As thousands of international and domestic visitors descend upon London London to participate in the Jubilee celebrations, Breaking Travel News catches up with some of London’s top hotels to find out how business is faring for them during this festive period and what they have planned to mark the occasion.
Jumeirah plans Big Jubilee Lunch
Leading hotel group Jumeirah – which was named World’s Leading Hotel Brand and World’s Leading Luxury Hotel Brand by the World Travel Awards in 2011, is marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with a number of events at its London properties.
The Terrace at Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel is partaking in the nationwide ‘Big Jubilee Lunch’ initiative and inviting guests to join them in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee. Guests can feast on a three-course al fresco meal for a set price of £19.52 with traditional English dishes including steak and kidney pudding and London Pride battered haddock and chips. The Terrace will be decked out in red, white and blue balloons and bunting for the occasion.
Meanwhile at the Rib Room Bar & Restaurant at Jumeirah Carlton Tower has hosted a series of interactive ‘Ginbilee’ masterclasses in the run up to the Jubilee, offering attendees the opportunity to learn about the history of gin and how to create their own personalised G&T Infusion. The special G&T infusions created by the 5 British talents are available on the Rib Room bar menu from 7 May until 8 June.
Speaking about the significance of both the Jubilee and the Olympics, Derek Picot, Regional Vice President (Europe) of Jumeirah Hotels and General Manager of Jumeirah Carlton Tower explains: “Both The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and The Olympics are helping to keep London at the forefront of people’s minds both domestically and internationally for travel.
“They will showcase the depth and diversity of the UK tourism experience and will show the world London at its best,” he added.
No events are planned at the Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeirah Living on Park Lane, however a spokesperson informed BTN that occupancy levels are very high for June and July with Ultra High Net Worth individuals coming to London for an extended period for the Diamond Jubilee
The Dorchester to be decorated in red, white and blue
Meanwhile London’s popular Dorchester hotel is nearly fully booked for the duration of the Jubilee weekend and has had to increase its sittings for Saturday tea from two to five.
The Dorchester, which has been nominated in the categories of Europe’s Leading Hotel, England’s Leading Conference Hotel, England’s Leading Hotel and England’s Leading Spa Resort by the World Travel Awards in 2012, revealed it will be serving diamond sugar. In addition, the front of the property is being decorated by The Dorchester’s own florist with the queen’s favourite flowers in an array of red, white and blue.
General Manager & Regional Director Mr Roland Fasel told Breaking Travel News: “The jubilee weekend falls during high season in London so The Dorchester was always going to be busy – we are almost fully booked.”
Fasel added: “The Jubilee and The Olympics have provided a spotlight on London, and an opportunity for businesses to demonstrate everything the city has to offer travellers from around the world in terms of incredible dining and nightlife as well as cultural events and exhibitions.”
DUKES to create cocktail fit for a queen
Meanwhile award winning DUKES ST JAMES LONDON has been asked by the Royal Navy to create a special cocktail specifically for the old tradition to commence the Queen’s Jubilee weekend.
The ‘DUKES Royal Navy Jubilee’ cocktail, which will be created by well-known barman, Alessandro Palazzi, will be revealed on the HMS Diamond on June 1st.
Described as a ‘very masculine drink that has an initial bite followed by a smooth finish,’ the cocktail will be available at the DUKES bar during the Jubilee celebrations, starting June 3rd.
Debrah Dhugga, general manager of DUKES ST JAMES LONDON said: “On behalf of DUKES ST JAMES LONDON, we are delighted to be collaborating with the Royal Navy and the HMS Diamond to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.
“For this, DUKES’ bar team carefully created a special ‘DUKES Royal Navy Jubilee’ cocktail, which he will be delighted to present to the HMS captain on the 1st June 2012 and serve for our guests in the DUKES Bar during the Jubilee celebrations from June 3rd.
“DUKES has always had a close connection with the Royal Household over the 100 years it has been trading as a hotel. We are thrilled to be celebrating this very special weekend.”
Debrah Dhugga, and Alessandro Palazzi will be on-board the HMS Diamond ship to present the new ‘DUKES Royal Navy Jubilee Cocktail’ to the captain and crew of the HMS Diamond on June 1st.
DUKES won the World’s Ultimate Service Award in Hospitality as well as being named England’s Leading Boutique Hotel at the World Travel Awards in 2011.
The Goring is fully booked
The charming 71-bedroom Goring Hotel in London’s Belgravia shares strong links with the Royal family and most recently hosted Kate Middleton on the eve of her wedding to Prince William last year.
Queen Elizabeth used the Goring’s pastry chefs to bake Prince Charles’ christening cake. During her coronation the hotel was used as an annexe to its neighbouring Buckingham Palace, where foreign royalty could stay.
Going back a few years the hotel was frequented by Queen Mary, who would come to tea with her lady in Waiting, according to reports.
It is hardly surprising that the 102 year old property, which was recently added to the bus tour route, is fully booked over the Jubilee weekend.
David Morgan-Hewitt, the hotel’s general manager explains: “We are so thrilled that The Queen is celebrating such a wonderful milestone. “ He added: “She really is a marvel and we all send her our best wishes.”
Commenting on what celebrations such as the Jubilee mean to The Goring, he explained: “It is always hard to tell from a hotel point of view as many only come for the day. But however long they come for they will all have fun.”
Visitors waiting for last minute deals
While many hotels are fully booked for the celebrations it has emerged that some guests are still holding out for last minute deals.
Travelzoo found that 66% of those wanting to travel are ‘wary’ of hotels raising prices over the extra bank holiday, and up to 22% may be holding out for late bargains.
Joel Brandon-Bravo, managing director of Travelzoo UK, explains: ‘It’s very positive to see that plenty of people are really keen to soak up the Jubilee atmosphere with many staying in the UK for this year’s extra bank holiday weekend.
‘Perhaps due to so many staying in the UK, we are seeing some great deals around and we expect that some fantastic last-minute deals will come on to the market as the Jubilee weekend approaches.’