This Gothic red brick palace, built in the 1870s as a lavish terminal hotel for a railway line, is one of London’s most distinctive buildings, and its 2011 restoration, overseen with exactitude by English Heritage, not only rescued a Victorian icon from neglect but also created one of the city’s most distinctive properties. Premium rooms have an unforgettable view down the ribbed, cast-iron cavern of the train shed, where Eurostar arrives and departs for Paris. The most expensive Chambers rooms have 5.5m (18-ft.) ceilings and details such as (now-decorative) fireplaces, arched windows, and substantial wooden doors, but rooms in the newly built Barlow wing are spacious, modern, and suit those with corporate hotel tastes. The public spaces are a gilt-and-tile parade of self-important Victorian excess, from the winged Grand Staircase to the lushly carved The Gilbert Scott brasserie (named for the architect; local star Marcus Wareing oversees it) and the old wooden Booking Hall, now a bistro where old English punch cocktails are revived. The building, looking more like a castle than a hotel, was “too good for its purpose,” lamented Scott, whose own son went mad and died in one of the rooms. The hotel is worth a wander even if you’re not staying here—management knows it’s a jewel, and it welcomes visitors.
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel
Euston Rd., London, NW1
Our Rating Neighborhood King's Cross Transportation Tube: King’s Cross St Pancras Phone 020/7841-3540 Prices Doubles from £235–£450. Amenities: Restaurant; 2 bars; pool; gym; spa; free Wi-Fi in Chambers rooms, otherwise £15/day Units 245 units Web site St Pancras Renaissance HotelBook a Room Now
MapEuston Rd., London, NW1 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.