This is our review of the Great Scotland Yard Hotel, just off Trafalgar Square in London.
It is the first UK hotel in Hyatt’s Unbound Collection, which lets hotels join World of Hyatt without having to adhere, line by line, to the standards of Hyatt’s own brands. That means you can earn and burn points and receive World of Hyatt status benefits in what is, effectively, a boutique hotel.
Feedback from readers who had stayed at the hotel was very positive. Over the Summer American Express was offering £100 cashback on a £250 Hyatt stay, so we thought we’d use it to give Great Scotland Yard a try. The hotel did not know I was reviewing it.
The Great Scotland Yard Hotel opened in late 2019, although it feels brand new thanks to reduced guest numbers during covid. There are just over 150 rooms and suites.
As the name suggests it is in what was once the 1820s (now Grade II listed) headquarters for the Metropolitan Police. It allegedly served as inspiration to Arthur Conan Doyle, which is why the hotel has opted for Victorian and Sherlock Holmes-inspired decor.
The location of Great Scotland Yard is fantastic for tourists. It is tucked just off the southern side of Trafalgar Square and is a short walk to many of London’s sights including the National Gallery, Chinatown, Soho, Downing Street, Whitehall, the London Eye, St James’s Park and more. You can cross the Thames to the South Bank via the Golden Jubilee Bridges either side of Hungerford Bridge.
Great Scotland Yard is also well served by public transport. Both Charing Cross and Embankment are within a stone’s throw giving you access to the Bakerloo and Northern Lines as well as National Rail.
Check-in at Great Scotland Yard
The ground floor of the hotel is below street level so when you enter you walk down some steps into the lobby (disabled access is also available):
The first thing you notice when walking in is how ‘designed’ the hotel is, with lots of rich, maximialist touches in-keeping with the hotel’s Victorian / Sherlock Holmes theme.
The reception is just around to the right, with two unique desks propped up on a stack of mock suitcases and complete with guest seating:
When I arrived just one desk was in use but I was seen almost immediately. The check-in staff were very polite and when their card machine refused to connect they offered me complimentary late check-out for the delay which I thought was exceptional pre-emptive service recovery. I imagine they can’t be quite as generous when the hotel is busier.
Rooms at Great Scotland Yard hotel
I was given the bog-standard basic level King room (I have no Hyatt status). It took a few seconds to find as I was in a far corner but the upside was that the corridors are just as richly decorated as the lobby:
The room was a decent size for a central London hotel:
On the left you immediately have a luggage rack and wardrobe disguised behind fake bookshelf doors:
This is also where the room controls are, including the master light switch, do not disturb switch and a very simple and easy to use air conditioning control unit:
To the right is the king-size bed:
There is another wardrobe to the right around the bed:
On the right hand side of the bed you also get a lifetime supply of antibacterial wipes:
Plus a large round desk and chair:
My room didn’t have much in the way of natural light with a view of a wall just a couple of metres away:
Fortunately the room has a number of lighting options that help set the mood. Opposite the bed is a large TV and console with Nespresso machine etc:
Weirdly all the Nespresso pods and tea bags were in cheap clear plastic bags. I imagine this has been done for Covid reasons but when you don’t need to wear masks indoors at the hotel it does feel a little out of place.
On the left is the bathroom which comes with a Victorian style towel rail and taps:
You won’t find a Thomas Crapper toilet here though. Instead, the hotel has opted for an electronic Japanese toilet:
I don’t think I’ve stayed at any hotel in London with a Japanese toilet so it was quite a novelty. I think the last time I used one was at the Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur (review here).
The shower itself is decorate in rich blue subway tiles:
Toiletries are by Scottish Fine Soaps, which I suppose is in keeping with the whole ‘Scotland Yard’ theme.
Dining and breakfast
At the heart of the hotel is the 40 Elephants cocktail bar. The room features a skylight although I think it might be fake!
According to Hyatt’s launch press release, 40 Elephants “pays homage to the Forty Elephants, a notorious all female crime syndicate, led by Alice Diamond operating in the 19th and 20th centuries.”
Whilst it is small it is a very classy bar.
Behind this is The Yard restaurant which feels slightly subterranean with exposed brickwork and an arched ceiling:
From 17th September this will host ‘Ekstedt at The Yard’, Michelin-starred Swedish chef Niklas Ekstedt’s first restaurant outside Stockholm.
This is also where breakfast is served. I booked a breakfast-inclusive rate and was able to choose from the a la carte menu which included full English:
There is no buffet which I think is a sensible decision given the small size of the restaurant. I did think the breakfast could have done with a bit more bacon and perhaps just one egg.
There are a few more food and beverage options including a second speakeasy-influenced Irish whiskey bar called Sibín and a tea room called The Parlour which I didn’t see.
Despite having a bit of a dull room with virtually no natural light or views I was impressed by the rich decoration of The Great Scotland Yard hotel, which doesn’t seem to do things in half measures.
I was also impressed by the immediate service recovery at check in for what was really just a couple of minutes’ wait. The only thing that wasn’t impressive was the plastic-wrapped Nespresso pods and tea bags, but if that is the worst thing I can say it is doing something right.
All in all, the Great Scotland Yard Hotel is a great ambasassador for Hyatt’s Unbound Collection offering a fantastic location, style and service. It has a lot more personality that the Hyatt Regency in Portman Square and – whilst I’ve never visited Andaz in the City – I would suspect that this is now the best Hyatt option in London.
The Great Scotland Yard Hotel is a Category 6 hotel in World of Hyatt which means you’ll need 25,000 points per night. Cash prices start at £220 for a weekday night in October. You can see more, and book, on the hotel website here.
PS. If you are booking a stay at Great Scotland Yard, even for just one night, you will receive Hyatt Prive benefits if you book via our luxury hotel booking partner Bon Vivant.
Your booking would come with:
- $100 hotel credit valid against your incidental spend
- One category room upgrade confirmed within 24 hours of booking
- Daily full breakfast for two
- Early check-in (from 9am) and late check-out (to 4pm) subject to availability
- Welcome gift and letter
You would pay the same as the Best Flexible Rate shown on hyatt.com. You can contact Bon Vivant via the form here. You can learn more about how Hyatt Prive works in this article.
World of Hyatt update – November 2021:
Get bonus points: Hyatt is not currently running a global promotion.
New to World of Hyatt? Read our overview of World of Hyatt here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on what we think World of Hyatt points are worth is here.
Buy points: If you need additional World of Hyatt points, you can buy them here.
Until 30th December, you will receive a 30% discount, equivalent to a 43% bonus, when you buy Hyatt points – click here.
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from Hyatt and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.