The hotel, which is conveniently located near to both the King’s Cross and St. Pancras International railway stations, was the first of London’s railway hotels when it originally opened in 1854. Following its closure in 2001, it has now undergone a £40 million refurbishment programme and will open next month as a 91-room boutique hotel.
The refurbishment has been careful to preserve the building’s period facade, with its classic features painstakingly replaced, and in keeping with its period ambience the hotel’s rooms have a Victorian influence. With rates starting from £250 per night, services include wifi connectivity, in-room movies and a pantry on each floor to provide snacks, drinks, newspapers and books.
With views over King’s Cross piazza through its full-length windows, the hotel’s restaurant, Plum and Spilt Milk, will serve a range of traditionally inspired cuisine. Pre and post-meal relaxation can be enjoyed in the large and lavishly appointed GNH bar, which is located on the ground floor and has glass chandeliers suspended from its mirrored ceiling, and a pewter top to its island bar.
The railway industry’s major companies rushed to build hotels at their key stations to cash in on the dramatic increase in passenger traffic during the boom in rail transport that took place in the 19th century. Most were named after the companies concerned, with the Great Northern Hotel soon followed by properties bearing the names, Great Western, Great Eastern and Great Central. The three latter properties have already reopened following refurbishment in recent times, as the Hilton London Paddington, the Andaz Liverpool Street and the Landmark London, respectively.