Pulling up to Great Northern Hotel my cab driver told me that not so long ago the hotel and surrounding area used to be a no-go area referring to the clientele as ladies of the night. Most of Central London has been gentrified for a good few decades now so I wondered how long ago he actually meant. To be fair I used to travel to university from St Pancras back in the early 2000’s and it was still a little rough around the edges but since then the area between two of London’s busiest train stations has changed completely. In 2011 the refurbished Renaissance opened and quickly became the hotel for Eurostar passengers and business travellers using St. Pancras. The Great Northern followed suit opening last summer with the hope of capturing some of the business from business travellers and those seeking a romantic weekend break.
The Great Northern is ridiculously close to St Pancras (I had a lovely view of it just outside my window) and is technically in King’s Cross so there isn’t much chance of missing your train. In fact there are really lovely reminders throughout the hotel that this is a railway hotel. The corridors remind you of a vintage steam train, big clocks were hung throughout the hotel and artwork depicting the golden age of railway travel. I do love a hotel that respects and integrates its history.
The check in process was quick and easy and before I knew it I was whisked up to my standard Cubitt room. The room was beautifully decorated, with gorgeous art decor features, walnut and leather bedside tables, an elegant bathroom and a huge TV system with preloaded movies and music. I was a little worried that the hotel might be a little nosy considering it really is right next to two massive train stations and a number of busy roads but I didn’t have anything to worry about. Thanks to another sash window inside the room there was complete silence through the night.
Another highlight was the numerous electric points for guests including USB charge points along with British and European plugs. I know this isn’t a sexy feature but it is bloody useful! Especially for those travelling to and from Europe via St. Pancras. This feature was not just in the bedroom but also throughout the hotel. A great touch, I must say.
Just next to my room there was a fantastic pantry for guests to help themselves to tea, coffee, sweets, Wagon Wheels and Caramel Wafers. There was also a beautiful carrot cake which quickly disappeared (as you can see in the photo!) I thought this was a lovely addition and a real example of the hotel looking after its guests.
Dinner and breakfast were both served in the hotel’s Plum + Spilt Milk restaurant. The restaurant is in a fantastic space. I loved the raised leather banquettes which gave patrons plenty of privacy while still being able to see what everyone else was eating. The food is classic British and doesn’t disappoint. The fish pie was packed full of flavour and the Angus sirloin was eaten in silence by my dining partner (always a good sign). I loved the choice of sides almost as much as I loved the Eaton Mess. The service was excellent, although I did get a little frustrated that the waiter addressed my male companion rather than me when it came to signing off the cheque and asking how the meal was. Only a little detail but one I noticed nevertheless.
Why book Great Northern Hotel for your boss? The location is the number one reason to book the Great Northern. If your boss has an early morning Eurostar to France or a train up to Scotland from King’s Cross this hotel is the ideal choice for their over night stay. It is also really comfortable and beautifully decorated. The service is excellent as are the free snacks in the pantry! It has a number of options for your boss to sit and do some work and the WiFi is faultless.
Practically Perfect PA received complimentary accommodation at Great Northern Hotel. Our opinions are entirely our own. Advertised minimum rate per night is £150 (August 2014).