The Perfect Hotel for a Luxe London City Break
It’s always a treat to stay at the beautifully opulent Corinthia Hotel London. From the moment you step inside you’ll appreciate the luxurious surroundings, stylish and spacious public rooms and discreetly superb service. The hotel started life in 1885 as The Hôtel Métropole and was then requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence for most of the 1900s. The grand dame re-opened in 2011 as Corinthia’s gloriously luxurious flagship hotel, right in the heart of London, and it’s out to impress.
Although the Corinthia Hotel London is an historic hotel the renovations bring a contemporary edge. A soft colour palette of muted greys, lilacs and creams interspersed with pieces of modern art add to the feel of modern luxury throughout. The hotel is buzzy and lively but also exudes an air of calm. You’ll find exquisite dining in a choice of two restaurants, live music in The Bassoon Bar, ESPA’s flagship spa for total indulgence and an indoor pool.
My Room at Corinthia Hotel London
My Superior King Room with cityscape views of London was warm and welcoming and the Hypnos bed ensured a dreamy night’s sleep. Amenities include a Nespresso machine, free wifi, robe and slippers with a welcome platter of fresh fruit. There’s a separate area with spacious wardrobe and safe.
The marble bathroom has double sinks and, under-floor heating and, of course, ESPA toiletries. The large bathtub has a Loewe plasma TV screen at the foot – perfect for wallowing in clouds of ESPA bubbly bliss. There’s a separate tropical ‘rainforest’ shower with additional hand-held shower and a mountain of soft, white, fluffy towels.
On entering the hotel you can’t fail to notice Baccarat’s magnificent full-moon chandelier which almost fills the domed ceiling in the lounge. There are stunning seasonal floral displays in the lobby; warm autumnal-hued lilies when we stayed. Other touches add even more character – the lift doors are decorated with reliefs of autumn leaves. The concierge mentioned that these were made using real leaves collected from the trees in the street outside during the renovation. The devil’s in the detail.
For lunch or dinner take your choice from chef Garry Hollihead’s seasonal, sustainable British menu in the light and airy Northall Restaurant. If Mediterranean food feeds your fancy then head for the Italian-inspired Massimo for seafood and oysters – you can also partake in a glass or two of champagne at Massimo’s Art Deco bar.
The Bassoon Bar, home to Europe’s longest piano bar, serves a cornucopia of classy cocktails, fine wines and spirits. These are served in replica glasses of the type that Queen Victoria took her tipples from – all accompanied by live jazz or piano music each evening. Drinks are also served in the Lobby Lounge along with Corinthia’s delectable afternoon tea.
Breakfast at London Corinthia
Breakfast is served under the high-ceilings of light and airy Northall. Settle yourself down to enjoy a full selection of continental and British food from the buffet or order from the a la carte menu. The buffet is extensive with a range of fruit, muesli and waffles with fresh honeycomb to the obligatory full English. There’s also an Asian selection – choose from steamed buns, sashimi and dim sum – don’t knock it til you try it! My one and only gripe with Corinthia London Hotel is that whenever I’ve ordered from the a la carte breakfast menu (on three occasions) there’s been a long wait or the order’s been forgotten and I’ve had to re-order but amongst all the gorgeousness this hotel has to offer that’s just a mere blip.
ESPA’s Life Spa is arranged over four heavenly floors of bliss and features no less than 17 treatment rooms in an atmosphere of tranquillity and relaxation. Soothing smells and sounds wrap guests in an aura of serenity and calm. Start your visit in the steam room or vitality pool before heading to the sauna followed by a wake-up call at the ice fountain. By now you’ve earned a facial or massage and to round off all that hard work take a nap on a marble heated lounger or more privately in an individual sleep pod. Various packages are available from the ‘Relax and Rejuvenate’ to a ‘Wellness Encounter’.
The heated indoor pool on the thermal floor is set aside for adults only outside of the children’s hours of 10 to 11.30am and 3-4.30pm ensuring a peaceful swim. Super-active juices and light, nutritious refreshments are served in the spa café. The state-of-the-art gym is open to guests 24 hours. Visit the nail bar and Daniel Galvin hair salon for those finishing touches before your night out. In fact don’t go out – just stay in the spa because you’ll need a week to enjoy everything ESPA’s flagship has to offer.
Corinthia Hotel London is perfect for a London city break situated just steps away from Trafalgar Square, Westminster, Covent Garden and the West End theatres. A little further afield, but still walkable, are St James’ Park and the South Bank – that is if you can actually bear to leave the building. Charing Cross and London Underground is just a two-minute walk away.
Contact The Corinthia Hotel, Whitehall Place, Westminster, SW1A 2BD
Photographs of the public areas were kindly provided by Corinthia Hotel London. Remaining photography by Suzanne Jones.