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Against All Odds, London Is in the Middle of a Luxury Hotel Boom

More than 10,000 new hotel rooms will have come online since the pandemic started, almost half of which are at premium price points.

The foyer at Claridge’s.

The foyer at Claridge’s.

Source: Claridge’s

On its first day of post-lockdown operations in Sept. 2020, the Rosewood London welcomed just 20 guests into its 308 stylishly monochromatic rooms and suites. For a hotel that would see 80% occupancy during a normal year with visitors attending performances at the Proms or shows at London Fashion Week, the muted response was unprecedented—but also somewhat expected.

Tourism’s recovery in London has been an uphill climb. Although it outpaced Paris, Berlin, Rome, and Barcelona for hotel business in 2021, it reported only 36.7% occupancy across the entire calendar year. And 2022 has yet to deliver the full return to normalcy that anyone in the industry has hoped for: Visitors are still shying away from major cities as omicron and its variants scuttle plans—not to mention the ongoing absence of high-spending Chinese (and now Russian) travelers.