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Inside St. Ermin's Hotel in London, Now an MGallery Hotel

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  Site Where: 2 Caxton Street, London, United Kingdom, SW1H 0QW
October 17, 2011 at 12:24 PM | by | Comments (0)

On Friday we asked you to guess the hotel that looked like a Kimpton but isn't and only one of you dared to try. Alas, lsuguy101 it is not the Avo Hotel but rather, St. Ermin's Hotel--the first MGallery hotel in the UK from Accor Hotels. HotelChatter was able to attend the hotel's official re-opening the other week so today we have a full room tour for you. But watch out for more details on what we saw at the hotel and learned about MGallery soon.

Originally built as mansion flats (that's apartments for American folks) in the 19th century, the St. Ermin's Hotel Westminster is a grade-II listed Victorian landmark located a few minutes from St. James's Park, in the political heart of London.

Parliament is only seven minutes away (more on why that is relevant later) and New Scotland Yard is just across the street. Victoria station, one of London's transport hubs, is within walking distance, but if you can't bear the five minute stroll, St. James's tube brings you pretty much to the front door.

Having completed a top-to-bottom renovation, the St. Ermin's reopened its doors officially earlier this month. At the same time, Accor unveiled a new logo and brand identity for their MGallery Collection, of which St. Ermin's is the first UK property.

The past few years Accor has introduced two new upscale offers to its portfolio: Pullman Hotels and MGallery Collection. Positioned between Sofitel luxury hotels and Novotel/Mercure in the mid-range segment, Pullman are mostly business hotels in major international destinations. MGallery Collection brings together individual properties with strong ties to their location and history.

Each MGallery aims to offer a distinctive experience with its own signature style and design. All of this is captured in what MGallery calls "Memorable Moments". Unique for each property, these can range from gastronomy and culture to well-being or discovering the hotel's location. More details - and our own memorable moment in London - is to come but first, we'll take a look at our room.

Once the final phase of the renovation is complete, St. Ermin's will feature just over 330 rooms divided over a number of room categories and two types of suites. Currently about 270 rooms are available; what you see here are snapshots of a Deluxe King, the second category up from a Standard Queen.

As you will see when we show you more of the hotel, bold colors and patterns pop up throughout the property. Our room had a hallway with a dark marble floor and a double-door closet on the left, which included a safe large enough to hold most laptops. Robes and slippers are provided, with a full-length mirror on the front of the closet doors.

To the right is the bathroom, which was a little snug; this is most likely the area where you will see the constraints of an historic, listed building come through. Honey/sand-colored tiles on the walls, a single white vanity and toilet fit cosily in the small space. We liked the light-framed mirror, which featured a dimmer to bring the light in the bathroom from romantic to hospital operating room bright. Toiletries (in large dispensers, not the take-home variety) are by the White Company.

From the hallway you step into the main room, which has high ceilings, a king-size bed, a desk and chair, leather-covered luggage bench, and a small sofa in the bay window. Walls are a deep sea-green, with the chair, sofa, and throw pillows on the bed in contrasting red and white/purple patterns. It reminded us a little of a more subdued Kimpton hotel room. Sadly, the internet offerings are not very Kimpton-esque, i.e. not free. WiFi and wired internet are available, free for the first 15 minutes, then £6.50 ($10)/hour or £15 ($24) for 24 hours.

Further in-room technology includes a flat-screen TV, I-pod docking station, and - hallelujah - a power strip on the desk with a variety of sockets in case you left that adaptor at home. Now if only we could get more hotels to fit a few next to the nightstand? (Are we the only ones that always end up working while sitting on the bed?) An open cupboard has what you need to make tea/coffee in addition to a small mini-bar.

Deluxe King rooms start at £289 (or $456 at today's rates). Standard Queens are less expensive (but also smaller) at £199 ($314). An interesting option is the Executive Double Double / Family Room (£359 / $566), which features two double beds and two bathrooms, aimed at families or friends that want to share a room, but with the added comfort and space of a second bathroom.

More on our time at St. Ermin's, including a celebrity encounter, to follow!

Full disclosure: HotelChatter stayed at St. Ermin's as a guest of Accor Hotels, but all opinions are our own.

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