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Review: the Corinthia hotel in London

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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.

Corinthia Hotel London review exterior 2

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.

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 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.

Hotel offers update – September 2023:

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Comments (40)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Jordan says:

    When I stayed in the Malta Corinthia St George last summer they honored my GHA membership level and gave an room upgrade etc as some of the brand was joining the ultrahotel collection as founding members, even though that hotel wasn’t. The London Corinthia was one of those so whilst they don’t have a loyalty scheme you should be able to use GHA for upgrades and other bits. Bit more on it here

  • Ehches says:

    You really owe the site a better camera Rob.

    • Rob says:

      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.

        • Rob says:

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

          • Rob says:

            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.

          • Ehches says:

            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.

          • Rob says:

            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.

  • Phil says:

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

  • Susan says:

    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.

  • 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 which would earn Avios – but you should ‘watch this space’ on that front.” Ok, is this not a certainty?

    • Rob says:

      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.

  • Martin says:

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

  • Al says:

    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.

  • steve says:

    London is pay for 2 nights stay for 3 …just sayin

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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