HOME > Latest News > Article > SPOTLIGHT ON Siraj Singh, Director of Marketing and E-Commerce, The Londoner
Latest News

SPOTLIGHT ON Siraj Singh, Director of Marketing and E-Commerce, The Londoner

By Sharon Hirschowitz, Global Head of Media & Communications for The International Luxury Hotel Association
22 March 2024
7 min read
Share Article

In a recent interview, Siraj Singh spoke about shaping the narrative of luxury hospitality at The Londoner Hotel in the heart of London’s film district. With over two decades in marketing and a familial heritage deeply rooted in hospitality, Siraj’s trajectory led her to orchestrate the launch of The Londoner, a Super Boutique that seamlessly marries the qualities of a boutique hotel with the scale of a grand resort. Siraj unveils the inspiration behind the cinematic design, the hotel’s sustainable initiatives, and its transformative impact on Leicester Square’s cultural legacy. From hosting prestigious events to curating diverse culinary experiences, join us in discovering how The Londoner has become a true urban retreat, redefining luxury and setting a new standard in London’s vibrant hospitality scene.

Born into a family with a strong hospitality heritage, you spent over two decades in marketing before making your mark in hospitality with the launch of The Londoner hotel. How has your background influenced the unique positioning and marketing strategy for The Londoner, shaping it into a first-of-its-kind luxury urban retreat in the heart of London’s film district?

As a child, I was desperate to work as a hotel receptionist; I was unaware of it at the time, but hospitality had already taken root in my psyche. Initially, my life took a different path as I decided to study Business & Politics, before doing my Marketing & Strategy Masters at the University of Warwick. Hospitality and marketing share one major key focus: people. Working in the family business, where people were our greatest asset – both our brilliant hosts and our guests – this correlation between hospitality and marketing shaped my understanding of what a luxury hotel should be. Armed with this experience, the task was to apply this principle at The Londoner on a large scale, something we came to call Super Boutique. It is the idea that everything about The Londoner, from its facilities to its feel, has the qualities of a boutique hotel but the scale of a big resort. It was to be individual, eclectic, playful – all those multifarious attributes that make up a Londoner brand persona. Even the name The Londoner suggests a personality, a character. Everything we do is for the guest, and we want people visiting us to feel like they can be whoever they want to be when they step through our doors.  

Siraj Singh, Director of Marketing
and E-Commerce, The Londoner

The Londoner, designed by Yabu Pushelberg and Woods Bagot, stands out as a distinctive property with 16 stories, 350 guest rooms, suites, a tower penthouse, private screening rooms, concept eateries, alfresco dining, and a Japanese lounge bar with a rooftop terrace. Can you elaborate on the inspiration behind the design and the thought process in creating a multifaceted luxury experience for your guests?

It was really about creating a feeling. Being in the centre of Leicester Square, the heart of film and theatreland, we wanted The Londoner to have that cinematic/theatrical effect on people as they walked inside – a set upon which to live out your own story. Our in-house design team worked with design studio Yabu Pushelberg to imagine this vision. They drew inspiration from Leicester Square’s past and created extroverted spaces with gorgeous undertones of drama, which slowly unfold as guests move through the hotel. Every space feels different yet somehow connected by an invisible thread.

It was also vital for us that the building itself could be run as sustainably as possible. We secured the first ‘Green Loan’ in our industry, which meant we could use specific funding to integrate unique technologies and materials that improved our carbon footprint. This resulted in us receiving an ‘Excellent’ rating from BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), which I’m very proud of.

The Londoner opened in September 2021 and is poised to shape the legacy of the West End. How has the hotel contributed to the cultural and architectural landscape of this iconic district, and what unique elements does it bring to the vibrant tapestry of London’s hospitality scene?

Leicester Square has been at the heart of culture and entertainment for 350 years. It was important to us that we not only continue this legacy, but add to it. We enjoy close ties with several major and independent theatre companies, museums and art foundations. We are proud to be sponsoring these vital institutions, while also providing our guests with exclusive tickets to sold-out shows and exhibitions.

Our hotel is also used as an exhibition space, where fashion designers have hosted their runway shows, artists have exhibited their work, and a collection of modern art is permanently on display.

Additionally, one of our more tangible contributions is the building itself! As a condition for its planning approval, The Londoner was required to contribute an artwork to the surrounding community. We chose to integrate the piece into the building itself, holding a competition for ideas that Ian Monroe, a locally based painter and sculptor, won. His proposal included alternating patterns of glazed tiles that would line the building’s exterior – a nod to the material history of the area, which was revered for its tile making. The result was 16,000 handcast and glazed cobalt blue faience tiles, which reflect the sun during the day and the lights of Leicester Square at night, changing depending on where you’re standing.

The hotel boasts an expansive ballroom, meeting spaces, and The Retreat for wellbeing. How do you envision The Londoner as not only a destination for luxurious accommodation but also as a versatile venue that caters to various events and occasions?

It’s amazing, there’s literally different things going on every day and on every floor! Having one of London’s largest pillarless ballrooms, our ambition was to be able to host events and occasions of any calibre. We made sure to invest in the leading aaudio-visualtechnology – to put it in perspective, we use the same sound system as the O2!

We have hosted big VIP events such as Vogue’s Forces For Change Gala, the BFI Luminous Gala, and the London Air Ambulance Charity Gala, where we were honoured to have His Royal Highness Prince of Wales in attendance. The Ballroom has also been the setting for several fashion runway shows, conferences and special occasions.

The Ballroom is also a fabulous place to have your wedding, as most spaces are fully customisable and can be adapted to any vision. Our spa at The Retreat is perfect for pre– and post–pampering!

We are very humbled to have received multiple awards in this field, from organisations such as C&IT and AHEAD.

With two private screening rooms and a mix of six concept eateries, including bars and a tavern, The Londoner offers a diverse range of entertainment and culinary experiences. How do these elements contribute to creating a holistic and immersive stay for your guests, aligning with the vision of The Londoner as a true urban retreat?

 Every restaurant and bar concept at The Londoner answers to a different need or mood. The Stage Champagne Bar, is located in the lobby, perfect for an early evening cocktail or weekend afternoon tea. Then there’s the Japanese rooftop bar with incredible skyline views and a retractable roofed Japanese garden. At Whitcomb’s, our signature French Mediterranean restaurant, guests come for anything from celebratory dinners to business lunches. Or if you’re after a casual drink, Joshua’s Tavern serves beer and more than 50 varieties of gin in a relaxed environment. There is also a special treat reserved just for our hotel guests: a space we call The Residence. Made up of three residents-only rooms, including a secret whisky parlour, The Residence is a place where guests can work, relax and socialise, as well as enjoy complimentary antipasti and soft drinks throughout the day. If not for any of that, it’s worth visiting just for the incredible design!

In many of these areas, we host regular live music performances, workshops, and a very popular monthly pub quiz. We wanted to create a holistic experience that meant you wouldn’t need to leave the hotel—however, with such an amazing location in the heart of London, I would still recommend you do!