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Six Senses announces a five star hotel in Whiteleys

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We very rarely write about new hotels which are just announced, as opposed to just about to open.  Experience shows that a large percentage never happen, or open years late, or open with a different operator to the planned one.

This one is so weird that I couldn’t resist however.  Six Senses, the uber-luxury chain recently acquired by IHG, is to open a hotel in the old Whiteleys department store in Bayswater in 2023.  It will have 110 rooms and there will be an additional 14 Six Senses-managed apartments for sale.

If you don’t know Bayswater then you won’t fully undertand how odd this is.  Whilst, on paper, it looks close to very wealthy parts of London and only seconds from Hyde Park, Queensway – the road where Whiteleys sits – is, to put it mildly, not exactly upmarket.  Six Senses London guests will not be short of places to buy fried chicken, place a bet, visit a £1 emporium or launder their clothes.

That said …. the developer is someone I used to work with, Alex Michelin of Finchatton, who is responsible for the Four Seasons Private Residences currently approaching completion in Grosvenor Square.  His judgement is usually sound, so perhaps we are about to see major change in Bayswater.

The hotel will, when open, be bookable on IHG Rewards Club points and should be the most luxurious IHG property in London.

IHG One Rewards update – May 2022:

Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is offering bonus base points on all cash stays between 18th May and 31st August.  You earn double points on your 2nd to 5th nights, triple points on your 6th to 14th nights and quadruple base points from your 15th night. Our full article is here. Click here to register.

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Comments (190)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Ian M says:

    OT – Etihad Guest Miles..

    I was under the impression that Etihad Guest Miles no longer expire if there’s activity on the account within the last 18 months. I’ve just learned that’s not the case, as it does not apply to miles earned before November this year!

    Does anyone have any ideas for sweet spots to use up 21k miles which are due to expire at the end of January?

  • BJ says:

    Your suggestion that Edinburgh is a niche route is a joke. Relative to the catchment area it serves, Qatar have very likely have more capacity to Edinburgh than they have to Heathrow and Manchester combined. Anyway, it is bad news as it will stifle competition and introduction of new direct routes. I would much prefer to see that as I have no interest in supporting this or other ME3 airline, or the ME.

    • Stu N says:

      Agreed, take Central Scotland as a whole – and it’s quicker to get from Glasgow to Edinburgh airports than it is to get between any two of City/Heathrow/Gatwick so I think that’s valid. Looks like the airlines think it can now support 2x Qatar A350, 2 x Emirates 777 and 1 x Emirates A380 a day in peak season. Off peak you’re running 1.5 A350 and 3x 777.

      In terms of disposable income Edinburgh must be up there – plenty of people on near-London incomes with much lower outgoings.

      Would love to see a Cathay or Singapore option; if Dublin and Manchester can support them, don’t see why Edinburgh can’t.

      • BJ says:

        +1 for CX/SQ. SE Asia is what Edinburgh is really missing at the moment. Thai scored big time with their services to Oslo. I think it could work to Edinburgh too as it would take a lot of pax from ME2 who wanted to break their journey on the way to Oz/NZ. HK or Singapore would work too but given Thailand is up there as one of most visited countries worldwide , Bangkok would probably be the better option. Also, TG regional J is better than regional SQ or CX.

    • BlueThroughCrimp says:

      +1 for not going anywhere near the ME.
      Although until Edinburgh Airport sorts itself out, I’ll fly from ABZ/INV/GLA where possible. Horrible passenger experience from what was a decent airport.

      • Stu N says:

        Building work at EDI is just about finished. Unfortunately there’s still a bottleneck by Burger King but when the hoardings come down next to Wetherspoons that should help. Security has been a lot better recently too.

        On the downside, the new domestic arrivals route is plain shabby – feels like a fire escape sort of staircase and international arrivals in the NE extension are similar.

        Also, the access road from A8 is woefully unfit for purpose – wasn’t the drop off fee to fund improvements? That’s been in place for years so where are the benefits?

        • BlueThroughCrimp says:

          Exactly why I’ll not fly from there where possible.
          The new AWPR makes Aberdeen just as easy from Dundee. No Aldi Arrival hall (who puts in stairs instead of an escalator?!), and best of all, won’t get shouted at going through security.
          EDI was a dream until the shopping mall experience took over. Horrible now.

