By Linda Barnard
Looking for a hotel that comes with the most-Instagrammed staircase in Britain?
Then what you really, really want is St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London.
The former Midland Grand Hotel, built in 1873, is all pure Victorian elegance with some serious castle aspirations. Now a Marriott hotel, it’s located on the tube line and right next to London King’s Cross railway station.
striped brickwork front of the hotel also covers the entrance to St. Pancras International railway station. Some of the guest rooms and the hotel’s public areas look out onto the platform.
The railway theme continues in the five-star hotel. The onetime ticket hall area is now The Booking Office bar and restaurant, a lively spot for a drink or dinner and also where the generous complementary breakfast buffet is served.
Rooms in the historic Chambers Wing are the most lavish. Those in the newer area are comfy, if a bit uninspired.
As for the famous Grand Staircase, designed by architect Gilbert Scott, it’s a marvellous work of art that flows in multiple tiers. Look up for a view of the ceiling, painted with elegant renderings of the Seven Virtues.
If it looks familiar, the fact you’ll see people posing and throwing peace signs on the stairs is a clue: it was used for the Spice Girls’ 1996 “Wannabe” music video.
Guided tours of the hotel are free for residents and guests of the hotel’s exclusive Chambers Club. Book through the onsite Navigator team, a concierge service that focuses on best local experiences. Public tours run on a Saturday and Sunday at 10:30, noon, 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. for £24 per person.
The service is exceptional. Attentive front desk staff sent a plumber to my room when I lost an earring down the sink. It was retrieved with a hand-written reminder to clean the earring well before wearing it again.
St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, Euston Road, London, NW1 2AR. Room rates from £299 per night, some rates include breakfast.