Rooftop bar Seeyouu forwent drink prices after finding that a day’s takings fell within the UK’s top 1%
It is the Mediterranean, the bay of Italy, the sea, the moon, and what a luxury rooftop bar Seeyouu in London’s Soho may be providing this winter.
Or is it a chance to be skydiving from the 35th floor? The snow-dusted setting is just one of the luxurious guest experiences at this seven-storey bar. You might sleep in a suite with a chef delivering champagne and the lifeguard who brings you water always within arm’s reach, or enjoy a tree-top breakfast and a ride on the tram. Or order a fragrant coffee, served in a crushed chocolate cup.
But where this indulgence comes from has been the subject of debate. The views and fruit-foraged aromas notwithstanding, the vision of the £38,000-a-night room comes as something of a shock. The manager, Bill Walden, told the Observer that not everyone was happy with the difference between what they bought in the stores and what they were given. “It had a price tag, but the designer had said you have to spend more when you live here,” he said.
“We have had a lot of negative response on Instagram, where people can get their money’s worth, in terms of Instagram advertising. But if you’re paying for a £38,000 room, people want something exclusive and we think they should feel special. We have a great view and we’ve tried to make it special.”
Seyouu is the brainchild of the architect Francesco Zanon and the developer Marco Prodo Credenzo. A striking circular design in colours inspired by plants, the luxury hotel looks out over the Thames and the skyline of the City, with the Chelsea Barracks housing considered the star of the home.
Prodo hopes this Sunday will see around 2,000 guests flocking to see the 162-metre building, open only between now and March, with a first-night party including live music, a Greek-themed buffet and gourmet chef Giorgos Milasios. No bottle service, just champagne and cava.
“We thought, why do you have to order a huge bottle of Bollinger with a glamorous backdrop when we can all live in this amazing view?” Prodo said.
The hotel offers a number of suites, including “the ultimate British B&B”, which features a rotating terrace bed. A large TV screen at the bottom lets the bedroom king, named The King of Bar, watch the drama Kingsman: The Golden Circle or, for basketball fans, the 12 December NBA game in London between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Even if the room is nothing special, you can do all this incredible stuff and it isn’t hitting you in the face,” Walden said.
“Our girlfriend dropped anchor on Soho island, where the water is protected and soundproofed. You could walk to the dinner table with no problem.”
He said that in a city where most hotels are starting to see sales and occupancy falling, Seeyouu was proving to be a success. A regular night was charging £590 for a suite and the team was averaging £150 per night in drink sales.
He admitted that hosting A-list guests had been slightly intimidating. “The trick is not to make them feel like divas,” he said. “The other managers would be thinking, ‘How do we get out of that?’ and we’d think, ‘We shouldn’t go down that route.’ But we had a group of Russian billionaires at the weekend, who had an elaborate plan to invite everybody that had bought an expensive ring in that department store.”
Despite the high rent, plus VAT, the hotel is by no means profligate, Prodo said. The property is shared by developers and employees.
“Everyone is invested in the idea that this is a destination hotel, not just a city hotel, and we are looking to build on that next,” he said.