South Place Hotel London
I have traveled for the last 15 years and stayed in a lot of the world’s most amazing hotels. Whilst visiting London for another product launch and haute Couture catwalk, I had the chance to stay in the South Place Hotel in London. This was an amazing experience and what I am going to share with you is priceless. All I can say is it was the best hotel experience to date for Gracie.
Days before I was to fly in I received a phone call from Xavier Monsalve, the Hotel Guest Relation Manager. After a short conversation these words stuck to me: Mi familia es su familia, Mi casa su casa (My family is your family and my house is your house). Treat the way you want to be treated. For me, actions speak louder than words. As Margaret Thatcher says, there are a lot of sayers in this world but not enough doers. Xavier is a doer, more about that in my review.
Before I left home, I quickly checked the Trip Advisor rating of this hotel and noticed it was rated number 16 of over 1000 hotels in London. After the phone call with Xavier and reading the reviews, I knew already that I was in for a treat.
Xavier Monsalve – The Hotel Ambassador
You can have the best hotel facilities in the world let alone the art work. However amazing these features are, they lie dormant and still, unless there is a human element to them that brings them to life. Xavier is that very unique man who has qualities that we need to learn from. The day before I came he called me to make sure I was coming and reassured me: “Mi familia es su familia, Mi casa su casa”. From the moment I met him I have to say I met my personality match and more. It takes a unique man to handle me at the best of times. Unbeknownst to me, he had done his research on me and understood I needed my space and I needed time to relax. So much so that strict orders were given that I was not allowed to leave the room. When I did, within minutes I was escorted back to my private den. Xavier gave me a fantastic in depth tour throughout the hotel in his own personal way.
The Man With the Golden Gun
I made it clear, in a funny way, that I was from Italian background and that I expected the best. Xavier jokingly told me whilst showing his golden gun, that if I did not confirm to the Xavier way, there were going to be consequences. I had met my match and where in the world can you find a hotel with such a great sense of humour like that. Throughout the afternoon and evening, Xavier spoilt me with hidden surprises that showcased the fine wine dining the hotel has to offer. It’s why I would highly recommend, when staying at the hotel, to allow some of your personal time to enjoy the experience, you won’t be disappointed. For me the unique fresh cocktails was one experience I would not forget. The cocktail was called the Gracie Opulanza, a unique blend to showcase my character. The hotel has a smoking room called the hidden Secret Garden atrium bar, a smart move for those that want to puff the night away. The five private event rooms on the same floor take their names from fictional spies in a nod to a 1920s spy ring in Moorgate and transform into meeting rooms or dining rooms, depending on the occasion. Alongside them, Le Chiffre, the residents’ games room, is the perfect place to relax with a roaring fire, well-stocked library, Fussball table, records and a pool table. As you can see, this is not an ordinary hotel, it is a hotel experience.
MenStyleFashion – The Staff Suits
As the head editor of MenStyleFashion, I am always on the lookout to see how the staff are dressed. The male staff were gorgeous to look at and were very easy to interact with. It was very refreshing to see that I was not seeing the stereotypical staff attire that is common in most hotels. The outfits and role play of the staff were part of the theme of the hotel. Does what a staff member wear effect his work attitude? I put forward this question to many staff members and they all agreed and said it helped with staff morale and performance within the hotel. This hotel has a philosophy that MenStyleFahsion supports on many levels. In fact, if I could put my companies name to a building, it would be this one. This is also why I tweeted the experience so you could be part of it.
Art and Design at South Place Hotel
Art and design are clearly at the heart of South Place Hotel. The diverse works throughout the hotel were carefully commissioned and sourced by Conran and Partners, to reference the rich history of the area, the unique character of the local neighbourhoods and to showcase the best of British talent. This includes a variety of disciplines from sculpture and painting to photography, video installation and printmaking – a result of partnerships between the hotel, local artists and galleries such as the Hoxton Gallery and the Jealous Gallery. This is refreshing to see and part of the unique experience. It gives respect and purpose to the art and designs showcasing throughout the hotel. Everything you see including the Damien Florebert Cuypers portraits coasters have purpose and meaning.
Cathy Miles is an English Metal Smith
Cathy Miles is an English metal smith and created the wire shoes as a special commission for SPH. They are a development of a project called “Neil’s Shoes” inspired by an old man’s box of work shoes
George Singer is a British born product designer who graduated from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design in 2002. He designs bespoke lighting pieces, like chandeliers, for private and commercial spaces around the globe. The airplane chandelier for SPH is striking in its simplicity – and of course a nice travel reference for guests checking in from around the world.
Dan Hillier is acclaimed for his black line engravings that embody the ‘Steampunk’ aesthetic, combining Victorian sensibilities with a fascination for animal attributes. His work is characterized by depictions of fantastical human/animal hybrids, spliced together from late-1800s imagery. Dan Hillier’s artworks have been displayed in a group show at The Louvre, Paris, and other shows at the Saatchi gallery and the ICA, London for example. Altogether, 19 different prints by Dan have been chosen for bedrooms at the hotel.
Ms Susanne Traut, General Manager of South Place Hotel, said: “Our vision is to treat every guest that walks through the door as an individual, appealing to the refined tastes of discerning travellers as well as our neighbours in the City and surrounding Shoreditch.” This was exactly my experience. From the moment I was greeted, I will remember the long lasting impression that Xavier and his staff members have left on me. It was priceless and very touching. The South Place Hotel is a non conventional five star hotel that has broken the stereotypical view of what to expect when staying at such an elite establishment. It’s why when I had to regrettably leave, the experience stayed with me forever.