Conrad London St. James Now Accepting Reservations

As I explained back when it was announced that the Concourse Hotel LAX would be rebranded as the Hyatt Regency LAX, hotel management contracts can be fascinating.

Quite possibly the most interesting hotel management contract change of the year is at the InterContinental Westminster London, which only opened in late 2012. I guess it really wasn’t working out for them, since the InterContinental Westminster is being rebranded as the Conrad St. James in September. Hotel management contracts are usually for at least a decade, so a lot has to go wrong for them to change so quickly. Rebranding a hotel is a big investment, so it’s interesting that they think switching from an InterContinental to a Conrad will radically alter their occupancy and rates.

Westminster Suite Bedromm Lighting

Anyway, the Conrad London St. James, as it will be called, is now accepting reservations through their website, for stays starting September 1, 2014.

Their rates are highly optimistic, starting at well over £250++ per night for prepaid rates, and well over £300++ for flexible rates. That’s quite a bit higher than what the InterContinental was charging.

Conrad-Hotels

This is supposed to be a Hilton HHonors Category 9 property, making it 50,000 to 80,000 HHonors points per night (in theory the pricing depends on season, though since this is London, my guess is that it will consistently be around 80,000 points).

Hilton-HHonors-Category

As of now it doesn’t seem like they’re actually loading any “standard” award rooms, though. Instead, they just have awards under their dynamic pricing model, whereby the number of points required is based on the room rate.

Conrad-Hotels-1

I suspect this is simply because the hotel hasn’t been rebranded yet and because they just loaded room inventory.

Once it actually is branded as a Hilton, this will definitely be my “go to” Hilton property in London. They seem to have a club lounge, which I’m sure will be nicer than the one at any of the Hilton properties in town. This will be a great use of the two free weekend night certificates that come with the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card, and also the annual free night certificate you receive when you spend $10,000 on the card per year.

If you’ve stayed at the property while it was an InterContinental, what did you think of it?

Hopefully the generosity of InterContinental Royal Ambassador benefits carry over to Hilton HHonors Diamond members. Or maybe they just rebranded so they don’t have to give top tier elites complimentary minibar beverages anymore. 😉

Comments

  1. A surprising development. We stayed there in December 2013. Advance purchase worked out at about GBP300 pn (inclusive) for a basic room, though we were upgraded due to Ambassador status. The room was large by central London standards, and well designed with a large bathroom. The only downside was the fire alarm going off (no fire, fortunately) in the very early hours on 2 consecutive nights! The location is great for a leisure trip, and I would stay there again, although visits to London tend to be business so I usually stay in the City (which is a whole different subject given the number of new hotels there since I last lived in London a decade ago).

  2. I thought it was a great hotel. Stay there in April 2 nights on points, 2 nights on BOGO weekend. Upgraded to studio king for all four nights. I thought location was great as the tube was right across the street and 2 min walk to Westminster Abbey. The bellman was super friendly everyday we walk thru. As others have complained in FT, can sometimes hear noises from street even in higher floors, but at that location its pretty quiet at night anyhow. Too bad it will be Hilton as I rack up a bunch of IHG points thru this year’s promotion.

  3. This is such a shame Lucky. They did the best afternoon tea. it is was between £35 – £45 for edible afternoon tea such as garden edible tea designed for the Chelsea flower show. All the sweets were presented in a “greenhouse” on a bed of earth (chocolate) on a slate. Best of all free flowing Laurent Perrier champagne for the sitting of an hour and half.
    This was the menu;

    SELECTION OF SAVOURIES
    Baby vegetable shot
    Garden pea and basil tart
    Miniature eggs Benedict
    Roast beef and horseradish on beetroot bread
    ~
    Smoked chicken and tarragon tear drop
    Delicate goat cheese and tomato with cheddar shortbread
    Smoked salmon roulade on rye bread

    FRESHLY BAKED MINI CHELSEA BUNS &
    LAVENDER INFUSED SCONES

    Served with Devonshire clotted cream, home-made
    strawberry rose jam and lemon curd

    CAKES AND PASTRIES
    Lemon box hedge

    Raspberry meringue pie
    Laurent-Perrier strawberry champagne bubble
    Crushed violet macaroon
    Manjari Chocolate Pond
    Chocolate pebbles

    Such good value and perfect service, glass never empty but you did not think they were always watching you. I guess it was too good to last.

  4. I stayed in the IC Westminster about a year ago. I did like the hotel: it was modern, and the food in the restaurant was good for dinner and breakfast. The experience was marred by the fact I thought I had a successful IHG BRG claim which was invalidated due to there being a different person checking in to that on the reservation – they asked for ID at check in to confirm. But I realise that not allowing a different name to check in on a BRG room is an IHG policy rather than specific to this hotel.

  5. Wow this is weird! This property was in my bucket list for being one of the newest in London, and I loved the pictures. I tought this was like a crown jewel for showing off the ‘Britishness’ of the IC brand. This was too fast!

  6. I stayed there on March and it was quite good actually.

    Our room was beautiful and the bathroom nice as well, but there was no view whatsoever from the window with bothered me a bit. I didnt complain much since I had booked through hotwire and the rate was quite cheap. U$ 200 a night.

    Shame it changed.

  7. It’s rather sad what has become of the brand positioning of the Intercontinental brand. Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s when Pan Am owned Intercontinenal, the Intercontinental was often the best Western hotel in many international cities, and the service and furnishings were 5-star. But it seems like since the late 1970’s – so for 40 years now – there has been underinvestment in the properties and the service and the brand, and it has move progressively lower to the point where Intercontinental is often at or below the Sheraton and Hilton brand levels – so in the 3.5 to 4 star range. Intercontinental doesn’t have a brand any higher rated than that, do they? It would appear that they made the determination to get the rates that they needed, they needed the brand to position them higher. Starwood has Luxury Collection, W and St. Regis. Hyatt has Grand and Park. Marriott has Ritz, JW and Autograph. Hilton has Conrad and W=A. So… if they have high rate ambitions they may have been forced to rebrand.

    At least it is Conrad and not W=A so Golds and Diamonds will get breakfast and there is a lounge.

  8. When I’m staying in St. James’s I always stay at The Stafford – formerly independent, now a Kempinski property, best bartender in the UK (His name is Ben btw) and character out the wazoo, not the most modern/updated, though. But miles ahead of The Lanesborough (my former default hotel in London, ruined when Starwood took it over) from a service standpoint.

  9. I actually stayed at the InterContinental the two days before the rebrand happened and was definitely impressed by the hotel. It’s interesting that they felt the need to rebrand and it will be interesting to see how the hotel does under Hilton’s management. It was definitely nice at the InterContinental rates, but may not be worth it at the Conrad rates.

    I have a review of the hotel here: http://goo.gl/wwJdDA

  10. I’ve stayed at the IC Park Lane and it is a wonderful property very close to the tube and other nice locations (Bond and Oxford street), so I don’t see this as something wrong.

    Granted, they also have 2 IC in Paris, and I suppose the Westminster hotel is cater more for government and less for leisure.

  11. I will be staying here in March for four nights. I am a diamond member. We booked the basic room. What have diamond members been getting for upgrades since the switch over?
    Thanks

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