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Review: Great Scotland Yard Hotel, London – part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt

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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.

Great Scotland Yard Hotel exterior

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 hotel website is here.

Location

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):

Great Scotland Yard Hotel lobby

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.

Great Scotland Yard Hotel lobby 2

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:

Great Scotland Yard Hotel reception

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:

Great Scotland Yard Hotel door

The room was a decent size for a central London hotel:

Great Scotland Yard Hotel room

On the left you immediately have a luggage rack and wardrobe disguised behind fake bookshelf doors:

Great Scotland Yard Hotel wardrobe

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:

Great Scotland Yard Hotel room controls

To the right is the king-size bed:

Great Scotland Yard bed

There is another wardrobe to the right around the bed:

Great Scotland Yard wardrobe 2

On the right hand side of the bed you also get a lifetime supply of antibacterial wipes:

Great Scotland Yard Hotel antibacterial wipes

Plus a large round desk and chair:

Great Scotland Yard Hotel desk

My room didn’t have much in the way of natural light with a view of a wall just a couple of metres away:

Great Scotland Yard Hotel view

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:

Great Scotland Yard Hotel Nespresso

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:

Great Scotland Yard Hotel bathroom

You won’t find a Thomas Crapper toilet here though. Instead, the hotel has opted for an electronic Japanese toilet:

Great Scotland Yard Hotel 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:

Great Scotland Yard Hotel shower

Toiletries are by Scottish Fine Soaps, which I suppose is in keeping with the whole ‘Scotland Yard’ theme.

Great Scotland Yard Hotel scottish fine soaps

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!

Great Scotland Yard Hotel 40 Elephants

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:

Great Scotland Yard Hotel The Yard

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:

Great Scotland Yard Hotel breafkast

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.

Conclusion

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.

Comments (29)

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Agree re lots of single use plastics still being for Covid theatre is a bit bizarre still.

    Overall the hotel was very good and I expect will improve as occupancy does and all of the F&B outlets open etc

    Staff all really welcoming and helpful too. The barman made some very good cocktails / mocktails too (off menu)

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Also I notice the review says 2+ nights for prive benefits. Is that new?

    I got them on a 1 night stay only 3 weeks ago

  • Toppcat says:

    Haven’t stayed yet, but from the review I am not convinced that, for me, it is better than the Andaz. From this review I don’t really understand why it gets such rave reviews!

    I ate in the restaurant during London Restaurant Festival a while ago, and was pretty unimpressed. Decor is like a Yates, and while that has its place, it isn’t in a luxury hotel. Food was very average. I will be interested to see how that changes with the new chef coming in – hopefully it is fantastic.

  • Memesweeper says:

    I’ve stayed, thought it was great for a leisure break, but not ideal for working (which to be fair clearly isn’t their focus). Staff were uniformly fantastic and enthusiastic.

    Player two absolutely loved it, especially the cocktail bar.

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    Looks interesting, thanks for the review. (Also appreciate the comment on disabled access but would have wished for more)

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