BusinessClass rating: 10
There are many reasons why Corinthia Hotel London is one of our favourite hotels: It is home to Britain’s best spa and two superb restaurants, its surroundings and interiors are world-class, and its prime location next to the River Thames is second to none. And we are not alone in our judgement, as it is one of the most award-winning hotels in the world.
Corinthia Hotel London started life as the stately Metropole Hotel and was Europe’s largest hotel when it opened in 1885. The hotel offered “new” luxuries – such as a telephones in the rooms and ensuite bathrooms – to a French and American upper class who were just opening their eyes to London. A French style still characterises the hotel today. During World War 1, the hotel acted as Churchill’s headquarters. With its central location, during World War 2, the hotel was again commandeered by the government. Further adding to the hotel’s enigmatic history, much of the hotel’s past is shrouded in secrecy. There are several closed-off tunnels and passageways beneath the building, and some sources even go so far as to claim that up until 2006 the hotel housed a secret government department whose mission was to locate UFOs!
The location is unique for a hotel of this size; in the heart of Westminster, right by the River Thames, and just 10 minutes’ walk from the London Eye or Trafalgar Square. Combined with the lively atmosphere in the lobby, this really gives the feeling that the hotel is the city’s hub.
This is where the Corinthia Hotel London really shines. GA Design is responsible for the entire decor, and what an impressive job they have done. Magnificent furniture and lamps, much of which has been handcrafted in brushed bronze, marble and fine woods. Pleasant neutral colours, soft fabrics and rough leather abound. It is easy to spend a lot of time admiring the surroundings, which successfully combine old grandeur and modern freshness. The lobby features an exclusive in-house florist, whilst exceptionally high ceilings throughout the main floor make a lasting impression.
Corinthia Hotel London offers 249 rooms, of which 40 are suites and 7 are penthouses. We have stayed in both the more standard room categories and suites. All are comprehensive and pleasantly furnished. The penthouses are a cut above, each offering a unique theme. Stay in the Musician suite and you can have fun on a Steinway piano in the living room, or a clarinet on the mezzanine floor. Roof terraces provide views towards either the London Eye or the Thames. No matter which room-type you choose, everything is in place for a completely luxurious stay.
As befits a place like this, we were met with smiles and kindness from arrival to departure. There is no problem or request, big or small, that can not be remedied. A bottle of Champagne was at our room in 10 minutes. Receptionists, waiters and cleaning staff are all friendly and helpful.
The two restaurants, Massimo (Italian) and Northall (British), deliver high standards at affordable prices and a spectacular setting with beautiful interiors and high ceilings. We were greeted by cheerful, helpful waiters and a knowledgeable sommelier with a twinkle in her eye. And, as a true London hotel, the day’s first meal is taken in earnest. Therefore, breakfast at Northall was quite an experience.
Value for Money 8/10
Corinthia Hotel London is far from the most affordable 5-star luxury hotel in London, but, once everything is taken into account, we firmly believe that you actually get a lot for your money. The restaurants are properly priced.
The hotels’ spa is named UK’s best and is ESPA’s signature facility. Much expertise is devoted in providing the ultimate relaxation experience. Spread over four floors, you can easily lose yourself here for hours, if you have the time. Alternatively, you can book an appointment with a trained mindfulness therapist, with one session supposedly corresponding to four hours of sleep.
Otherwise, most of the usual treatments are offered. Many appreciate the private cubicles in which to change and freshen up before and after your treatment. In the temperate marble lounge, you can order from a menu specially-composed by an in-house neuroscientist, with brain health a common topic both in the spa bar and at the hotel bar. Many people frequent the spa, both hotel guests and non-guests, and it is very popular among London’s professionals seeking a much needed break.
For business: The meeting rooms at the Corinthia are high-class and are one of the reasons why the hotel has hosted so many famous personalities over the years. They are large and luxurious, provide charming views, and offer direct access to one of the restaurants, where you can dine privately on the mezzanine if one so desires. A perfect setting to promote a movie/product, while at the same granting access the superb facilities of a luxury hotel.
Who should stay here: The hotel appeals to a broad spectrum. Whether you are on romantic weekend with your partner, on business or with family, the hotel has much to offer. And, did you know that the hotel has its own cigar sommelier? Clearly one for your London bucket list…