          • Lady London says:

            AWPR ? Interested as I’m likely to visit a friend in Dundee sometime.

            When I come, i’,m thinking of seeing if Liz and other HfP’ers are around!

          • BlueThroughCrimp says:

            AWPR is the poash name for the Aberdeen bypass.
            Depending where you’re going in Dundee, the journey time to the airport is about the same.

            For Edinburgh, the new X90 bus service operated by XploreDundee (departs from outside the Malmaison direct to Edinburgh Airport) seems to be doing well.

    • Rob says:

      Etihad couldn’t make EDI work.

      • Stu_N says:

        Yep, that was unusual.

        It’s clearly working for Qatar as they have gone from a daily 787 to A350 to 10x weekly A359 to twice-daily A350 since launch. Emirates’ 777 is also apparently doing rather well and not (as feared) cannibalizing Glasgow’s Emirates traffic.

        Hainan Airways haven’t done too well with thir Dublin/ Edinburgh/ China service, this has sort of disappeared but may be back in the summer.

      • BJ says:

        Truth is Etihad cannot make anything work, it was nothing to do with EDI. EDI has clearly worked fine for QR, AY, KL, TK, LH and AF. Tge destinations that struggled either had rubbish airlines or rubbish schedules, or suffered from LCC like CPH/SAS. Agree with comments that the airport itself is a shambles although once through security the simplicity of departure is good. And however much of a shambles it is, I feel totally comfortable arriving at the airport 1h before departure and making my flight ok.

  • Dev says:

    Having done many Qatar A320 flights from Doha into Africa, at least half have recliners in J but you still get the full Qatar Service and IFE. In my opinion, they are perfectly adequate for day flights up to 4/5/6 hrs.

    The aircrafts with flat bed J would be fine for shortish night flights in J – up to the 7 hr mark tops.

  • Martin says:

    Anybody got any guesses when the IHG statement will land this month? Sailing very close to spire having spent 6k this month already.

    • Anna says:

      Both ours seem to arrive between the 21st and 23rd of the month, so my guess would be Monday.

      • Genghis says:

        Based on last few years Dec statements my best guess is Friday 27 Dec. Any bets?

        • Genghis says:

          Paul from Coventry who presses the statement generation button is normally on holiday before Xmas.

          • Peter K says:

            Just checked and last year’s was the 26th December. I seem to remember similar the year before. They want as much xmas spend as possible on their card I imagine as it’s the time of year people are least likely to pay it all back so they earn interest.

    • Grant says:

      I am also waiting on this month’s credit card points to make Spire. Things may be different this month, but in the past I have found that points transfer to IHG a day or so before the statement is generated

  • The Lord says:

    Interesting, moving to London in new year and found a place to rent in Bayswater. Seemed alright but will avoid Queensway!

    • Adam says:

      Queensway and bayswater are one and the same really, the stations are about 100m apart and on the same road

      • AR says:

        Bayswater resident here. The description of Queensway is laughably out of date – seriously, Rob, take a walk around before stereotyping (and in general, it’d be nice if you threw stereotypes into your posts less often – it’s just lazy journalism. Your average HfP reader isn’t reading the site after a few pints… ).

        Yes, it’s not Mayfair. But it’s centrally located and well connected and people have noticed. For example, my building is pretty much entirely comprised of six-figure-income households, and from what I’ve heard we aren’t unique in that regard.

        • Shoestring says:

          Notting Hill was pretty downmarket (& cheap!) 40 years ago 🙂

          Or just look at Paddington then-and-now

        • Matt says:

          I agree it’s lazy journalism, and I also think it’s untrue. Every time I’ve been in Bayswater I’ve always thought it’s a lovely part of London. Also it’s a great Waitrose on Porchester Road.

        • MikeL says:

          Ouch…… what we’re you thinking Rob ? . Well said AR…… thought it was bit cheeky tbh. Stick to the facts Rob.

          • Rob says:

            I am up there quite a bit. The Virgin Group Loyalty Company office is just up the road and my daughter had a place, which we didn’t take, at Kensington Park School.

        • flyforfun says:

          Interesting reading from locals vs the stereotype of Queensway – which having last been there about 10 months ago I would tend to agree with, but that’s because I only spent time on the main street where the shops looked rather tatty and the crowds touristy. I hadn’t realised Whiteleys was in decline and walked into a ghost of shopping centre with just a few outlets open and the cinema too.

