The Renaissance Hotel at St Pancras is a magnificent establishment. Standing for years dilapidated and dirty, this epic building has recently been restored to its former glory and now welcomes guests to stay in its divine quarters. Although it is part of the Marriott brand, it cannot be easily categorised, and just by observing the intricate exterior facade you know this building always will be one of kind.
We have architect Sir Gilbert Scott to thank for this fairytale edifice… he created it for the Midland Grand, and now the huge building has been redesigned to offer 245 guest rooms, including 38 beautifully restored suites. Inside there are still obvious vestiges of the building’s previous functions, most notably… the station Booking Office which is now transformed into a contemporary bistro; the Ladies Smoking Room, open for functions and the many small details like the old heating system which are still evident amongst the luxurious modernisation.
I learnt a great deal whilst taking a short tour of St Pancras and most memorably walked up the famous staircase which has featured in numerous films, including Harry Potter and the Spice Girls Wannabe video. Everything about this building is steeped in history and elegance, our guide had an endearing story to tell at every stage, for instance the grandiose corridors are so wide to allow two women in full dresses to pass easily.
We were lucky to be staying in the VIP chambers, an elite area for special guests which offers complimentary afternoon tea and evening canapés as well as a lovely lounge for dining and relaxing. Our suite was stunning: tranquil and luxurious… with picturesque views of the Eurostar trains travelling to and from Paris, it was charming and romantic. The living area was gorgeous and plush – a sofa, writing desk and flat screen TV all available for our convenience. The bedroom was stylish and minimalist with just the essentials: TV, reading lights and bedside tables.
The marble clad bathroom was a bright and shiny place to refresh, with St Pancras detailing. A complimentary Renaissance themed rubber duck sat on the bath and organic REN products were placed everywhere for our convenience.
There are several dining options: the prestigious Marcus Wareing restaurant, Gilbert Scott or the trendy bistro, The Booking Office where we ate dinner and breakfast. I can’t fault the food here, bold British dishes: the steak with peppercorn sauce and triple fried chips were particularly yummy, but it was the exceptional cocktails that really impressed me. Strong and expertly mixed with unique flavour combinations, each and every concoction we tried was exquisite and original.
Relaxing in our huge king size bed, that Sunday night I could not think of a place I would rather be… wrapped up in my big super soft robe, I felt like a princess in a palace of ultimate indulgence. I slept completely through the night, the gentle purr of trains beneath the window, soothing and reassuring. Next morning, after a short Nespresso coffee in the room, we wandered down to breakfast. The Booking Office was already buzzing, with hotel guests and diners visiting for a morning meal or a meeting. Every breakfast dish you could imagine is on offer as well as an array of continental treats. Although our waiter muddled our order slightly, the food we did receive was delicious and carefully prepared with the very best seasonal ingredients.
I left dreaming of horse-drawn carriages, trains to Paris and a world of beauty and wonder. Renaissance St Pancras will inspire, comfort and intrigue… it is a venue for the most special of occasions, and promises an unforgettable stay.
More information on the website here.