At a time when many were holding back from opening new properties and investing in British hospitality, Iconic Luxury Hotels made a characteristically bold decision and launched the latest addition to its portfolio, The Mayfair Townhouse, on London’s Half Moon Street. Opened in December 2020, the 172-bedroom Mayfair property fits so well into the brand’s collection because it delivers on the unexpected, but also redefines what it means to be a London hotel. The Townhouse bridges a gap and finds the sweet-spot for independent travellers between ritzy, high-end lavish hotels and the somewhat characterless corporate ones.
The brand had questioned why people stay in the capital and discovered that what they want is a really comfortable home-from-home in the right location. It has correspondingly created the most fitting proposition and assembled a great team to deliver the expected outstanding service, proving that choosing personality over conformity is always worth it.
Elsewhere, it has invested heavily in the new, restyled spa concept at Chewton Glen and expanded its outdoor dining opportunities at The Lygon Arms. It also has great plans for 11 Cadogan Gardens and, with the changing dining landscape in mind, greater emphasis is also being placed on the creation of much-enhanced plant-based menus across all properties.
The group took a typically proactive approach to the pandemic, keeping customers well informed, investing in increased staffing and new technology, with procedures including electrostatic fogging of rooms. Its properties are naturally very well set-up to be Covid-19 secure, with plenty of well-spaced restaurant areas, numerous al fresco dining spaces, large lounges and public areas, well ventilated bedrooms and suites, many with private terraces, gardens and balconies and, of course, its award-winning Treehouses at Chewton Glen. Over the summer months in 2020, The Lygon Arms, Chewton Glen and Cliveden were particularly popular with guests enjoying al fresco dining with pop-up dining opportunities available at all the properties.
Iconic Luxury Hotels UK properties is as quintessentially British as you can get, and its long-term mission has always been to buy British and local wherever possible, something which is highlighted in a small way by its wide collection of English wines and fabulous British cheeses. It enjoys a loyal local following, with 85 per cent of guests coming from the UK and choosing to return to the properties year-on-year. It has also seen many new guests visiting for the first time as their overseas holiday plans have been curtailed and feels that, post-Brexit, its British audience will continue to be its greatest strength.
The brand has always been highly diligent in keeping in touch with guests and established longstanding relationships. Its ‘here for you’ approach to communications is very well received. New guests have discovered the brand through word of mouth, social media and plenty of press highlighting its many new developments.
‘We ask our team to put themselves into our guests’ shoes,’ says executive director Andrew Stembridge, ‘so that they can provide effortless and intuitive hospitality, which is our DNA, the cornerstone of our business.’