          London stereotypes abound. People still ask if Earls Court is where all the Aussies and Kiwis are. Living at Canary Wharf people think it’s quiet on the weekends, but it’s not been like that for 15 years at least. The new shops, restaurants and residential have changed the dynamics.

          • Lady London says:

            That hotel will do really well. There’s room for one more ther as well. The place is practically Marble Arch. OH lived there and its a great place for walking, close to Portobello Road, to the quirky shops in Portland-like Westbourne Grove. It’s incredibly close to Westfield and there is the park and Kensington to walk around. Its a stone’s throw from Mayfair through the park.

            It will do very well I am sure.

          • Rob says:

            A Crowne Plaza, yes. For IHG’s top London hotel, a property which should (given the ranking of the chains) be attracting the serious money from IC Park Lane? I think not.

          • Lady London says:

            It will develop a steady clientele of people that return, though, Rob. Word will get round. Yes I did do a double take about it being the best IHG hotel in London…that would be a bit of a stretch. But run properly it will make money.

          • Lady London says:

            PS IC Park Lane is not ‘that’ well rated unless something’s changed recently. Ditto The Dorchester for anyone that:s not into being. And Grosvenor House was never run as well as its name. People who knew stayed at places like 47 Park Street (now private) and some other places I might remember soon.

            But yes, there are limitations on the Whiteley’s location and the site hat mean it prob wont be top too end. But it will earn a good living. Unless something global affects London and that’s a matter of timing.

          • Lady London says:

            ‘not into being’ –>> not into bling. D*** text editor.

        • John says:

          Sorry but unless you’re new here it’s obvious that Rob is a snob!

          • Ralph says:

            Queensway is on the park (easy, agreeable walk across to Kensington or Knightsbridge), has 2 tube stations (Central + Circle/District) and Royal Oak for Hammersmith & City not far + of course walking distance to Paddington for main line/HEX/Crossrail (running to Reading as of last week). There are some of the shops Rob mentions, but also the ice rink, now 2 x Prêt à Manger, some of the best real Chinese food outside Soho, good Middle Eastern food and a few yards off Queensway – any number of tip top artisan food/bakeries/coffee shops and of course Waitrose (mentioned by another reader). There is even a Daylesford down the road. Queensway also has a lot of real shops eg excellent traditional hardware store and Boots and parking isn’t too difficult. Westbourne Grove, at the end of Queensway has any number of trendy boutiques. Have a closer look Rob!

            I’m biased as I was born a few streets away and later lived close by for a few years and last month helped my son buy a flat off Queensway. Six Senses are not wrong.

          • Rob says:

            That’s nothing to do with it. Business is business. Would YOU personally want to put a few hundred million pounds of your and your co-investors money into opening what, in theory, should be one of the top 5 hotels in London (so £500+ per night) on Queensway? Obviously not.

            If you’ve never been to a Six Senses then you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about in terms of quality. Their Porto hotel is generally regarded as the best resort hotel in Europe.

            Had HFP been running at the time, I would written an identical article when Waldorf-Astoria decided to open an uber-luxe hotel literally next door to a garden centre (shared car park) and overlooking a large social housing estate near Chiswick. Unsurprisingly the hotel lasted 18 months.

  • Mark says:

    Is the May route Edinburgh – Santorini ?

    • Andrew says:

      All listed routes are to Doha. Would be quite an obscure Fifth Freedom route for QR to fly EDI-Santorini!

  • Mike says:

    Adana is only a stone’s throw from the Syrian border! Bodrum and Antalya are also definitely in the Asian bit of Turkey!

    • Shoestring says:

      it’s a long border & 95% of Turkey is in Asia – is there a point you’re trying to make?

      • The Original David says:

        Presumably quibbling Rob’s “list of other European cities” phrasing…

  • Chabuddy geezy says:

    I don’t think the a320 has the range to fly to the UK.

    • Sam says:

      And if it did I imagine smaller airports would struggle to be able to accommodate it due to the amount of runway needed for an A320 taking off with fuel tanks at 100%

      • The Original David says:

        When QR wet-leased a load of A320s to BA a couple of years ago, I believe they all positioned directly from Doha.

    • Spaghetti Town says:

      Yes, the plane would be pushed to it’s limits

    • Rhys says:

      The upcoming A321LR/XLR should be able to hack it

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