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
- Handicap Accessible
- 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
Stayed one night at the GNR hotel between King s Cross and St Pancras having just “landed with the Eurostar”. (A) it s super convenient from a location point of view for all my meetings with the Tube
(B) i was located on 5th floor overlooking the new glassroof of King s cross and it was (2 windows) very quiet. Reception is small and cumbersome when 2 guests with bags.
Staff was welcoming and helpful, priced at GBP340 with Breakfast, Room was large, very dark brown chocolate walls and ceilings, nice wood panelling. Brass and stainless steel appliances.
Nice double shower, needed to tap some of the little plasticky hoses to have water running straight, (generic comment about hotels: these gets chalked up and a bit of cleaning one a while does not hurt!).
Bed was firm and comfortable, 2 usb charging points but only by one bed side table. You don t need a PhD to operate the light switches.
Had a drink at the bar, good buzz with guests and travellers waiting for their trains.
Overall a better experience than staying in the west end for the same price point.
When I booked this, i didn’t have the highest expectation, given that the price was good value vs other associated chain hotels and also how noisy Kings Cross generally is. I’ve taken the time to write this to help guide others. If you are staying in London for two nights and need some space and comfort, there are more astute choices especially if you are couple. If you are travelling solo, need a really nice, small, quiet but modern equipped room, this is an excellent choice. Clean, cute and well co-ordinated, this hotel benefits from great sound proofing and is central for early train travel. Slept well which isn’t always guaranteed in hotels and would definitely recommend on the criteria above.
Disappointing stay, poor wifi, tiny room not much positive. Wanted a special weekend feel that for cost of over £500 could have saved loads and stayed in a budget hotel and got a better room. Staff not friendly, food basic but expensive.