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Great Northern Hotel, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel 5.0

King's Cross, London, England

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Beautifully restored Victorian railway hotel with stunning period decor
  • Connected to King’s Cross railway station, close to tourist attractions
  • Rooms have Loewe's flat-screen TVs and minibars; some have roll-top tubs
  • Rooms come with entertainment packages, including movies, audiobooks, and playlists
  • Michelin-star Plum + Spilt Milk restaurant, with innovative menus
  • Grand Art Deco-style railway bar, plus more intimate Snug Bar
  • Pantries on every floor, with free tea, coffee, cakes, and reading materials
  • Traditional British breakfasts served a la carte
  • Business center with PCs and printers
  • Free gym and pool access off-site at Nuffield Bloomsbury fitness center
  • Free high-speed Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Not all rooms have great views, and some are small
  • Breakfast included only in some room packages
  • No connecting rooms
  • Fitness center a 15-minute walk away

Bottom Line

The Great Northern Hotel, a Tribute Portfolio property is a boutique luxury property that first opened in 1854, during the golden age of steam and railway travel. Located 82 feet (25 meters) from the Eurostar terminus at King's Cross and St. Pancras stations, the property has been meticulously renovated, retaining many of its original features. The 91 rooms, with sash windows and vintage Farrow & Bell Shades, are elegant and contemporary, and a few of the bathrooms have roll-top bathtubs. Tiny Couchette Rooms with leather banquette beds pay quirky homage to the classic rail-car sleeper. Michelin-star chef Mark Sargeant heads the Plum & Spilt Milk restaurant, and there's a Belle Epoque-style bar, and the more intimate Mezzanine Snug Bar. Travelers might want to also check out the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel, which has comparable rates and an on-site spa. 

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Scene

A luxuriously restored railway hotel drawing heavily on its heritage

The Great Northern Hotel makes the most of its railway history. Constructed in 1854 by Lewis Cubitt, the architect behind King’s Cross station, this stunning six-story Victorian-era brick building retains its original curved structure. The intimate lobby has cream-colored padded retro sofas in wood-paneled recesses. The narrow space feels timeless, with sash windows, gorgeous lighting, and polished hardwood floors. Hallways have all-white trim, and modern paintings on loan from the British Museum hang on the cream walls. Iron banisters in baby blue and framed theater posters add to the vintage look. Pantries on each floor, with baby-blue cabinets and dark-wood countertops, are downright adorable, and add a homey, almost country touch. Plum + Spilt Milk, the elegant on-site restaurant led by a Michelin-star chef, combines classic parquet wood flooring with modern twists like bunches of suspended hand-blown light bulbs. The GNH Bar’s pewter-topped marble counter, checkered flooring, and grand chandeliers evoke the classic railway bar, combining Belle Epoque and Art Deco styles.

Location

Connected to King's Cross railway station, at the intersection of six London Underground lines

It’s difficult to imagine a more convenient location than that of the Great Northern Hotel. It's connected to King’s Cross railway station’s western concourse, and is directly across from St. Pancras international railway station. Six lines serve the tube station, which runs beneath the hotel, and there are plenty of shops and restaurants within walking distance. The British Library is a three-minute walk away, while Big Ben, the British Museum, Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, and Bond Street are all within a 10-minute tube ride or a 20-minute drive. Buckingham Palace, Borough Market, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Knightsbridge, and the London Eye are all less than 20 minutes away by public transportation or taxi. Trains from King’s Cross run to northern England and Scotland. Trains also operate from King’s Cross station to all three of London’s main airports -- it's about a 35-minute drive or 38-minute trip on public transportation to Heathrow Airport, and about 45 minutes by train or about an hour's drive to Gatwick Airport, while London City Airport is a 32-minute drive or 38-minute trip on public transportation. International train services from St. Pancras station connect to Paris, Brussels, and the south of France.

Rooms

Soundproof rooms with elegant, contemporary style; some with roll-top tubs

The 91 elegant and contemporary rooms at the Great Northern Hotel all have sash windows with Farrow & Ball shades, custom Italian furniture, and Leffroy Brooks bathroom fixtures. Couchette Rooms, with leather-banquette beds, play fun homage to the classic railway sleeper carriages, although they're tiny. Cubitt Rooms, with high ceilings and olive-and-cream walls are named for the Great Northern's original architect. Top-floor Wainscot Rooms are built into the hotel’s eaves -- accentuated by elegant deep-purple walls and walnut-colored wood paneling, they have a cozy vibe. All rooms have retro sofas or upholstered benches, and Junior Suites add separate living spaces. Huge mirrors and railway posters continue the locomotive theme, but some rooms can be a bit dark. Views are of the railway stations' forecourts, or of the domed roof of King’s Cross. Elegant but compact bathrooms have white subway-style tiling, stylish free-standing white ceramic sinks, towel warmers, and toiletries by Malin + Goetz. Most have walk-in shower stalls with power and rainfall showerheads. Wainscot Rooms have double cubicles, while some Cubitt Rooms have gorgeous roll-top shower/bathtub combos. Robes, slippers, and hairdryers are tucked into every closet.

All rooms come with free, high-speed Wi-Fi, USB wall charger sockets, electronically controlled curtains, and large flat-screen TVs with free on-demand movies, along with audiobooks and DJ-curated playlists. Safes, minibars with sparkling wine and free drinking water, and Nespresso coffeemakers are also included. Be aware that the hotel does not have connecting rooms.

Features

Michelin-star restaurant, and help-yourself pantries that bring homey comforts to a luxury hotel

The Great Northern brings the comforts of home to a luxurious venue. Its Michelin-star chef Mark Sargeant directs Plum + Spilt Milk, which has a modern twist on British cuisine. Both the grand GNH Bar and the more intimate Mezzanine Snug Bar offer a long list of wines, cocktails, and spirits, plus meals throughout the day. The Kiosk sandwich counter faces the forecourt of King’s Cross station. Room service operates around the clock, and pantries with Nespresso machines, teas, and homemade cakes are on every floor, and guests can help themselves at no extra charge. The pantries also have fridges and sinks, plus a selection of reading material for that extra-homey touch. Excellent, traditional English breakfasts are included in some room rates, or are otherwise available for an additional fee. Guests can use the gym, pool, sauna, steam room, and take classes at the nearby Nuffield Bloomsbury fitness center, a 15-minute walk, or a nine-minute drive, from the hotel. There’s a business center with PCs and printing facilities. Free high-speed Wi-Fi is available throughout.

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Address

King's Cross St Pancras Road, London N1C 4TB, United Kingdom

Also Known As

  • Great Northern Hotel