This is a Marriott, and while the public areas are truly beautiful, the rooms (at least the one I had) are lacking in character and hardly what I would consider to be at a luxury standard. It was an adequate Marriott room, of the type to be found at any Marriott from Indianapolis to, apparently, London. While chain hotels exist for consistency, when you're paying a London premium for a supposed five-star stay, it would be nice not to feel like you might just as well be at the O'Hare Marriott. The bed was comfortable enough, the linens were fine...it's a Marriott, so you expect that level of consistency with their other properties. But there is certainly nothing "boutique" about the hotel, and I would not classify it as a luxury hotel. The level of service (impersonal, somewhat brusque, somewhat disinterested) alone would keep it out of that category, regardless of the quality of the rooms.
Perhaps the experience is different in a different room or different area of the hotel. I believe I was in a modern addition to the hotel, as it had no interesting architectural features. One of the main issues I had was, while I had paid for a Premium room, what I got was a Premium room that was wheelchair accessible. That's an issue in the bathroom, because it means the room has no real shower - just curtains around an area of the floor with a showerhead. It also means the counters are very low, which makes them difficult to use if you're not in a wheelchair. When I called to ask if they had another room, the front desk said "Oh, didn't anyone mention that when you checked in?" No. No, they didn't. And then I was told they would check for another room and let me know. Never heard back, and was never moved. So I ended up paying a premium for a room with a bathroom that I couldn't really use very well.
The conference facilities were nice, and, as mentioned, the public areas are lovely. The only food I had at the hotel was as part of the conference catering, and it was adequate given those circumstances - nothing extraordinary.
The staff, as mentioned, was fairly indifferent. When I walked out of the hotel on departure with a suitcase, the doorman ignored me (as the doorstaff had every time I walked in or out of the hotel), so that I had to ask for help getting a cab. He did it, sure, but if you're claiming to be a luxury hotel, your doormen should probably bother asking someone with a suitcase if they require any help, rather than pretend not to see them until they ask for something.
The fact is that you're not likely to get out of London without paying through the nose for a hotel. And if I'm paying London rates, then there are much better, more interesting, more luxurious choices than the St Pancras Marriott. It's fine. It's a Marriott. But everything special about it can be experienced for free by walking into the lobby and looking around for a few minutes.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hailed as London's most romantic building, the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel is widely recognised as one of city's greatest Victorian landmarks. The 245-room hotel now boasts not only one of the most majestic staircases in Britain, but two bars & restaurants, a spa, a gentleman's grooming salon as well as some of the largest and most beautiful suites in the city. Our 5 star hotel is located at St Pancras International Station and is brimming with a fairytale facade that Sir George Gilbert Scott fashioned for the Midland Grand. Our hotel earns the ability to exceed every expectation while blending Victorian splendor with modern style and service. ... more less
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