For hotel lovers, London is the Promised Land. There are more famous, distinguished and immortalised hotels per square meter in the English capital than anywhere else in the world, many of them relics of a bygone era of Victorian hospitality.
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However, that can often mean that a hotel’s heritage and history overpowers, while modern comfort and necessities are left behind. The dream of course is finding a blend of the two, which is exactly what the Corinthia Hotel has achieved.
Carved within a huge, ornate Victorian building, the five-star property blends 21st Century luxury and modern freshness with timeless and traditional British grandeur.
With 294 rooms, including 40 suites and seven penthouses, the hotel’s enviable position off Trafalgar Square offers views across the River Thames, while popular tourist spots such as the West End and Covent Garden are within strolling distance.
The hotel’s entrance sets the theme with plush furniture and modern art cuddling original and restored Victorian columns and architecture. Just past the reception lies the impressive and welcoming Lobby Lounge with its spectacular full moon chandelier, made from 1,001 crystal baubles, hanging beneath a glass dome.
Off to the side is The Garden Lounge, which offers all-day dining options in an al fresco setting. Nice for a snack but better for an evening tipple and cigar.
The Northall serves British produce throughout the day with Garry Hollihead, winner of Michelin stars at three different restaurants, taking charge. He even has a greenhouse on the hotel’s roof where he grows fruit and vegetables that feature on the menu.
Massimo, on the other hand, is a modern Italian restaurant with a Gatsby-era look and feel; its stone columns and glass sphere lighting only belittled by the brilliant food. There is also the Bassoon Bar, a musically inspired, classic-styled haunt serving molecular cocktails and nightcaps inspired by colonial times.
The Corinthia claims to have the largest room sizes in London’s luxury hotel market, averaging 45 square metres. Our Executive King room was modern comfort personified, without being too tech-heavy.
The furnishings were luxurious, but also homely. Thick carpet covered most of the wooden floor, on which sat wingback chairs, an ottoman, a chaise lounge and a mini-bar cabinet. The overall feeling is that the rooms haven’t been overcomplicated.
There aren’t 20 switches to operate the lights and A/C; there are five, and they’re clearly named. All too often a hotel goes overboard on modern-day advancements and complicates simple procedures – not the Corinthia.