Once again this is an example of looking the other way. As part of my work as the London photographer for Hotel Tonight, I have been sent to some pretty spectacular hotels and apartments in and around the capital. One of the ones that impressed me most in 2012 was CitizenM London Bankside, part of a Dutch chain of hotels which feature identical budget rooms alongside highly decorated public areas. The Bankside hotel is in a converted office building and features automated check-in via computer terminals and a wooden spiral staircase from the ground to the first floor.
I love spirals, in nature or otherwise, so I set my camera on the tripod at the bottom of the staircase and pointed straight up. Craning my neck to view the display on the back of the camera, no doubt attracting puzzled looks from hotel guests and staff, I aimed the camera up along the axis of the spiral staircase towards the black globular lampshades hanging from the first floor ceiling, and ended up with a photo that is almost abstract, fooling the eye with the combination of sweeping curves and radiating wooden slats.
I’ve taken hundreds of photos of hotels over the past two years, but this one is probably my favourite still.
Many hotels pull out all the stops when it comes to their restaurants. Given that most of them are open to the public as well as paying guests, they are likely to be seen by more people than any other part of the hotel, so it makes sense to make them look as good as possible. Here are some of my favourites from the past year.
I should add that these photos wouldn’t have been possible without the lovely people at Hotel Tonight who had faith in me and signed me up as their London hotel photographer. In the course of my work with them I’ve been to some amazing places.
Well, while I can’t quite match the impressive hotels seen on the Telegraph’s travel page, I CAN share with you some of the best ones I’ve visited in the past year or so. Here are some of my favourites, in no particular order.
The Town Hall hotel in Bethnal Green is full of Art Deco highlights, such as that cubic clock, the marble pillars and the star on the floor.
CitizenM London Bankside is the Dutch hotel chain’s first London based property. Guests check themselves in on arrival, and can relax in this ultra modern, eccentrically-lit rest area on the ground floor.
The South Place Hotel was designed by the world famous Conran partnership with wonderful detailing throughout, like the photomosaic tiling on the pillars and the log-pile wallpaper surrounding the slate fireplace.
The Hempel Hotel is a minimalist’s dream, and after dark the lighting in the lobby changes colour to match the floral arrangement on the reception desk.
In Birmingham’s Rotunda, the Staying Cool apartments have a sparse, narrow corridor as the lobby, illuminated by long aluminium poles with colour-changing LEDs set into each one.