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My review of the Corinthia hotel in London, with photos

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This is my review of the Corinthia hotel in London, together with some photographs from my visit.

As you can imagine, I get quite a few requests from PR agencies asking me if I want to have a tour of this or that hotel or join a press trip to somewhere obscure.  With very few exceptions (The Langham London, Conrad St James and the Qatar Airways Doha visits last year), I say ‘no’ because I don’t think it is a great use of my time or your reading time.

When the Corinthia hotel in London offered me a ‘show around’ so that I could review the property, however, I couldn’t resist.

The Corinthia is probably the most opulent London hotel to open in the last 20 years.  It is certainly the most opulent new build or office conversion.  Despite this, the property has a surprisingly low profile – I had never been through the doors since it opened in 2011 and I wasn’t even 100% certain where it was.

It sits on Whitehall Place, on the corner with Northumberland Avenue, between Trafalgar Square and the River Thames.  The main entrance is about 30 seconds walk from Embankment tube station if you turn left under the railway tracks.

The building was originally The Metropole hotel which opened in 1885.  Requisitioned by the Government during World War 1 for office space, it had a further spell as a hotel afterwards until the Government again requisitioned it in the mid 1930’s.  It remained Government offices until the site was sold in 2007 with the hotel opening four years later after a £135m redevelopment.

Corinthia Hotel London review exterior 2

The good news is that the money was spent on the public areas and bedrooms, partly designed by David Collins before he died.  Unlike many new hotels, the Corinthia has vast amounts of public space with two restaurants, a large lobby lounge which also serves food and two bars.

Here is the lobby lounge with an impressive chandelier:

Corinthia Hotel London review lobby rpt

The Northall restaurant is focussed on British cuisine:

Corinthia Hotel London restaurant 4

whilst Massimo is Italian focussed – it also a private dining room with its own open plan cooking area so you can watch the chef preparing your meal:

Corinthia Hotel London restaurant 3

The photographs in my review do not do full justice to the level of finish in the furnishings and fittings which is very high.  The hotel website has the usual glossy professional images on it.

The hotel even has a florist and, bizarrely, the only branch of Harrods outside an airport:

Corinthia Hotel London florist 2

I asked to review a typical entry level bedroom which the standard guest would receive.  They are well sized (the one I visited had a separate dressing area as well as a good sized bathroom) and very well furnished:

Corinthia Hotel London review bedroom rpt

… albeit perhaps over-cushioned on the beds!

Corinthia Hotel London review bedroom rpt2

There is no executive lounge but there is a small business centre.  This is on the same level as the impressive spa, run by Espa:

Corinthia Hotel London review spa 2

There is a small pool which I didn’t see as it would have meant walking through the spa fully clothed and waving a camera around, much to the chagrin of the users!  Here is a library photo though:

Corinthia Hotel London review pool

I hope this reviews conveys how impressed I was by what I saw at Corinthia.  Whilst I haven’t eaten there or spent the night, it would be fair to discuss it in the same breath as the Four Seasons, Rosewood or (when it re-opens) The Lanesborough.

It doesn’t come cheap, of course, but there is a 3-for-2 sale on at present which is good for bookings until the end of August.  There is no loyalty scheme or airline miles opportunity at present – although it is available on Kaligo.com which would earn Avios.

Corinthia also has a very well regarded hotel in Budapest if you are planning a trip there which looks like a major improvement on the Communist-era architectural disasters which dominate the upmarket hotel scene.  You can also find them in St Petersburg, Malta (x 2), Lisbon, Prague and, for the more adventurous, Tripoli and Khartoum.  Their current sale is open for bookings until the end of March.

The hotel home page is here if you want to check prices or book.

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Comments

  1. You really owe the site a better camera Rob.

    • Given the size of the pictures on the site an iPhone is usually OK. It didn’t cope so well with the big open space at the Corinthia though! It also has bad exposure settings. May take my Canon down to Abu Dhabi.

