Book in here and London is yours for the taking. It's just a short walk to the River Thames, Charing Cross rail station, Trafalgar Square, and the shops and theatres of Covent Garden and the West End.
Once refurbishment is complete, this nine-floor hotel will offer two main room types - the Club Room and the more expensive Executive Room. The latter comes with a host of extras including a king-size bed, complimentary WiFi, free movies, gym access and discounts at the hotel's food and beverage outlets. If you are a light sleeper, ask for a room looking onto the hotel's six inner courtyards - my Strand-facing room came with a backing track of constant traffic. Single and twin rooms are available and while the decor veers towards the bland, favouring many shades of brown, this is a hotel that satisfactorily does what it says on the tin.
The always-busy lobby is surrounded by useful but unexceptional bars, lounges, restaurants and shops. Mighty staircases with brass rails sit at the heart of the building, corridors are long and brown.
Eating and drinking
London has so much to offer on the bar and restaurant front that it would be almost criminal to go no further than the several refreshment options here. But if you insist, then I suggest you pass on the windowless Lounge Bar and the Strand Carvery and instead have a drink in the trying-to-be-cheerful Mask Bar then dine in the Mediterranean-leaning Johnstons Brasserie, which does a good steak.
None on site but Executive Room guests have complimentary use of a Virgin Active Health Club close by.
The uniformed staff are eager but shortfalls can occur in such a large hotel. Be prepared to queue to check in/out at busy times, and it may take a while for drinks or food to be delivered. Facilities include doormen, concierge services and 24-hour luggage storage (charges apply).
Who stays there
Everyone - business travellers, tour groups, theatregoers, overseas tourists, shoppers up for the sales...
Rates generally include VAT and sometimes breakfast too (Continental £7.50, Full English buffet £15). For the best deals book early - although this is a large hotel, it is often near to full.
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Mature travellers
- Seasoned travellers
- Live entertainment
Pros & Cons
- Historic building
- Close to entertainment venues
- Streetside rooms can be noisy
- Unexceptional decor