Art is a major focus for InterContinental, and it’s worth having a look around the public spaces here, even if you just show up for a drink. A centerpiece of the collection, just a few steps behind the entrance, is the "Evil Robots" design you see pictured above, with over 150 characters from Shrek and Batman to a range of Marvel Comics heroes and villains, depicted in an alternate version of the Chamber of the House of Commons.
In the Blue Boar Bar you’ll find walls lined with political cartoons and satirical prints, referencing the hotel's proximity to the British parliament. Inside, large windows overlook the streets of St James, with various comfortable seating areas, dark wood paneling, and great mood lighting. We really liked the atmosphere here, and will be coming back to sample its drinks and bar food menu, served out of on-site charcoal and smoking ovens.
First, there’s the venison pastrami, cured for two days with juniper, black pepper and coriander, then cold smoked for five hours, served with braeburn apple jelly and smoked almonds (£9 / $14). Or maybe we'll go for the pulled pork with thyme batch rolls, smoky baked beans, creamy coleslaw, and homemade pickles (£15 / $24)?...
We saw a few of the rooms, which is where we spotted the cute Do Not Disturb sign with the dozing members of Parliament. They start at a spacious-for-London 25 sq m (270 sq ft), and feature a mixture of wood, leather, and fabric in light tones. A variety of plugs is available both above the desk as well as next to the bed, so there is no need to hunt for a place to charge your laptop. iPods and tablets can be connected to the flat screen TV to make your own content easily available, and as we mentioned, Wifi is free for both hotel guests and visitors.
Access to the Club InterContinental lounge is included in the premium room categories and suites, but can also be purchased for £95 ($150) a day with any room rate. There are shower facilities for early morning arrivals, particularly useful for North American guests flying in overnight.
If you’re willing to book a non-refundable rate, we found an opening offer for a Classic Room mid-January at £168 ($271), which throws in complimentary access to the Club InterContinental lounge. A flexible rate starts at £239 ($386) in the same month, but we’d expect these to go up further down the line.
[Photos: InterContinental; JasonD for HotelChatter]