comprehensive selection of layouts and options for team meetings, training sessions and interviews.
Elegant and cosmopolitan, Charing Cross is ideally positioned for guests looking to be in the heart of the action. The Grade II-listed building has been lovingly restored to truly reflect its Victorian splendour and offers 239 luxury bedrooms and suites to meet even the most exacting standards. Also well-suited for meetings and events, Charing Cross offers nine meeting rooms, including the spectacular Betjeman suite with its ornate domed ceilings and marble dance floor. The hotel also has a lounge, restaurant and bar with stunning views available from the floor-ceiling windows in the Terrace on The Strand restaurant.
Located by the side of the iconic Tower Bridge, The Tower enjoys stunning views across the Thames. Indeed, surrounded by water on three sides, the hotel is perfectly situated for the City, Canary Wharf and More London, being one of the few hotels near London Bridge that offers excellent commuter links. As one would expect from a Guoman property, all of The Tower’s rooms and suites enjoy breathtaking views over the Thames, Tower Bridge or St. Katharine’s Dock.
Playing to its strengths
Given the splendour and location of Guoman’s five properties in central London, one could easily be excused for overlooking the painstaking work and individuality that Guoman has applied to each of its hotels. Indeed, all five stand as landmark hotels, all interwoven with the history of London and each with its own story in the heart of the capital.
Gastronomy and the emergence of London’s cocktail scene is also a prominent fixture in the Guoman stable, notably at The Grosvenor where guests have an extensive choice of global cuisine and fine beverages. From the opulent Grand Imperial restaurant – where EatSleepDrink had the pleasure of dining with GM, Michael Parker – that serves an authentic and delicious range of Hong-Kong Cantonese fine dining, to the contemporary Champagne & Cocktail Bar, Reunion. The beautifully restored Reunion Bar overlooks the interior of London’s Victoria train station and serves a vast selection of contemporary drinks fusions and impressive cocktails, with limited-edition cocktails that further excite the taste buds.
A remarkable opportunity
Ultimately, Guoman has made a remarkable impression on the London hotel scene, particularly when one considers the fact that it is a relative newcomer to the market. As a hotel group, Guoman is extremely excited about the rest of 2012 as it presents a genuinely unique opportunity for the company to showcase its hotels to the world.
So whether guests are looking for their own slice of British political history at The Royal Horseguards, their own piece of railway heritage at The Grosvenor, sleek accommodation at The Cumberland, the city experience at Charing Cross or riverside views at The Tower, visitors to all of Guoman’s properties can rest-assured that their experience will be uniquely memorable.
Visit: http://www.guoman.com/ for more information and reservations.