Many hotels describe themselves as “fantastic.” This is one of the few which can legitimately claim that accolade, in every sense. A red-brick Palace of wonder, which originally was built as a grand hotel for the new rail travellers of the 1870s, this stunning neo-gothic building lay unloved and ignored for almost 80 years, until its full-scale restoration to a glorious 5 star hotel in 2011.
The deep colours, original gold-leaf ceilings, fleur de lys and the sweeping grand staircase ( on which The Spice Girls formation-danced in the Wannabe video) have now been lovingly restored, and even the swimming pool is decorated with original Victorian tiles.*From the enormous, stylish lobby, where anyone can stroll in from the station next door to enjoy tea and cake under original iron beams, to the butler service, to the 38 suites, with their pointed, fairytale windows, fireplaces and period furnishings, every detail of the public spaces and the 207 rooms has been designed for maximum enjoyment.
There’s the Booking Office bar, with its rows of glittering bottles in the old ticket hall, and the Gilbert Scott Brasserie and Bar, run by chef Marcus Wareing.
If you’re heading for the continent on Eurostar, the platform is a short stroll across the concourse- and if you’ve just returned, a final night in the St Pancras is a rich, historic celebration of hotels, rail travel and the sheer delight of staying in a place that’s so entirely unique.