Fifth Floor Bar at Harvey Nichols gets a revamp

This is excellent news. This bar on the top floor of the famous Knightsbridge department store has always looked great on paper, perfect for a cocktail or two after flexing the plastic at Harrods and Harvey Nichols on a Saturday afternoon. My experience in years passed, however, was often less than spot on, usually fuelled by the trashy clientele of cash-rich car dealers and ‘professional’ Russsian women clad in fur and bad leopard print.

Recently revamped, the place is looking great, with a cocktail list heavy on vodka based drinks and a Baltic-influenced menu in the adjoining restaurant. Definitely worth a visit if you are in Knightsbridge and licensed now till 3am. We’ll be visiting very soon.

See press release at Harvey Nichols.

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Filed under London Hotspots, London recommendations, Other interesting stuff, Restaurants we love

Gekko is the Daily Mail’s Website Of The Week

The Daily Mail is currently featuring Gekko as its Website Of The Week.

Their travel journalist Fred Mawer wrote: “I imagined that I was after a hotel in Barcelona. I’ve visited Madrid recently, and came across a great little trendy but affordable hotel called Abalu. Would Gekko be able to come up with somewhere similar in Barcelona? In a word, yes. It picked out hotels such as Chic & Basic Born and the Market in the Catalan capital, which I know are intimate, trendy and affordable, as I’ve visited them.” He described Gekko as “inspiring and easy to use.”

Read the whole article here.

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Fantastic aerial photos of NYC and Vegas at night

Here’s a link to some pretty amazing views of New York city and Las Vegas at night, taken by photographer Jason Hawkes.
Take a look at NYC and Las Vegas from above.
If you like what you see, check out his latest book, London at Night.

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The best hotel bars in London

Hotel bars are brilliant for many reasons. The late opening hours, the cosmopolitan crowds and the fact that they retain a feeling of exclusivity even if anyone can walk in for a drink. And if you really can’t get home, you can always try getting a room at the hotel at the end of the night. Here’s Gekko’s top five London hotel bars.

Artesian at The Langham, West End
For a bit of old-school glamour, you can’t beat The Langham. One of London’s finest grand hotels, this Victorian pile has just been refurbished to the tune of £50 million. The chic east-meets-west interiors and pagoda bar make things as urbane as they get this close to Oxford Circus, and with rum the spirit of choice, there’s plenty of classy daiquiris and hurricanes to be enjoyed.
Find out more about The Langham

Bar 190 at The Gore, Knightsbridge
Bar 190 blends opulence with tradition to dramatic effect. It was famously the setting for the Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet film, and a certain Medieval bacchanalia remains with mahogany panelling, formal oil paintings and intimate lighting set against a neon-lit bar. At the back of the room, a jewel-studded ‘Cinderella Carriage’ holds a VIP table for six. The tapas menu is also fabulous.
Find out more about The Gore

The Long Bar at The Sanderson, West End
A bar that lives up to its name and, in keeping with the rest of this achingly hip hotel, is a designer’s dream. Full of media types and moneymen of an evening, the DJ pumps out nightly beats whilst the cool crowd lap up the special cocktails. Martinis are the real star here with some inventive combinations. Check out the ‘Sanderson Predicts’ nights to hear the best live new music in the perfect setting.
Find out more about The Sanderson

The Connaught Bar, Mayfair
Ferociously chic and immaculately turned out, the prices might be dizzying but so is the experience. The Cubist-style design fits perfectly with the bespoke martinis from the seriously professional mixologists. Completing the picture are fashionable titbits from stellar chef Hélène Darroze: sashimi of scallops & truffle vinaigrette anyone?
Find out more about The Connaught

Donovan Bar at Brown’s Hotel
An original stained-glass window is now the only survivor of this room’s Balmoral baronial past. It is now a slick noughties lounge named after 1960s photographer Terence Donovan which attracts stylists and fashion editors like barflies to superior Cognac. The bar displays many of Donovan’s best works which pleasingly complements the monochramtic design. The cocktail list is addictive as is the feeling that you are drinking with the in-the-know crowd.
Find out more about Brown’s Hotel

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Filed under Hotels we love, London Hotspots, London recommendations

Gekko’s top Art and Design hotels in Europe

The first ever boutique design hotel I stayed at was in Brighton, maybe 10 years ago. The Pelirocco, self styled Original Rock and Roll Boutique hotel offers uniquely themed rooms, a personalised service and a bar that stays open until you go to bed. Unsprisingly, I’ve been back many times.

This started my search across Europe for similarly inspired hotels where design, art and experience influenced my choice over and above the star rating. Here are a few that I discovered.

The Five Hotel, Paris, France
Describing itself as one of the most innovative hotels in Paris, Five offers a subtle and elegant combination of arts and originality. Step inside and you enter another world. Each room has a unique atmosphere through the choice of design, lighting and even scent. The reception is transformed to an art gallery and short films are played in the elevator. Check the photos for a taste of the Five experience

Another cool option in Paris is the Philippe Starck designed Mama Shelter. A bit more expensive but well worth looking into.

Art Hotel Atelier sur Mare, Castel di Tusa, Italy

This place is an art lovers paradise but completely different to the two options above. Located on the wonderful bay of Castel di Tusa, 20 km from Cefalu, each room has been conceived and designed by an internationally famous, contemporary artist. They even let you change rooms each night to experience something different.

Hotel de Filosoof, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Philosophy Hotel is well known with inspired rooms reflecting cultural and philospohical themes. The reviews are mixed but this is good value for a unique experience and good location near the Vondelpark, walking distance to the city centre.

Hotel Fox, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Hotel Fox has to be one of my favourites. Twenty one international graphic design artists have transformed the hotel and created an exciting, environmentally conscious, lifestyle hotel. With DJ’s at the weekend, designer treats and roof terrace serving food and drinks, this is one Copenhagen hotspot to check out.

Art Luise Kunsthotel, Berlin, Germany

A short walk from the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag this place offers an extraordinary experience. Greeted in the lobby by sculpture, each room is again uniquely designed`and the hotel offers a wonderful courtyard for outdoor relaxation.

For more inspiring Art and Design Hotels around the world take a look at the Gekko Art Hotel Hotspots including some luxury hotel options like the Gramercy Park in New York and the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Some fantastic choices!

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Philippe Starck Hotels from around the world

If you’re a fan of the design hotel, Philippe Starck and Ian Schrager are responsible for one hell of a collection over the last 20 years. Cool, contemporary and always a step ahead of the rest, these hotels set the ”hotspot” standard. From St Martins Lane Hotel in London to the Delano in Miami and the latest Jia in Hong Kong, click here take a look at this famous Address Book.

See Hotspots Philippe Starck.

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Ever wondered where you might bump into Victoria Beckham?

There’s no doubt that Victoria is a glamourous superstar with a good looking, talented husband and is lucky enough to experience some of the best living that this planet has to offer. Ever wondered where she stays on her travels? Here are a few of the top hotels of the world where this celeb has been spotted.

Click to see Victoria’s Address Book.

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