      • Metatone says:

        Have you tried Manual or Camera+ apps?
        They can help in tight exposure situations.

        • No but I probably should. Photography is not my strong point!

          • OK. Pictures fixed. They were being double compressed, once by WordPress and once by Apple. I resent them uncompressed from Apple and the end result is much improved.

          • Nice! Sponsors, invites, etc. are a testament to how you’ve grown the site and these new photos do your hard work proper justice.

            Sorry if I cam across as unappreciative at first.

          • No, you were right to point it out and I wouldn’t have changed them if you hadn’t mentioned it. You would be surprised how much gets changed after reader feedback, most of it goes unacknowledged. The email ‘teaser’ paragraphs changed today, for example, after a reader suggested (correctly) that there was a way of improving them.

  2. My missus would say you cannot over cushion a bed, Raffles.

  3. There’s an Amex Plat / BAPP offer for £45 statement credit for a £300 ESPA spend at the Corinthia until 12/04/14 . Don’t know whether it’s for all AMEX.

  4. Waribai says:

    “the only branch of Harrods outside an airport:”

    I believe there is also a branch just round the corner from Julian Assange’s place 😉

    “although it is available on Kaligo.com which would earn Avios – but you should ‘watch this space’ on that front.” Ok, is this not a certainty?

    • Technically Knightsbridge is not a ‘branch’ – I define a branch as ‘a subsidiary of the main’!

      Kaligo – sorry, my writing was not clear. It is definitely on Kaligo. The ‘watch this space’ refers to Corinthia doing something in the loyalty fields soon.

  5. I think he meant watch this space on the loyalty programme front, not that there are any issues with Kaligo.

  6. Raffles, you are obviously not an Xfactor fan. In 2012 they allowed all contstants to stay in the Corinthia and it featured every week in the Saturday night live show for 3 months. It then appeared in the tabloids on a almost daily basis as the contestants got involved in alcohol fulled high jinx.

    I always found it strange that a five star hotel would get involved in something like Xfactor.

  7. I have not stayed at the Corinthia but I got to “work” there two years ago courtesy of “Above and Beyond”, an immersive theatre experience, which was great fun.

    I was initiated by a dragon of a manageress and then had to serve drinks to an arguing couple, the lady of which took me away to her room. Later, I was transported back in time to a room decked out as it would have been in The Metropole days and offered tea by an elegant lady in residence. I found myself acting as a decoy for an incognito Hollywood celebrity who was worried that his gay affair was about to be uncovered by the press and was chased around the block in his limo. Other scenes took place in the Spa and in a top-floor suite with a great London view from a balcony.

    The management of the Corinthian deserve great credit for being up for allowing urchins like me to dabble behind and in front of house all the time that genuine paying punters were around, with it not being clear who was an actor and who real. Luckily, I don’t think I embarrassed anyone, and did indeed go “above and beyond” in my attempt to assure guest satisfaction, which was underlined as being the guiding principle of all who work there.

  8. Patrick says:

    I have stayed in this hotel several times – they used to have an unusual checkin check out policy which was basically you could do either anytime in 24 hours. So you could move in at 8am and check out 11pm the following day. Anyhow that policy has changed now – but it is still my favourite hotel in London for a weekend staycation. Spa and breakfast in the room fabulous.

  9. My wife and I got married at the Corinthia last year. We booked a standard meeting room for the ceremony (£500) with the idea that we’d then use the stunning private dining room for the reception (no hire cost, just a set menu cost per person of £50).

    The week before they ‘upgraded’ our ceremony room to one of the main ballrooms with private red carpet entrance and foyer.

    We essentially enjoyed a 5 Star Wedding with the most amazing photos and memories for the same amount as a registry office and the hire cost of a local pub.

  10. I’m well after a 3 for 2 in Tripoli!! Hear their is nice fireworks this time of year! ;-O

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