It Rises Again
The Boutique Hotel Awards are the first and only organisation exclusively dedicated to recognising unique excellence in boutique hotels. All entrants are personally evaluated by independent and experienced judges.
Last year’s winners were selected from over 300 nominations across 70 countries. There are 15 international categories including World’s Best New Hotel (The Carlin Boutique Hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand); World’s Best Design Hotel (Akademie Street Boutique Hotel in Franschhoek, South Africa); World’s Best Chic Hotel (Hotel TwentySeven in Amsterdam, Netherlands); World’s Best Honeymoon Hotel (Drake Bay Getaway Resort in Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica); World’s Best Beach Hotel (Velaa Private Island in the Maldives); World’s Best Family Hotel (Rockfig Lodge Madikwe Game Reserve in Madikwe, South Africa); and the top prize World’s Best Boutique Hotel (San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California).
There was only one international category winner in Britain last year: Sun Street Hotel in London was awarded World’s Best City Hotel. The judging panel recorded, “Head Chef Stuart Kivi-Cauldwell’s salmon comes from the oldest smokehouse in London, his wagyu from chocolate fed cows in Ireland, and his catch of the day from the best boat that’s just come in.”
Stuart has created a modern British cuisine menu complemented by an extensive wine list. Dinner highlights include chalk stream trout and black truffle and burrata tortellini. Food and drink are served in the Orangery and adjoining 40 cover restaurant opening onto the courtyard as well as a suite of reception rooms facing Sun Street. There’s also the welcome glass of Marlin Spike blended aged rum served in the entrance hall.
Designers Bowler James Brindley have used a rich palette of period hues – aubergine, olive and teal – accompanied by lively wallpapers as a backdrop to luxuriously comfortable interiors. And the best velvet cushions and lozenge-shaped poufs in town. Vincent Cartwright Vickers’ birds from The Google Book and water and earth zodiac signs are just some of the decorative themes. There are 41 bedrooms including seven suites. Every bedroom has a king size bed with Oxford pillows, an Illy coffee machine, Penhaligon’s Quercus range bathroom goodies, and twice daily maid service.
General Manager Jake Greenall, formerly of Beaverbrook, a luxury country house hotel in Surrey, says, “Sun Street is a hotel with a heartbeat, a place where guests are treated like part of the family, not just a room number. It’s a home away from home for our guests, with the added benefits that a luxury five star hotel can bring.”
The hotel fills six Georgian brick terraced houses designed by George Dance the Younger at the turn of the 19th century and is part of the development One Crown Place. This revival of a full urban block includes the hotel, The Flying Horse pub, Wilson Street Chapel, a new office building and two multi-use prismatic towers (28 and 33 storeys respectively) designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox.
George Dance the Younger succeeded his father as supervisor of planning and building in the City of London upon George Dance the Elder’s death in 1768. He excelled at a streamlined neoclassicism; his most famous pupil Sir John Soane would be even more radical in his interpretative and idiosyncratic use of the classical orders. The Flying Horse pub is slightly newer that the abutting terrace: it was built in 1812 and remodelled 53 years later. The ground floor pub is a large squarish space with dark panelled walls.
A plaque on the façade of Wilson Street Chapel states, “Erected Anno Domini MDCCCLXXXIX,” and confirms Jesse Chessum and Sons as builders and Hodson and Whitehead as architects. A sign next to the plaque reads, “We preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord, II Corinthians 4:5.”
New York City architectural practice Kohn Pedersen Fox has designed major international urban schemes including Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California; Abu Dhabi Airport in United Arab Emirates; and Dongdaegu Transportation Hub in South Korea.
Aiman Hussein, Director of MTD Group who delivered One Crown Place, comments, “We are thrilled to have Sun Street Hotel at One Crown Place. Led by the esteemed Bespoke Hotels team, it forms a key ingredient for making One Crown Place a desirable destination where the City of London and Shoreditch come together.”
This year, the Boutique Hotel Awards are revealing their favourite picks in a new book The Ultimate Collection of Boutique Hotels celebrating 13 years sampling the best boutique hotels in the world. The publication features the best international boutique properties from luxury villas to regal chateaux to far flung islands. The front cover star is Isla Sa Ferradura in San Miguel, Ibiza. It will be an essential coffee table and reference book for all avowed luxury travellers.