Soho House & Co has unveiled plans to open a 252-bedroom hotel with nine restaurants and bars in the city of London.
The Ned hotel - which is a joint venture between Soho House and US hotel owner and developer Sydell group - is set to launch in spring 2017, at 27 Poultry, a Grade I listed building which once housed the headquarters of the Midland Bank. Nick Jones, founder of Soho House & Co and 2015 Hotelier of the Year, announced the details at a reception at the property last night.
Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in the 1920s, the impressive Portland stone building is located close to the Bank of England and the Guildhall. Ned was the nickname of Sir Edwin, one of the UK's most eminent architects who also designed the Cenotaph in London and the British Embassy in Washington.
Managing director of the hotel will be Gareth Banner who until recently was general manager at the five-AA-star, 245-bedroom St Pancras Renaissance hotel for nearly three years.
Banner, an Acorn Award winner who has studied on the General Managers Program at Cornell University in the United States, spent the early part of his career on the management development programme with Marriott, His first general manager appointment was at the now closed Hempel hotel in Notting Hill.
He told The Caterer that his appointment was "a once in a career" opportunity. "The Ned is potentially the most ambitious and most exciting hotel opening that London has ever seen," he explained.
"It will be a true destination hotel which currently does not exist in the UK."
Banner will head a team of 800 staff, including three executive chefs who will together oversee a brigade of 152. Niels Kristensen has been appointed as director of F&B from D&D London, while the rooms director is yet-to-be announced.
Seven of the F&B spaces will be located in the Ned's former banking hall, featuring 92 green verdite marble columns and walnut panelling. They will include the Penny, an American café; Millie's Lounge, serving British and American classics 24 hours a day; Café Sou, a Parisian outlet; the Grill Room offering traditional trolley and geridon service; Cecconi's, the Soho House brand serving Italian dishes; Penny Yen, a Japanese grill; and Zobler's, a New-York-style deli. A total of 1,400 guests will be able to be served in F&B at any one time.
While Soho House & Co operates 17 members' clubs worldwide, alongside 37 restaurants, the Ned will not be a members-only business. However, there will be a members element with Ned's Club featuring a rooftop space with swimming pool overlooking the City of London, Canopy Bar & Restaurant, alongside the Vault Room lounge bar in the basement. Ned's Club Active offering a gym, boxing ring, Pilates and yoga studios, swimming pool, hamam, sauna, steam room and Cownshed Spa.
Design of The Ned is been undertaken by Soho House & Co's in-house team, headed by co-lead designer Adam Greco. The faded glamour of a 1930s transatlantic ocean liner is the starting point for the look of the 29,450 sq m property.
The bedrooms will be categorised as small, medium, large and big and designed to represent the hierarchy of a 1930s bank, from a cosy, small room with floral wallpaper where a mail clerk might have stayed to the large rooms, once occupied by a director with grand four-poster beds and rich fabrics.
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