London's latest super-hotel opened this week. It promises luxury on an epic scale, but is it set to live up to the hype?
The Soho House Group isn’t known for its love of the City – in fact, founder Nick Jones has previously avoided what he once called ‘packs of people in suits’. In that light, this week’s opening of the group’s £200 million luxury City hotel-cum-members’- club concept ‘The Ned’ is a dramatic volte face.
On paper, The Ned is a hotel, but add to its 252 rooms a private members’ club, ‘Ned’s Club’, and eight restaurants (including an outpost for Mayfair stalwart Cecconi’s), and something more ambitious emerges. Located on Poultry, this is as much a hangout for well-heeled City folk as it is fresh linen for wealthy international businessmen and tourists flocking to London to take advantage of the feeble pound.
Soho House Group has collaborated with the Sydell Group (of New York’s NoMad) on the venture, which takes its name from architect Sir Edward ‘Ned’ Lutyens, who designed the grand 1924 building. The neo-classical architecture of what was once the London Midland Bank has been restored to its former glory (it’s Grade I listed), with interiors inspired by transatlantic ocean liners from the 1920s and 1930s and designed by the trio Alice Lund, Adam Greco and Rebecca King.
The accommodation brings with it a touch of Soho House’s signature quirkiness, with choices ranging from compact ‘crash pads’ to indulgent ‘heritage’ or ‘duplex’ suites, which at 85m2 span two floors and have private terraces taking in views of the Bank of England. Ned’s Club members will have access to a rooftop that overlooks St Paul’s, a pool, gym, spa and a late night lounge bar, as well as the run of the hotel.
There’s no denying that The Ned has caused quite a stir this week. It looks a reliable addition to London’s canon of world-class hotels, if not a pioneer in the field of luxury hospitality.
Rooms at The Ned start from £250 per night. For reservations and membership details, visit thened.com