Building on the London fever that escalated during the Summer Olympics, The Ampersand Hotel is trying to keep that energy alive by opening its doors this month. Located in London's South Kensington neighborhood, this 111-room boutique chic hotel inside the shell of an 1888 building is set to debut on August 29.
Start with the central staircase, which is not only functional but playful too, with accents of goose feathers, a whimsical sibling to furniture upholstery decked out with flowers and ferns. Turn to the color palette, which features turquoise, cherry red, and chartreuse in elegant mod shades alongside gold and silver accents, marble flooring, and richly patterned pillows and wallpapers. Throughout the hotel is a keen awareness of nearby cultural attractions—the Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall, and Victoria & Albert Museum—which pop up in guest-room motifs as planets and stars, musical notes, and ornithology drawings.
In addition to the guest rooms (in five categories, from Double Rooms decked out in an astronomy motif to fourth- and fifth-floor suites with geometry-inspired interiors) spread out over seven floors, there is a bar, restaurant, and drawing rooms (where you can relax in armchairs and pair flutes of Champagne, afternoon tea, and demitasses of artisanal coffee with pastries or savory treats). All expect to be social hubs for locals and hotel guests. Apero, the lower ground-floor restaurant within a brick-walled Victorian cellar with arched doorways, hones in on modern Mediterranean flavors, right down to the cocktails. There is also a private space for 10 called The Wine Room, under the Victorian brick vaults, where the hotel's red-wine collection is housed within a floor-to-ceiling display. On another wall in the Wine Room are cabinets containing "curiosities" collected during the Victorian era.
Each guest room is individually styled right down to the bathrooms. And you'll spot contemporary art works hung throughout, providing bold, almost provocative, splashes of color. Room rates start at £200 + VAT per night, with rates for balconied suites beginning at £385 + VAT.
Photo credits: Courtesy of the Ampersand Hotel