Of all of London’s railway terminal hotels, from the outside the Great Northern seems the plainest—and the smallest. Its crescent-shaped building went up quite early, in 1854, and as a consequence it isn’t as bombastic as its brethren. Rooms aren’t huge, but they have a smart modern edge that includes—daringly for a hotel—cream-colored carpeting. The smallest rooms are called “couchette” because the sled-style queen beds, attached at head and foot to the walls, are said to have been inspired by railway sleepers. (Don’t worry—they have much more space for your luggage, although the result is something less than ideal for families.) Etched glass and cute little curved banquettes complete the allusions to trains. High-standard perks pack the other spaces—a good British restaurant, Plum & Spilt Milk (named after a color scheme), is one. Caveat: If you’re quoted a rate over £300, you can do better elsewhere.