Review of White City House, London

Rooftop pool at Soho House's White City House - photo by Soho House

Rooftop pool at Soho House’s White City House – photo by Soho House

Traveller, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – Dec 20, 2018

White City House is the latest instalment in Soho House’s global empire of private members’ clubs. In fewer than 25 years the group has blossomed from a single “house” in London’s Soho to a sprawling network of 23 properties, mostly located in Europe and north America. Members are largely from the creative industries (think advertising, music and media) and the atmosphere is emphatically informal – the antithesis of the jacket-and-tie stuffiness of a traditional gentlemen’s club. By definition they’re exclusive, so for non-members there’s an intriguing, I-wonder-what-goes-on-in-there mystique.

What’s not well-publicised is that many houses also have hotels that can be booked by the public.

Read the rest of this story here.

Advertisements

Review of L’Oscar hotel, London

The Bar at L'Oscar hotel in London - photo by L'Oscar

The Bar at L’Oscar hotel in London – photo by L’Oscar

Traveller, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – Sep 22, 2018

It’s safe to assume that when preacher Dr Alexander MacLaren laid the foundation stone for the Baptist Church Headquarters in London in 1901, he never envisaged it would one day become one of the capital’s most decadent hotels. The imposing Grade II-listed building on Southampton Row has had many uses over the years – including office space and a homeless shelter – but in June it became London’s newest five-star hotel after a meticulous 12-year restoration.

To say no expense was spared would be an understatement. L’oscar’s interiors were styled by French designer Jacques Garcia, whose resume includes the Hotel Costes in Paris and restorations at the Palace of Versailles. Taking inspiration from the area’s literary heritage, he set out to create something “profoundly English”.

Read the rest of this story here.

Review of The Murray hotel, Hong Kong

Bathroom at The Murray hotel, Hong Kong - photo by Rob McFarland

Bathroom at The Murray hotel, Hong Kong – photo by Rob McFarland

Traveller, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – June 30, 2018

THE PLACE
The Murray, Hong Kong

THE LOCATION
A prime spot opposite Hong Kong Park in the heart of Hong Kong Island’s busy Central district.

THE SPACE
A modernist masterpiece, The Murray building housed government offices for more than 40 years before being transformed by award-winning architects Foster + Partners into the city’s newest five-star hotel (it opened in January). They’ve kept the building’s grand arches and distinctive recessed windows, cleverly angling each room to make the most of the views over Hong Kong Park and Victoria Harbour. The design of the public spaces is minimalist with extensive use of black and white marble, but colourful artworks and elaborate flower arrangements help soften the mood. A striking rooftop glass pavilion houses the hotel’s signature restaurant, Popinjays, and there’s a spacious wraparound verandah with mesmerising views over Central and the harbour. Throw in a state-of-the-art gym, a soon-to-be opened indoor lap pool and a lavish spa with a steam room and sauna and you might never want to venture outside.

Read the rest of this story here.

Wildwaters Lodge in the White Nile, Uganda

Pool at Wildwaters Lodge in Uganda - photo by Rob McFarland

Pool at Wildwaters Lodge in Uganda – photo by Rob McFarland

Traveller, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – Apr 24, 2018

On paper, a private boat transfer sounds like a delightful way to start a holiday on an exclusive island resort. And if the property was in, say, the Maldives or the Seychelles, I’m sure it would be. However, when it’s on an island surrounded by three class six rapids in the middle of Uganda’s raging White Nile, the trip takes on a rather more intrepid feel.

Adding to my concern is that the boat in question is actually a wooden canoe whose engine is a young staff member with a paddle. After carefully loading my luggage into the front, he instructs me to sit in the middle “for balance” and then launches us into the ferocious current.

Read the rest of this story here.