The Corinthia London had been on my list for a while. Opened a few years ago, it doesn’t smell of new anymore – it smells better! It could have been the in-lobby beautiful flower shop or the Harrods concession, but in my opinion, there is an even better story to tell. Located in Whitehall, very close to Trafalgar Square and other Central London sights, it is the flagship property of the Corinthia group, a small chain originating in Malta of all places who is determined to make an impression everywhere they go. And they seem to be going places.
– Was there any pre-arrival communication by the hotel with myself via email or social media?
The hotel has a new PR Director who I know quite well and it was since she joined that I developed a relationship with this hotel chain. My stay was carefully organised by her team, who were very efficient and helpful.
– Did I try to engage the hotel via Twitter? Did the hotel interact with me and made me feel welcome/special?
I had a few times over the last year or so but never really got a response. But ever since I stayed there, and throughout my stay, this has changed and has continued until today.
– Has the hotel tried to gather any personal information (e.g. preferences) prior to my stay?
Not really, but I didn’t feel it was necessary.
– The wow factor! What was the hotel decor style?
I had visited the hotel beforehand (and was incredibly impressed), but I was still as impressed the second time round. It is a beautiful building inside and outside, but the decor is quite something.
– How quick and efficient was the hotel check-in?
The lobby and reception area were quite busy when I arrived, but after 5 minutes, I was quickly checked in. I was also escorted to my room by the reception lady which I thought was a very nice touch.
– Was I addressed by name once reservation has been located? (it is all about the small details, some others are outstanding with this, and I love it, like I do when I board an airplane)
I was indeed and this went on throughout my stay.
– Did I get an upgrade from my confirmed pre-booked room type?
Sadly no, I had an Executive King room confirmed – I was dying to stay in one of the suites which are simply spectacular. But being a current favourite with celebs (and I saw some, but have been sworn to secrecy), they are taken almost every night, which is obviously great for the hotel.
– Did I feel genuinely welcomed by the hotel staff?
I did. I thought at times service was a little bit stiff, but everyone was quite helpful when I needed any assistance.
– Luggage – how many people did I have to tip before the luggage made it safely to my room? This is cultural, I know
I had a small overnight bag and was able to take it to my room.
– Wi-fi – was I told anything about it? Was there a charge?
WiFi was complimentary and worked well during my stay.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
Our room was simply stunning – I loved the decor and how chic and comfortable it felt. It was also super spacious and had great light.
– Welcome amenity
My welcome amenity was simple but very tasty – I had some handmade chocolates which were delicious.
– The bed
Was very comfortable and to be honest, I struggled to get out of bed the next day.
– Closet/Wardrobe – proper hangers or those annoying ones where you need a PhD to get them out one by one? This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I can’t stand them.
All good, we had plenty of hangers and they were all as they should be.
– Iphone Charger/Dock
Of course, although for iPhone 4.
– Bathrobes and slippers
Yes, and for once I used them as I went to the spa and came back wearing one using the spa lift (so no one would see me, obviously).
– Coffee and Tea
I have to say that there were some details which were incredible. I am not a coffee drinker (in the room, as you know by now), but obviously had to investigate the options. I couldn’t find it at first but then, of course, there was magic. Behind a sliding panel, I found this – the nespresso, the mini bar and a great snack selection.
– Free bottled water
Yes, on arrival and replaced at turn down.
– Magazine selection – had some nice surprises and doesn’t happen often enough!
Best magazine selection I have ever seen. Why? Because they had the 2 magazines I really read regularly so it was a treat – and these are available on every room. A great idea (and no obscure stuff, which is always a hotel staple)
– Power sockets in useful places – we have more and more devices and we know where we want them! By the bed, by the working area.
I did find one by the bed, so I was a happy girl.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
Loved loved loved loved. Not huge, but quite spacious, I loved the fact that it had natural light. The fittings were great and hello… look at the shower!
– Bath, shower and taps – I am looking for Duravits and Hansgrohes (or other fab brands) around the world. How fab was the shower? And a little pet peeve.. was I able to operate the shower without asking Mr. O for help?
We had a separate bath and shower, but it was the latter that got to me… I adored it and during my stay I used it once more than I would have normally just for quality control purposes.
– Towels – yes, please! How many and how soft and lovely?
Lots and they were lovely.
– Toiletries – own brand, super brand, baby ones or proper ones? I shall find out!
Major winner here. The Espa products (albeit baby sized) were lovely and so much so, I couldn’t resist buying the range at the spa when I visited it. I adored the smell of the shower gel and also thought the shampoo and conditioner were very good (which very rarely happens).
– Amenity kit – I don’t want more sewing kits thank you very much, but I will need a shower cap.
We had everything we needed.
– Hairdryer – is it a human one, or just something stuck to a wall that only makes noise?
With all those showers, I did obviously have to wash my hair and it was a perfectly working proper hairdryer.
I spent the evening with my friend Jenny who is a great fan of this hotel – it seemed appropriate to invite her to spend some time with me before Mr. O joined us after his business dinner. Jenny and I have many things in common, but two stand out: our love for champagne and airplanes (preferably business class, or first, actually). Well, on offer was a champagne flight and we both thought it was a sign. It would be rude not to. We got our evening started at the Northall Bar, which was a very lively vibe and very comfortable too. Loved it and have been back since.
We had a lovely meal at the mediterranean-inspired Massimo restaurant – you know where I come from, so I was keen to see the hotel’s interpretation. I had octopus for the first time ever in London, followed by red mullet, which were delicious. We had great service and also really interesting wine pairings.
- Served at the Northall bar, it was where the experience felt a bit short – the spread looked good, but it was so busy, I really felt rushed. Personally, I thought that £32 was a bit steep for what was on offer (any made to order items were to be charged extra) and was most surprised by the 12.5% service charge, when I actually served myself.
– How good and reliable was the wi-fi?
I used it on my iPad and didn’t have any problems with it.
– Did the hotel interact with me via Twitter during my stay?
There was some interaction and it was fun.
Very interesting location – not where I would normally choose to stay, but actually I did not have any problems getting there or getting where I needed to the next day. It is perfect for the West End and to the City too.
– Cost – rooms starting from…
Standard rooms cost from £320 and Executive King Rooms from £495 per night.
– Would I recommend it to my best friend?
I would without a problem.
– Would I stay again?
I would indeed. I thought the hotel was beautiful and the offerings available (the spa – which I will review on a separate article, the bars, restaurants and common areas were very inviting and comfortable. Service could have been a bit more personal (it did feel a bit stiff), but that is something that can be refined.
Have you visited this hotel? What were your thoughts?
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Disclaimer: I was a guest of Corinthia Hotels during this stay, but hopefully you will see that this has not influenced my thoughts about the property. To book, click here.