London's St Ermin's Hotel - A Review
January 07, 2019
Central London offers a variety of overnight accommodations, from grand Victorian hotels to contemporary steel structures towering more than 1,000 feet. While historic hotels remain popular with travelers to London, none of them offer the unique history of the St. Ermin’s Hotel.
Near the Houses of Parliament, and surrounded by the wartime intelligence offices, the St. Ermin’s Hotel became a strategic meeting place for the British Secret Intelligence Service during WWII.
In 1940, Winston Churchill organized the first meeting of the founding members of the Special Operations Executive, an elite group of intelligence agents who took over an entire floor of the St. Ermin’s. The Military Intelligence unit, MI6, was housed two floors above. For more about this hotel's WWII history, read the book House of Spies, by Peter Matthews, which provides a comprehensive history of the espionage connection.
A wide front patio welcomes guests and offers a comfortable spot to plan your visit to London.
Originally built as private “mansions” in 1887, the residences were converted to a hotel in 1899, when the new owners enlisted Victorian theatre designer J.P. Briggs in 1899 to refurbish the interior.
The lobby of the hotel reminds visitors of a grand theatre, including an elaborate staircase and ornate plasterwork created by skilled tradesmen of the time.
The rooms are modern and decorated to reinforce the classic and historic aspects of the St. Ermin's. Bed was very comfortable and room was clean and quiet. This corner room had two windows looking out over London.
The bath was fresh and modern with a shower and marble floors.
In addition to the hotel's long history, it offers some very new features, one of which is this "Bee & Bee Hotel", located behind glass and harvested for honey that is used in the hotel.
During warmer months, the second floor's London Essence Summer Terrace is a delightful spot for a drink and a light snack.
The comparisons to a theatre are easy to see from the second floor. The staircase, chandelier, and marble railings are all very ornate, even for a Victorian hotel.
Afternoon tea is served on the second floor in the St. Ermin’s Hotel Tea Lounge, just steps from the main lobby.
Business travelers will also find the location for the St. Ermin's to be well suited to their needs. It is just around the corner from the St. James Park underground station and the city's subway system. The hotel also offers 14 contemporary spaces for meetings and stylish wedding receptions. The Crystal Ballroom can hold up to 200 guests.
The main dinning option, in addition to 24-hour room service, is the Caxton Grill. They serve a delicious buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The burgers at lunch are outstanding!
Close to St. James Park, the St. Ermin’s Hotel offers easy access to all the sights of Westminster. Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the Churchill War Rooms, and Buckingham Palace are all within easy walking distance.
Staying the night at the St. Ermin's Hotel will extend the enchantment of London into the evening. This property is part of the Marriott Autograph Collection of unique boutique hotels. For more information visit their website, St. Ermin's Hotel.