This is a part of London where the streets are an endless tide of comings and goings, but the neighbourhood is gradually gaining character as King's Cross is developed. The Shaw Theatre and British Library are just outside the front door, and it's easy to whizz off to any part of town by taxi or public transport.
My advice is to request a room as high as you can and on the north side of the building. This way you can enjoy lordly views of north London that stretch all the way from the arch soaring over Wembley Stadium to the Eurostar trains snaking in from Paris and Brussels. Most of the rooms are classed as Superior (standard) and come with beige walls, pale wood furniture, somewhat soft beds and amenities that include a safe, iron, hairdryer and kettle. Executive rooms come with a larger king-size bed, coffee machine and complimentary internet access.
As the hotel has 16 meeting rooms and functions as a conference centre, the lobby is often busy and a popular spot for a quick appointment before catching that train. Sometimes it is flooded with people, but the staff work fast to accommodate them. When you use the lifts, wait for the central one as this has windows offering panoramic views over the streets below.
Eating and drinking
Adjacent to the lobby, the Mirrors restaurant offers a tempting menu of dishes ranging from duck foie gras terrine to seared scallops with chorizo. If it's a foul night and you want to stay in, it will do the job. Breakfast is also served here but best avoided as the space gets congested and you may have to queue for a seat. Either order it in your room the night before (mine was delivered on time and correctly), or there are countless places outside where you can grab a coffee and croissant.
There is a large, unstaffed gym on the fifth floor with good natural light, plus a sauna and steam room.
Fast - this is a busy hotel that is often full and the staff are on the ball. The lifts zoom up and down with an impressive speed and there is an express check-out option if you are running late.
Who stays there
Business travellers in the week, leisure and mature travellers at weekends.
The earlier you book the better your chance of a getting a low rate. Breakfast costs £14.95 for Continental, £17.95 for cooked, excluding service.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Business travellers
- Mature travellers
- Great views / scenery
- No fuss
Pros & Cons
- Good view from upper floors
- Close to two main railway stations
- Bland decor
- In a busy area