Great Northern Hotel, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, London
What We Love
- Jetsetter 2015 Best of the Best Finalist: Best Business-meets-Pleasure
- All rooms include access to pantries stocked with British candy and cake
- Handy panels with continental electrical outlets and USB ports in all rooms
- Excellent room service fare from Plum + Spilt Milk
- Resident DJs in the GNH Bar Wednesday to Saturday
- READ MORE: How to see London for free
What To Know
- Despite being next to King’s Cross Station and just off one of London’s busiest roads, the rooms are surprisingly quiet
- Free WiFi
- Tons of free in-room movies, TV channels (including Sky Sports) and preloaded playlists
- Eurostar trains to France and Belgium depart from nearby St. Pancras station
- Free WiFi
- Room Service
Originally built in 1854 by engineer Lewis Cubitt, the Great Northern Hotel is a revamped railway hotel on the edge of King’s Cross Station. Opened in 2013 after a four-year renovation, it scores high on the hip-hotel-o-meter with its gorgeous rooms, sultry wood-paneled cocktail bar and a best-of British restaurant helmed by a Michelin-starred chef. The sleek check-in area is strung with Art Deco chandeliers, and vintage travel posters dot the walls. It’s a glam take on the golden age of rail travel.
Bed & Bath
The 91 guestrooms have beautiful dimensions, with high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling double sash windows (excellent at keeping the traffic and train noise at bay). The rooms are split into three categories: Couchette, the smallest, are styled like railway sleeper carriages, with cozy leather banquettes. The top-floor Wainscot rooms are decorated with walnut paneling, and the Cubitt rooms have an olive and cream color scheme, giant mirrors and bedside tables inspired by ladies’ vanity cases. They all feature Hypnos beds (supplier to the royal family) and handy amenities including free in-room movies, superfast WiFi, music playlists and Malin + Goetz toiletries in the white-tile bathrooms.
All rooms feature access to a pantry stocked with British candy (rhubarb and custards, jelly babies), cake, fruit and drinks, and there are magazines and local guides to flick through as you make a cuppa. Downstairs, Plum + Spilt Milk (named for the dining carriages in the Flying Scotsman trains that departed from King’s Cross) is presided over by Mark Sergeant, who picked up a Michelin star at Gordon Ramsay’s Claridge’s. Tuck into classic British dishes like Dorset crab and beef wellington and sip a post-dinner drink in the Snug, an intimate wood-paneled den, or the chandelier-strung GNH Bar, which opens directly onto the station concourse.
In the Area
The revitalized King’s Cross neighborhood is home to a number of top bars and restaurants. Walk behind the train station to Granary Square for the pick of the bunch; Caravan is an industrial-chic all-day dining spot in a converted grain store; Bruno Loubet’s Grain Store sits just next door and serves an eclectic brasserie-style menu spanning everything from Polish pierogi to Vietnamese salads; and Shrimpy’s is a hipster hangout in a former gas station that dishes up signature soft-shell crab burgers. The area is very well connected for travel to just about anywhere in London — and even Paris (the Eurostar train departs from St. Pancras Station). But there’s plenty to see within walking distance: stroll to Camden and Regent’s Park via a pretty canalside route, head to Islington to browse the boutiques along Upper Street, or you can walk to the British Museum in about 25 minutes.
How to Get There
This hotel is a disaster of an experience. We missed our flight because of a train wreck in our departing city that blocked the airport. We were only in London for one night so we entirely missed our stay at this hotel. EVERYONE (airlines, car rentals, London eye even!) were all so very understanding and assisted us with full refunds. This hotel was booked with SPG POINTS as a reward for being a loyal SPG customer. I called SPG and their hotel only a few hours after the cut off time (the soonest I knew I would no longer be boarding the flight) and the entire hotel team was rude and unaccommodating. For my POINTS stay, they charged me $500 for not being able to make it! This is not even a room I had paid for! Think about that! The manager was most rude pretending to review my complaint and sending me a final email saying sorry we already charged you.
I cannot imagine how unaccommodating they would be with other serious matters, but this was truly disappointing. We were so looking forward to our stay and they truly did not care. I even told them we were hoping to come in a few weeks and whether we could use our points for that stay. Unhelpful, rude, and unaccommodating - that is what this hotel was and we will never visit them in the future and recommend all to not do so.
Overall the hotel is fine, it’s best part is the windows open. The rooms are very small and the Cubitt rooms only offer a bath or shower - not both. They should just put a shower option over the bath.
The staff are so unhelpful and hard to deal with. From a very poor checkin and check out, to any questions you asked, they didn’t want to help. They stuffed up our billing and took forever to fix it. This should be a budget option for Starwood, it’s way too overpriced for what they offer (don’t offer). I’d stay across the road at the Renaissance - they have an amazing bar and better reviews.
The hotel is beautifully and luxuriously decorated
Rooms are huge and sumptuous and boy what a massive, powerful shower - not something you often get in a hotel
The pantry on each floor with cakes, sweets and tea/coffee facilities is a lovely touch
Staff are friendly and professional although the check out was a little slow (3 people at the desk and not one acknowledged us at first)
We’ve been wanting to stay here for a while and it didn’t disappoint
Incredibly quiet despite its busy location too
I stay at this hotel for work a great deal when I travel to the UK and just love it. The staff are all amazing and the service is outstanding. The rooms are a little small, but they are luxurious and a million times better than the Renaissance across the road!
Just outside the station, easy access (if you checked maps before going, as its not signposted). Staff very inattentive during my 4 days stay. elevator mostly broken in the mornings (I had room in 5th floor). The room was super-dark but it was as advertised. However, there was a coffee/maker minibar in a cupboard that could not be opened. But there was a pantry where you also could get coffee and even sweet snacks (for free!). Overall I found it cozy and I might go again. - Windows did open which for me is a must.