New venues – from flexible co-working spaces to leading hotel brands

More flexible, outdoor and co-working spaces are being developed as part of hotel and venue developments, and with a growing number of new developments along with a shift to flexible and smarter working, these trends show no signs of slowing down.

15,500 new hotel rooms opened across the UK in 2018. This year, a further 19,300 rooms will come on-stream, a growth in supply of 2.9%. [Source: Knight Frank UK Hotel Development Index]

That growth rate is on the up. A further 35,000 rooms will open by 2023, 38% of which will happen in London. Supply is forecast to rise by 4.5% in 2020; 7,995 hotel rooms across 65 new hotels is a record for the capital. [Source: Mayor of London]

A number of U.S. brands have opened in London this year. They include the Standard, the Hard Rock Hotel and the W London Leicester Square by Marriott. Newly opened, design-led properties include Hoxton Southwark, the Stratford and Vintry and Mercer. But which of the new kids on the block stand out?

The Biltmore Mayfair is the first hotel under Hilton’s new luxury brand LXR. Formerly the Millennium Hotel London Mayfair, the property has been given a multi-million-pound makeover and boasts 307 bedrooms, 57 ‘curated’ suites and flexible meeting facilities that include a 500 sqm ballroom.

Business travellers will have to wait a little longer to inspect The Londoner, the latest addition to the Edwardian Hotels portfolio. Built on the site of the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square, The Londoner will span eight storeys above ground and six below ground. This five-star hotel will offer 350 bedrooms, 35 suites, multiple restaurants and lounges, a rooftop bar, underground spa with swimming pool, cinema and a 1,000-capacity ballroom… sounds perfect for that next red carpet event.

No self-respecting hotel developer can resist including a roof-top feature in a new property. Roof-top bars, terraces and event spaces have become increasingly popular over the last few years as the focus is more on the delegate experience. Developers and operators have also recognised the potential to create venues-within-a venue; unique, self-contained spaces that can be hired out.

Some of our favourites include:

Specifically, for the meetings planner, Chancery Lane (pictured) is about to welcome a new, design-led etc. venues property. 28 purpose-built meeting rooms and spacious shared areas mix contemporary workspace designs with an urban street feel, complemented by built-in AV, all-day service and some architectural quirks in a very different environment.

The Science Gallery at King’s College London is a place “where art and science collide”. With three floors, the gallery offers a variety of spaces, including a lecture theatre, a first-floor gallery, the intimate Studio for up to 80 and an outside courtyard for up to 500.

Amongst further new openings in London are the Pan Pacific London at One Bishopsgate Plaza near Liverpool Street (2020), and a new Rosewood on the site of the former US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, scheduled to open in 2023. Outside London, the pace of refurbishments and new openings also continues apace. Here’s just a selection of some of the new openings in the pipeline.

To strengthen their stake in the small meetings and home worker markets, Village Hotels have launched the Vworks business lounge product. Vworks provides an alternative to hotel lobby meetings by offering flexible co-working space for meetings as well as hot desking, super-fast WiFi and other member benefits. Vworks is currently operational in 18 properties, with the rest to follow in 2020 along with the launch of the new Village hotel in Basingstoke in Feb 2020. Village intends to grows its UK portfolio to 50 hotels by 2026.

Another hotel that boasts large communal areas but is targeting a different market is Manchester’s Hotel Brooklyn, due to open in February 2020. Located on Portland Street in the city centre, this 189-room hotel has been designed by the team behind Hotel Gotham. Amongst the architectural features that reflect the eponymous NY neighbourhood are loft-based bedrooms and bathrooms angled to allow their back walls and semi opaque windows to look out across the room.

The hotel's Runyon’s bar and restaurant, named after the American writer, will serve European and American-themed dishes, whilst the Salvation bar on the top floor, will also feature exposed brick work, pop art and neon lights.

The cathedral city of York is another hotel hotspot. Malmaison York will open within the city walls in June 2020, bringing an additional 150 bedrooms to the city, top floor meeting space and a spectacular sky bar and restaurant with uninterrupted views of the city and York Minster Cathedral.

The latest addition to Dublin’s hotel community is Moxy Dublin City. Located just off O’Connell Street in the heart of the city, the hotel has been designed in Moxy’s trademark boutique style. Other Moxy quirks in evidence include table football in the lobby, check-in at the bar and a complimentary cocktail. Core to the Moxy product are coworking spaces for the business traveler that, by night, transform into party spots which can be hired for events.

Like roof-top terraces, the trend toward shared spaces reflects the growing demand for co-working spaces in which professionals can work and conduct business. Earlier this year, AccorHotels, announced plans to become the largest coworking brand in Europe by 2022. The company intends to launch 1,200 new spaces over the next three years.

Other hotel brands are remodelling their facilities to create spaces that appeal to both travellers and locals alike. Marriott is revisiting over 400 lobbies in its Sheraton properties to make the spaces more work-friendly by adding USB ports, rentable drawers, and plenty of outlets.

Expect more flexible and outside spaces to pop up and new hotel developments to feature co-working spaces in the years ahead because these trends shows no sign of slowing down.