The Historic Homes Where Jimi Hendrix And George Frideric Handel Were Neighbors (250 Years Apart)

When walking in London, keep an eye out for the Blue Plaques. These historic markers will tell you where famous people once lived, and occasionally make for strange combinations.

One blue plaque at 23 Brook Street in the exclusive Mayfair neighborhood tells how Jimi Hendrix lived there from 1968-1969. Next door at number 25 is another Blue Plaque, this time for Classical composer George Frideric Handel, who lived in the house from 1723 until his death in 1759. Sadly, there’s no record of what Jimi thought about living so close to an earlier and slightly different composer.

The upper stories of these two homes are now the Handel House Museum, which, as the name implies, is dedicated to Handel and not Hendrix. The house has been refurnished with period furniture and paintings and contains a collection of Handel’s personal items. The museum hosts many special events and concerts throughout the year, including weekly recitals. My wife is a big Classical music fan and taking her here to listen to a string quartet is something she still talks about years later.

One disappointment was not being able to see where Jimi Hendrix stayed. He loved London and loved his place, calling it his first real home of his own. At that time he had no neighbors and so he could practice his music as loudly as he wanted.

When the Handel House Museum opened in 2001, his apartment was restored to look like it had when he lived there, minus the large amount of drugs scattered about. Sadly, the apartment is now used as museum’s administrative offices and isn’t generally shown to the public.

[Photo courtesy David Holt]

Hotel News We Noted: June 8, 2012

Each week, we explore the newest news and notes from the hotel and resort world. Feel free to write us and submit a tip, or just get your fix below in this edition of “Hotel News We Noted.”

Hotel Openings: Hot in Miami with SLS South Beach Opening

Big news in the hotel world this week as SLS Hotel South Beach finally opens the SLS brand’s first hotel property on the East Coast in a historic Art Deco building on Collins Avenue. The location features luxe penthouses designed through a collaboration between some of the hotel world’s buzziest names – designer Philippe Starck, restaurant mogul Jose Andrés, nightlife empresario Sam Nazarian and celebrity Lenny Kravitz. The property has 130 rooms and 10 special villas, all using Starck’s signature whites with vibrant pink accents to “reflect the sophistication of old French aristocracy.” The restaurant, Andrés The Bazaar, offers a mixture of Latin and Spanish flavors, along side sushi hotspot Katsuya from famed sushi chef Katsuya Uechi. The property also features Hyde Beach, the fourth location of a club from renowned nightlife team sbe Entertainment Group, which includes oceanfront access, indoor and outdoor spaces, two pools and Miami’s signature cabana culture. Of course, guest rooms include the latest in technology as well, with in-room iPads that deliver room service and reservations with a single touch, and a special connectivity that allows you to stream your own iPhone or iPad direct to the TV. The “Start Living Sexy” opening package includes 15 percent off the best available rate, a complimentary room upgrade and a complimentary food and beverage experience at Hyde Beach. The introductory package is subject to availability and blackout dates do apply. Rates start about $350.

Family Travel: Preferred Hotels’ New Family Travel Website

Just in time for the summer travel season, Preferred Hotels has launched a new family-focused travel website, Search by destination, find highlighted family blogs and take advantage of one of our favorite features, “Three Days In,” which offers up a three-day itinerary in cities like New York, Paris and more.

Promo We Love: National Lobster Day at the Boston Marriott

June 15 is National Lobster Day and the Boston Marriott Long Wharf Hotel is celebrating with a great promotion. To celebrate, 15 parties who arrive the weekend of June 15 will receive special New England treats with the “Lucky Lobster” promotion. As an ode to this local delicacy, anyone who finds a Lucky Lobster in their guestroom will receive a voucher for free lobster rolls and a free flight of local beer at the hotel’s Waterline restaurant. If you’re in Boston and planning a getaway – for Father’s Day, perhaps – this might be worth checking out.

Summer Savings: Thailand to Telluride

Want to take a summer vacay? We’re loving these great deals.

  • The all-suite Bangkok hotel featured in last summer’s “The Hangover Part II,” lebua at State Tower, is offering 30 percent off best rates through September 30. Rates start at just $112 per night and include breakfast, Wi-Fi and access to lebua’s SkyBar, a Bangkok hotspot and the world’s tallest outdoor bar.
  • London’s hip hangout, The MayFair Hotel – which still has availability during this summer’s Olympic Games – offers guests 20 percent savings when they book 10 days in advance.
  • Mountain Lodge Telluride is offering 30 percent off lodging and golf starting from $135 per round. The Telluride Golf Course is surrounded by the highest concentration of 14,000-foot mountains in the United States.
  • The Grand Hotel Maine, which overlooks Kennebunkport, has a package valid through July 15 that includes a two-night stay with complimentary cocktail and late checkout for $399.
  • The Regent Berlin, a celebrity favorite in Mitte, has an extravagant auto package that includes access to a limited-edition Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster for two days, a picnic basket stocked with Champagne for road trips, two nights in a Premier Suite and a six-course dinner at the two-Michelin star restaurant Fischers Fritz. Rates start at 2995 EUR, and the Mercedes is available through October 31.

Daily Pampering: The May Fair London offers luxe Champagne parties

Indulgence flows like, well, Champagne, at newest bar program. Aptly titled 150 at The May Fair, (after the magnum, 150cl of liquid) the semi-private bar experience offers a new series of programs where guests can order premium magnums of vintage champagnes paired with a menu of small plates prepared by the new head chef at the hotel’s restaurant, Silvena Rowe.

What would we opt for? The most glamourous offering of them all, naturally! The Dom Pérignon Rose 1998 Experience is a private Champagne party for up to 12 guests.

Priced at £4,400 (approx. $6,800), guests will enjoy four magnums of Dom Pérignon Vintage Rose 1998 paired with four canapés for each guest: seared diver-caught scallops and sevruga caviar remoulade; crispy spiced jumbo prawns with avocado and tahini; West Mersea native oysters with sevruga caviar and szechaun button and pomegranate glazed foie gras.

After that much drinking, we’d suggest you end the night in one of the hotel’s 12 signature suites… or at least with sponsored transportation home.

Get more luxury travel ideas from daily pampering.

London Rents Beat Fifth Avenue by $50

Thanks to the crumbling dollar, the US is losing yet another transatlantic battle of the richest. According to The Guardian, it is no longer home to the world’s most expensive shopping street. New York’s Fifth Avenue was replaced by London’s Old Bond Street, where annual rents per square foot are $1,400.

Bad news for the competitive New Yorkers. Good news for shopaholic Londoners, already booking their Christmas-shopping air tickets to New York.