A decade ago, it was a package-tourist misery locals nicknamed “St. Vermin’s.” But with a new owner, much investment, and a hookup to Marriott’s points system, glory has been restored to this handsome 1889 Queen Anne structure, a hotel since 1899. The lobby’s latticed riot of plasterwork and sweeping Art Nouveau stairs is enough to make a tourist drop one’s baggage to rhapsodize about the London-ness of it all, but the history is just as rich: The premises were long used as a headquarters for British spy efforts—Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, worked here. Room sizes vary wildly, from puny to palatial, so you may need the guidance of a live person to get the right one, but they’re all quiet and well-appointed—not five-star but solidly four. Children are emphatically welcomed (family rooms are available), and there’s an agreeably pubby bar on premises; the Tube is on the same block and Westminster Abbey a 5-min. stroll east. The buffet breakfast is weak, but that can always be improved—precious Old World British vibrations such as these are to be protected and patronized.
St. Ermin’s Hotel
2 Caxton St., SW1, GB
Our Rating Neighborhood Westminster Transportation Tube: St James’s Park Phone 020/7222-7888 Prices Rooms £227–£459 URL http://www.booking.com/hotel/gb/st-ermin-s.html?aid=382845&label=frommers-hotelpage-deeplink Units 331 units Amenities 2 restaurants; bar; fitness center; free Wi-Fi Web site St. Ermin’s Hotel
Map2 Caxton St., SW1 GB London
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.