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
We booked a Wainscot King room directly through the hotel website. When we arrived we were 'upgraded' to a Cubitt (Room 312 to be precise). It didn't feel like much of an upgrade and I get the feeling that it's one of their least comfortable Cubitt rooms, so more of a downgrade actually.
There were some positives; the bed was really comfortable with soft down pillows and the large double shower was lovely but all of this was completely negated by the fact that the toilet was situated in a very small 'cupboard' only a couple of feet from the bed, with ridged (not frosted) glass doors, so you can watch your partner while they are on the loo and probably reach out and wipe their bum for them too! The sink also juts out over the area where your legs are, so it was impossible for either myself or my boyfriend to use it without touching the sink, the hand towel next to it and the loo roll dispenser. It was so uncomfortable I avoided using it and waited until we had left the hotel to find somewhere of a more normal size.
The breakfast (served in Plum + Spilt Milk Restaurant) was delicious and the staff really friendly.
Overall not what I expect from a 5 star hotel; if you can't use the bathroom comfortably it's not really doing it's 'job' is it?
Stayed here for a night while seeing a show. First thing is the problem finding hotel entrance, it's not exactly what you would call a typical entrance, just a door with no sign above. Reception is a desk, literally in a small corridor. This was all off-putting and was expecting a hell of a stay.
However, once past that the hotel is actually strangely light, modern, tasteful and well appointed. Take a lift to your floor and key access to corridor and room from there.
The room, although small, is spotless throughout (as well as rest of hotel) and very well laid out and furnished. Our room was at back of hotel and overlooking the dome of Kings Cross station, literally, it's all you could see. Small sofa and table in room and bathroom off bedroom through glass doors, robes, fridge with mini bar and coffee machine in a small cupboard. No wardrobe though, just 3/4 small hangers on a bar.
On each floor there is a small well equipped drinks area with papers, sweets, coffee's, teas, biscuits and cake available 24/7. Brilliant idea, and this was spotless too.
Amazingly this room, was silent, even with window open, hardly a sound, and it's central London sat on top of Kings Cross station. Had the best nights sleep in a hotel ever, bedding was lovely and bed comfortable.
Breakfast was beautiful too. Such a great range of items on the menu. My only gripe was not serving a cafetere of coffee, only cups (at £3:50) when breakfast is already expensive.
Would recommend throughly, however it is out the way a little if you are there sightseeing.
My husband book for us to stay at the Great Northern Hotel for my valentines present. At first I was upset it wasn’t the Renaissance across the road, how silly I was ,, the hotel was amazing!! Was checked in by a lovely lady how gave us a free upgrade, for no reason what so ever, she explained that there was a pantry on this level and we could help ourselves to any thing in it , free of charge! In the pantry, there was fresh cake, sweets chocolate, coffee and tea !When we got to out room I was surprised how lovely it was actually it was beautiful! The only downside was there was no dressing table so doing hair and makeup was a bit of a nightmare . Over all ,the room was spotless , staff were great, hotel bar was busy and elegant and the hotel is in a great location to explore London!
Came here for a weekend for my partners birthday and can't fault anything. Service absolutely spotless and beautiful rooms! Location is also absolutely great right next to kings cross. Everything very clean. Would highly recommend
Perfect location for us near Kings Cross.
Loved my room.
Excellent linen and housekeeping.
Pantry with free coffee and goodies.
Anthracite is a great add on for hotel guest to relax.
Staff very kind from the Albanian doorman to the Italian Lady at check-in.
Will be back.