You may have heard that InterContinental are due to open a brand new property in London, and it’s causing quite a buzz in the London hotel world. And why? Because this is the first InterContinental hotel to open for 36 years. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of this newly designed and renovated InterContinental London Westminster, due to open in a matter of weeks, that will home some 256 guest rooms, including 44 luxurious suites and penthouse. It was really interesting to get this behind the scenes insight into the hotel and see all the hard work going on to get ready for opening. Even with much furniture and fittings missing, you can see that this is going to be a very special property.
Even without considering the building and hotel itself, the location is of greatest importance here, located on the site of a former Government Building, which played host amongst others to the Treasury Solicitor and The Brewers’ Society, slap bang in Westminster. With such a location, you can already guess the cliental that may frequent the hotel and I’m sure this is a reason InterContinental have incorporated a selection of exclusive meeting and event spaces that reflect exatly the heritage and political surroundings of the hotel.
Set across the lower ground level, the hotel’s meetings rooms, which can be transformed into a maximum of seven different spaces, are aptly named after the most celebrated political residences. Chevening and Dorneywood will cater for up to 75 and 55 respectively in various seating configurations, while Chequers will be a fixed boardroom, seating 10 and offering the latest in state-of-the-art technology. The Whitehall Suite which can be adapted from 60 – 254 seating to a 300 person standing reception can also be divided to create four individual meeting spaces each hosting up to 86 people.
Blue Boar Smokehouse & Bar is at the heart of the hotel’s food and beverage offering – and even unfinished when I had a preview today, I already want to come back and experience the wonderful smokey offerings. With a choice of two private dining rooms seating 12, which can be combined to accommodate 24, delegates will be treated to a menu which takes inspiration from the best American pit masters but with a distinctly British influence like the Pulled Rare Breed Pork Collar or the Treacle Marinated, 12 Hour Roasted Beef Brisket which revolves around authentic smoke house techniques. On-site charcoal and smoking ovens will produce rustic dishes served in a modern way; classic comfort food using great British produce.
Andrew Coney, General Manager, InterContinental London Westminster explained “Our location in the heart of Westminster Village has naturally been a great inspiration to us. Our events offering will enable us to deliver exceptional experiences for our guests, whether they’re here for official political business, perhaps presenting their memoirs or simply looking to celebrate an occasion in an intimate space.”
My visit today came amongst the final throws of preparations to complete the outstanding work and get the hotel opened, but even without the fine artworks, carpets and finishing touches, this hotel already has a special feel. What struck me, was that if I had no idea which hotel chain owned the hotel, just from walking in the lobby and public areas, I would have been able to guess it was InterContinental. I can’t put my finger on it, but this hotel has a very InterContinental feel and I’m excited to re-visit and see the finished article very soon.