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London’s Great Northern Hotel Is Now Boarding At King’s Cross Station

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  Site Where: King's Cross, London, United Kingdom, N1C 4TB
June 6, 2013 at 9:30 AM | by | ()

Having shown you an aerial view of London's Great Northern Hotel and its integration in the redesign of King’s Cross Station, we ventured over earlier this week to find out how four years of renovation had spruced up this once-derelict 1854 hotel. Not surprisingly, its location at the intersection of six London underground (metro) lines, national, and international railway stations, means there is a hive of activity around the hotel.

Once you step through the doors and move up from the buzzy downstairs bar to the guest floors and one of its 91 rooms, all of that fades away, to be replaced by unexpected silence and lots of that new hotel smell we love so much. Three available room categories include entry-level Couchettes, top-floor Wainscots, and larger Cubitts. We could happily spend time in any of them, but to us the choice for one over the other is best based on your reason for staying and your color preference. Read on to find out why.

The first thing you’ll notice walking down the double-width guest floor hallways is the gentle curvature of the building. At the end of each floor is a pantry – more like a miniature country house-style kitchen – stocked with drinks (including Nespresso machines), snacks, magazines, and books.

A Couchette

Sleeper-compartment inspired Couchettes were larger than we expected, with beautifully fitted double beds in a wooden frame, looking out over the roof of the Western Concourse of King’s Cross Station. Paint throughout the hotel is by Farrow & Ball, with some gorgee-ous colors. In the Couchettes, it’s a putty grey, offset against the cream paneling. We love small spaces, and these would be perfect for a single traveler or a couple on a shorter stay / that doesn’t need oodles of space to spread out on.

Moving up a category, Wainscots are dominated by dark wood paneling, deep purple walls above, and mansard ceilings. As much as you perhaps wouldn’t expect it this close to a train station, we’d book this in a heartbeat for a couple’s staycation – close the wooden shutters, don your bathrobe, order in, and pretend the world does not exist.

A Cubitt

Cubitts are the largest rooms, and feel even airier due to the large windows and the mix of off-white and olive green on the walls. If more space – perhaps to do some work (although note there is just a small sofa and table, no desk) – is your requirement, this is a good pick. All rooms have similar style bathrooms, with dark floors and white tiles on the walls. The Wainscot room we saw had a double rain shower with more than enough space for two – yet another tick in the couple’s getaway box. A few rooms have a bathtub, so if you want one you’ll need to request this. WiFi we're told is blazingly fast, which we didn't check ourselves, but most importantly, it's free.

Restaurant Plum + Spilt Milk is on the first floor, with perhaps our favourite color on the walls: a lovely teal-y blue (obviously not an industry term, but you catch our drift). There is a small bar area and a triple-exposure dining room. Ground floor GNH Bar opens directly onto the Western Concourse of the station, and a little further down you’ll find Kiosk, which serves gourmet sandwiches and coffee on the go.

Plum + Spilt Milk

Rates for a Couchette at the Great Northern Hotel can dip just under £200 ($308) if we look at availability for the next few months, with Cubitts going up to about £350 ($540).

[Photos: JasonD for HotelChatter]

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