Great Northern Hotel

Kings Cross St Pancras Station, Pancras Rd, London N1C 4TB

Billed as “the world’s first great railway hotel,” the newly updated Great Northern Hotel opened its doors in 2013 after a 12-year hiatus and a £40 million renovation. The building and its celebrated Lewis Cubitt curved facade got a fresh makeover, and the rooms transformed into what are essentially luxury railway cabins, reflecting the charming history of the 1846 building and its location.

Incredibly convenient location (for the Tube and Eurostar)

No expense was spared in the rooms, which feature Hypnos beds (firmer than most hotel beds), high-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and finishings and materials that are more on par with top five-star hotels. In fact, of the many hotels we stayed at in London, the best night’s sleep was had here, thanks to the hotel's vault-like soundproofing windows.

Styling in the rooms is art deco meets modern Italian, with lots of leather, cut glass and polished metals. And all of this luxury and styling come at a modest (for London) price. Along with CitizenM Bankside, The Hoxton and The Ace Hotel Shoreditch, GNH presents one of the best values in London (in the design/lifestyle space), at least for now.

Cubitt room type

Rooms come in three types: the Couchette—the smallest, entry-level rooms with raised platform beds that resemble a very nice sleeper rail car; the Cubitt—the most common room type (and the one we recommend), with tall double windows and roll-top bathtubs in some rooms; and the Wainscott rooms—all located in the hotel’s top floor, and lovingly finished with dark American walnut (while these rooms may look the best, we found them a bit dark, as they are lacking the gorgeous tall windows found on lower floors).

Detail of the elegant Plum & Spilt Milk hotel restaurant

The hotel could not be a better pick for those taking the Eurostar to or from Paris, with the station just across the road. And as this is a new hotel and not affiliated with any major chains or brands, some of the standards we come to love (or hate) of such hotels is not here. Service can be spotty, and there are some awkward aspects to the layout, such as needing a key to get into room corridors and and super tight check-in/reception area. But these are easily overlooked.

This is a great young hotel, and we look forward to returning.

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