The stylish Corinthia Hotel London is your doorway to the city’s many possibilities. By Sharmila Rajah.
On a triangular spot between Trafalgar Square and the Thames Embankment, a path takes you from the madding streets of London to a quiet haven at the heart of a Victorian building. Doormen rush out to help you up the steps and into a grand lobby. Welcome to the Corinthia Hotel London – the perfect synthesis of old and modern England.
It is no surprise that glitterati have made it their top choice whenever they are in London. Beyoncé, George Clooney, Rihanna, and Kanye West have all slept in its luxurious beds while Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz have feasted in its restaurants.
The dazzling lobby lounge when afternoon tea is in session is proof enough of its allure. Below a glass dome ceiling with a beautiful contemporary chandelier are lush seats of unrivalled comfort, and tables decorated with bright blooms. Smiling waitresses provide impeccable service; the sound of tinkling china fills the air as power brokers seal deals over sweets and bubbly, alongside well-dressed matriarchs giggling and gossiping over tea and scones. The scene takes you back to a completely different era.
Corinthia Hotel London first opened as the iconic Hotel Metropole in 1885 with the Prince of Wales often staying at its Royal Suite. It survived both World Wars as the base for the defence department – the building was requisitioned by Winston Churchill as home to the British Secret Service during these times – before opening as the Corinthia Hotel London in 2011. Since then, the hotel has gained a great following and guests rave about its gourmet restaurants, fabulous spa, and luxe amenities. The grandiose dream the hotel was built on has finally come true.
The extravagant gestures are certainly alluring, but it’s the subtle details – pillows light as marshmallows, minibars stocked with Harrods goodies, terraces with spectacular views of the city, and the refined service – that truly impress. The head concierge offers spot-on recommendations for restaurants and boutiques and can even coordinate a ride through the English countryside in a Bentley with a private guide, or a personal shopping trip with a stylist.
A visit to the hotel’s Daniel Galvin salon is a must for any discerning traveller. Let the celebrated hair colourist himself work his magic on you at the Movie Makeover Room within the salon, along with his trusted colleague and make-up artist to the stars, Lois Burwell.
In need of further pampering? The subterranean ESPA Life with 17 treatment rooms, a sunken sauna, and private sleep pods that spread over four floors, stands head and shoulders above any other spa experience you will have anywhere in London. Book the ultimate overhaul – the Private Spa Suite therapy, which includes a Rasul Healing Mud Ritual, 30 minutes of relaxation time, and a two-hour treatment of your choice.
Then there are the guest rooms; transcendent to the point of being fantastical, they are done up in warm beige and olive tones with dreamy Hypnos beds and marble tubs. You’ll love the hotel’s seven two-storey penthouse suites, each tucked away in the building’s historic turrets, complete with terraces offering amazing views. Stay at The Royal Penthouse with its own walkin wine cellar and a private cinema. Restaurants include The Northall, which serves up top-notch seasonal British food, and Massimo Restaurant & Oyster Bar, which specialises in modern Italian cuisine.
No doubt, the Corinthia Hotel London is designed to delight; it is modern yet nostalgic with the right dose of traditional warmth that would be most appreciated in such a fast-paced city as London. www.corinthia.com
The Writer’s Penthouse evokes literary chic
The stunning lobby lounge of Corinthia Hotel London
The treatment pools at ESPA Life