St Pancras Renaissance Hotel – Haywood Suite
As is our default whenever we visit London, we booked ourselves a Junior Suite at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Not particularly because this is a default hotel, since this really couldn’t be anything further from a standard hotel.
For anyone who doesn’t know which hotel we’re talking about, you may have caught a glimpse of it in the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets movie when Harry and Ron aren’t able to make their way out of King’s Cross Station as the passage to Platform 9 3/4 won’t open. Coincidentally, this hotel is right across the street from King’s Cross, and is itself is an active train station as well. Originally the Midland Railway Station, it now houses the Eurostar trains to all of Europe.
The hotel was built by Sir Gilbert Scott and opened on May 5th 1873, and it was very successful for a while until the start of American tourists invading Europe, what with their expecting modern amenities like toilets in every room and elevators to get to the higher floors. The hotel had shared bathrooms throughout, as was the custom at the time, and given that the fire barrier between floors was a thick layer of concrete, they were unable to modernize and it failed the test of time. The building had other uses for a while until it was fully abandoned for an extended period of time and started decaying.
Enter the Renaissance Hotel and Marriott, which committed to fully renovating it and bringing it back to its full Gothic Victorian splendor, and managed to reopen it exactly 138 years later on May 5th 2011. Today, the hotel consists of 207 rooms, 38 of which are Suites. The suites are part of the Chambers side of the building, whereas the regular run of the mill rooms are part of the Barlow wing of the building. There is a Spa, two restaurants, a bar and a café, all of which are top notch, both in quality of service, ambiance and menus.
The Haywood Suite
Since the hotel has very few suites, they do not process upgrades the way you would expect as a Platinum guest, so knowing this, we usually book into a Junior Suite and if available, we pay for an upgrade upon checkin. This time, though, we decided to splurge and booked ourselves directly into a Grand Junior Suite and then upgraded to a Specialty Suite. We checked in to the Haywood Suite, which is really just fantastic. Here are some pictures:
The living room area with seating for six people, with a desk, just in case you want to do some work while away from home. We instead used it to have Anne from TTG4L pose for pictures.
The windows in all Suites are floor to ceiling, which truly does make you feel like you’re staying in a Victorian castle. Oh wait, you are.
And then the bedroom, which is roomy and classy beyond belief (I believe in millennial speak, you’d say ‘Classy AF’).
There’s a small seating area in the bedroom as well, with audio, phone and a charging port for all of your devices.
And just in case you need more seating, there’s also this comfy chair and table in front of the TV (oh yeah, there’s a TV – I didn’t notice there was one until I saw it in the picture).
Like we said earlier, en suite bathrooms were not a thing back then, so here’s the modern facilities, including a claw-foot tub, stand in shower and his and her his sinks.
When you are booked into one of the Suites where you have a tub, the room comes with a collectible rubber duckie with patterns inspired in the hotel’s decor. We have I believe seven of them already. They’re so awesome they have their own Instagram account.
Why YOU need to stay here
The Suites at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel are fantastic, especially when you think of a hotel in the heart of London, where the norm is small rooms with weird layouts, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. And while prices aren’t particularly on the cheap end, they also aren’t ridiculously expensive when you consider the amenities, and the exceptional service and attention to detail that we experience every time we stay with them. We have stayed at the St Pancras enough times that, even if it is a year apart, awesome employees like Anka and Maira know us by name and they even remember our breakfast preferences. This, at the end of the day, is why we choose to stay here as opposed to any other high end hotel in London.