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Bells Will Be Ringing...at St. Ermin's Hotel in London

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  Site Where: 2 Caxton Street, London, United Kingdom, SW1H 0QW
November 16, 2011 at 9:15 AM | by | Comments (0)

A few weeks ago, we told you about the opening of the St. Ermin's Hotelin London that we attended and showed you what our room looked like. Apologies for the lag time, but here's a fun little piece of hotel history.

Approaching St. Ermin's, the first thing you will notice is the impressive courtyard outside the main entrance, flanked on three sides by the hotel. Restoring the courtyard to its original "grandeur" was an important element of the overall renovation.

Then upon walking into the lobby, you step onto mosaic floors, turning left to find reception in the corner. The hotel's public spaces, predominantly the lobby and ballroom, feature extensive white plasterwork, with everything from flowers to a sudden procession of wild animals (up the lobby staircase, to the right in the corner if you want to find them).

While very intricate, we found it almost a little overpowering in all its gleaming whiteness. The frosted glass at the top of the lobby staircase will be replaced by actual windows once the work carried out behind them has been completed; we think the increase in natural light will benefit the space. Dark, patterned carpet and various seating areas that are a mix of furniture styles, fabrics, and colors offset the white walls and ceiling.

Yet just because the hotel has gotten a top to bottom renovation doesn't mean it's completely done away with the past.

Right before reception, a Houses of Parliament bell is mounted on one of the lobby pillars. This harks back to the hotel's history and its popularity with Members of Parliament (MPs). Still active today, it rings when MPs are required to return to Parliament, which must be achieved within the seven minutes we mentioned in our previous post. (If you're too lazy to click, the Parliament building is seven minutes away from hotel.

With its political past comes a range of stories about secret underground tunnels leading all the way to Westminster Abbey. We weren't able to confirm this ourselves, so if you accidentally stumble upon them when staying here, do let us know.

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