Thinking of breaking out of the pandemic in bold style? Treat yourself to a stay at the legendary Corinthia London located in the heart of the UK’s capital city. Built in 1885, the hotel was one of the largest hotels in all of Europe, and today remains one of London's “grand dames” of all times. Renowned for being Winston Churchill’s headquarters during World War I, this inner city palace has lots of history. Not at all dowdy, the building was restored and brought to its current splendor by Corinthia Hotels in 2011 and remains one of London’s leading luxury hotels.
Located just steps from the Thames Embankment, Whitehall, and Trafalgar Square, many of London’s major attractions such as Piccadilly, The National Gallery, Big Ben, and London’s Theatreland are just a short walk away.
A guest’s first impression is of old-world elegance and splendor, but this hotel also delivers up-to-date perfection in all areas of hospitality; with outstanding service, a collection of accommodations fit for royalty, award-winning restaurants with top chefs, and state-of-the-art ESPA Life Spa. As for accommodations, prepare to be spoiled with a multitude of niceties like fresh flowers, original artworks, fine art-book-lined shelves, and marble-heated bathroom floors. Even the standard accommodations are spacious and luxurious.
Deluxe King bedroom
The Penthouse Collection includes several uniquely decorated luxurious suites, each with its own theme. Stay at the extraordinary Whitehall Penthouse and stand in the shadow of Churchill, where just over a century ago, he watched below as crowds celebrated Armistice Day 1918.
Whitehall Penthouse bedroom
Whitehall Penthouse terrace
The Whitehall Penthouse looks like the perfect abode for the Prime Minister, with its own cigar humidor, Savile Row-worthy dressing room and one's own personal butler. Care for a game of chess?
Whitehall Penthouse living room
In the Royal Penthouse, a spiral staircase and crystal chandelier welcome guests to a sprawling suite with its own private treatment room, wine cellar, and expansive terrace overlooking the Thames and the London Eye. Did I mention a bathroom fit for a King and Queen? How about a car and driver, and packing and unpacking service to sweeten the deal?
Royal Penthouse Terrace
Royal Penthouse bathroom
Royal Penthouse living room
What would a visit to London be without an Afternoon Tea? Having tried many, the Crystal Moon Lounge is at the top of my list. Baccarat crystal champagne flutes, custom-designed china, and a tea sommelier create the perfect ambiance when matched with Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée Brut Champagne, Severn and Wye smoked salmon, organic strawberry and rhubarb jam. Just when you think you can’t have even one more morsel, remember to leave room for the finale - salted caramel pecan and chocolate mousse.
The Crystal Moon Lounge, Afternoon Tea
It’s hard not to be hypnotized by the colossal centerpiece suspended in the middle of the Crystal Moon Lounge. Can you spot one ruby-red jewel, surrounded by hundreds of diamond-like crystals? This magnificent fixture is dubbed the heart of the hotel.
The Crystal Moon Lounge and Baccarat chandelier
The hotel offers two outstanding dining options. At Northall Restaurant, award-winning executive chef André Garrett celebrates British cuisine with the freshest ingredients in season. The chef’s passion for food began as a young boy visiting his grandmother, the maître d at the infamous, ancient Pump Rooms in Bath, England. Smitten with the culinary arts, Chef Garrett pursued his passion at the young age of 15, and eventually, he moved to London, where he won a Roux Scholarship, and to Paris, where he earned his own Michelin Star. With an eye towards sustainable practices and a reduced carbon footprint, Chef Garrett blends his French and European style using local farms and shores, including caviar sourced from Exmoor, Britain's first caviar producer seasoned with Welsh and Cornish salts. The handsome restaurant sports double-height ceilings and leather furniture and is rimmed with enormous windows. The seasonal menu offers a two or three-course set menu. Wednesday is for wine lovers, pay just 50% for your favorite bottle of wine.
After dinner, head to the Bassoon Bar, inspired by New Orleans in the roaring ’20s.
Tom Kerridge is practically a household name in the UK, with two Michelin star restaurants under his belt, appearances on several British cooking shows, and his own television series for BBC. The atmosphere is relaxed, the fare is classic and hardy. Starters include marinated beetroots and stracciatella with hazelnut dukkah, cheese sable and horseradish, and Claude’s mushroom risotto with Daniel’s crispy egg and aged parmesan. The entrees, like the beer brined Cotswold white chicken with Jerusalem artichoke, malt glazed thigh nugget, winter truffle and vin jaune sauce, and the English lamb cutlet with haggis, baby turnips, shallot fondant and malt vinegar ketchup tell you you’re not in Kansas anymore. Kerridge’s is perfect for pre or post-theatre dining.
Kerridge’s Bar and Grill
ESPA Spa main pool
ESPA Life Spa at Corinthia, considered The Next Generation of Spa, offers a holistic approach plus a team of the world’s leading experts. But that’s not all,
spread out over four floors, ESPA Life invites guests to enjoy private suites, a futuristic-looking thermal Floor with an indoor swimming pool, a vitality pool, an amphitheater sauna, ice fountain, marble heated lounge chairs, and private sleep pods. The techno gym is open 24/7 and offers rehab in addition to personal trainers.
ESPA Life Spa sleep pods
Guests can book sessions with naturopaths, traditional Chinese acupuncturists and herbalists, osteopaths, personal trainers, and spa professionals. For your tresses, head to the Daniel Galvin OBE Salon, and leave with red-carpet-ready locks. The regenerative skincare by Dr. Barbara Strum is a scientifically-driven line of anti-aging treatments beyond any skincare I’ve experienced. Bespoke creams formulated with a natural anti-aging ingredient called the “fountain of youth enzyme” will have you seeking out her line of skincare stateside.
Whether business or pleasure, Corinthian London checks all the boxes and you’ll depart pining for your next opportunity to visit one of the capital’s most luxurious hotels of all.
By Paula Koffsky
Photos courtesy of Corinthia LONDON