Virgin Hotels to open first London property

Virgin Hotels has confirmed it will take over management of London hotel Mondrian Shoreditch on August 1.

All existing staff at the property on Curtain Road in Shoreditch will be unaffected by the changeover and will remain in their roles.

The opening will mark Virgin Hotels’ first property in the city, with owner Sir Richard Branson describing the location as “where Virgin’s story started”.

It will also mark the 17th property in the wider Virgin Hotels Collection portfolio, which includes Virgin Hotels and luxury brand Virgin Limited Edition, following the successful launches of Virgin Hotels Edinburgh and Virgin Hotels New York in 2023 and a recently announced Virgin Limited Edition hotel in Kenya.

Virgin Hotels London-Shoreditch will form part of a long-term agreement between Virgin Hotels and real estate investment and development firm Reuben Brothers, which owns the property.

The freehold of the property was sold to Reuben Brothers in 2018, a year after the building was launched as The Curtain hotel under New York operator Michael Achenbaum. The property reopened as a Mondrian in spring 2021.

A statement from Virgin Hotels said August 1 would “mark the start of a gradual transformation to transition the hotel to a fully-fledged Virgin hotel with all the magic the brand is renowned for”.

The property will remain open during “soft cosmetic renovations”, which will include refurbishing the penthouse suite into the brand’s trademark top-level accommodation, Richard’s Flat.

The 120-room hotel will continue to feature Spanish restaurant BiBo in association with chef Dani Garcia as well as a rooftop bar, pool, gym, treatment rooms and private members’ club managed by Blue Marlin Ibiza.

The brand also has plans to “re-concept and renovate” lobby lounge Christina’s before hosting a grand opening at the start of 2025.

Sir Richard Branson, founder of parent company Virgin Group, said: “We’re all absolutely delighted that Virgin Hotels Collection will be opening a Virgin hotel in London.

“Since the inception of Virgin Hotels, we’ve had our sights set on London; a place that so many of our customers either call home, or name as one of their favourite destinations – and of course where Virgin’s story started.”

Speaking to Travel Weekly, Virgin Hotels Collection chief executive James Bermingham labelled the opening “huge”.

“The whole Virgin company is really proud that we’re going to have a Virgin Hotels flagship in London,” he said.

“London is singularly the most important market, not just for Virgin hotels and Virgin [Group], but it’s the most important market I think in the world and it’s the hardest market to get into, especially for a younger brand.

“The opening in Edinburgh was our first [in the UK] but London has always been a priority for us, particularly over the last few years. When you think about the opportunities for travel advisors to package London and Edinburgh for the North American and European markets, it’s fantastic.”

He added: “The first Virgin Hotel [in London] had to be a great physical asset in the right part of London. It’s a magnificent hotel, built super well and really loaded from an amenity and location standpoint. We think it’s a wonderful fit.”

Bookings for Virgin Hotels London-Shoreditch will open in early July.

The property will join other Virgin Hotels in locations across the UK and US, including Chicago, Dallas, Nashville, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Edinburgh and New York City.

Properties in Miami and Denver will join the portfolio in 2025, with hotels also in development in Boston, Los Angeles, Austin, Philadelphia and Seattle.

Bermingham said the group was “absolutely” looking at other locations within the UK and Europe, adding: “Edinburgh has been so well received; our guests like it, we know the community loves it and it really is accretive to our business development in the UK and Europe. The UK and Europe are a big focus for us, both for Virgin Limited Edition and Virgin Hotels.”

A statement from Mondrian parent company Ennismore said the brand had decided to relocate the hotel to a bigger location in central London “due to strong demand for the Mondrian brand in the UK and its success globally”.

It added that Mondrian would “announce [its] new London home soon”.

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