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The St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London is a Marriott property located in the middle of London that’s been on my list for quite some time. It’s in an iconic building in London and it’s one of the most beautiful buildings in the city if you ask me. We recently stayed in a junior suite for one night and here’s my review of the stay.
The St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London was originally designed by famed architect George Gilbert Scott and opened up in 1873. It used to house the Midland Grand Hotel but eventually transitioned to railway offices, and then back to a hotel (and apartments) after almost being demolished in the 1960s.
The hotel is connected to St. Pancras Station (home to the Eurostar) which is why we booked the hotel since we’d be spending one night in London and heading to Paris in the morning.
As soon as you pull up to the hotel, you realize just how impressive of an architectural feat it is.
Ever since I went to school in London back in 2014-2015, I’d been infatuated with this iconic building. It’s one of the most beautiful buildings in London and has been seen in films like Harry Potter and for you 80/90’s babies, it’s where the Spice Girls filmed their music video to their smash hit Wannabe.
It was truly a sight to behold when we visited, especially after we got hit with snow flurries. Snow in London is pretty rare so it was fun to experience snowy London for the first time.
Check-in was very eventful to say the least.
We’d just flew in to London from LAX on Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class on the 787 but during that time the snowfall was coming down over London causing massive travel disruptions.
Our train set to go out the next morning to Paris had been cancelled, so I was desperately trying to call Eurostar to sort out the issues. But so was everybody else in Europe apparently.
As soon as we landed in London, I called Eurostar via Skype and I would not get through until I’d been on hold for 2 hours and 15 minutes.
While I was on hold we checked in to the hotel and the staff took our bags and loaded them onto a luggage trolley. Because it was so cold, I think they were rushing and they ended up knocking my carry-on bag (with all my electronics) off the trolley. It took a hard impact on the concrete so I immediately thought something was wrong.
When we checked the electronics, we saw what I feared: a broken camera lens.
So while I was trying to sort out our train for the morning, we were also trying to sort out what to do about the broken lens. Normally, I wouldn’t be so worried, but we were in the middle of a round the world trip and were planning on leaving in less than 24 hours so we needed to figure out a solution asap.
Thankfully, a Marriott manager stepped in and after reviewing the security footage, they offered to replace the lens which we eventually worked out the next day by hopping into a taxi to make it to a camera shop right before our train departed.
I wanted to make sure to include this in the review because the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London went above and beyond to assist with the issue and I couldn’t have asked for more from a hotel.
The hotel lobby is very open, and I think this lobby used to be a driveway which is probably why it looks the way it does.
I didn’t realize it until it was time to board the train but there’s a bar and restaurant area directly behind the check-in desks known as “The Booking Office” that connects to the train station.
The Grand Staircase
As we made our way to our room, the first thing I noticed was how immaculate the stairs were.
Seriously, how amazing is that?
The Junior Suite
We stayed in the historic Chambers Wing and booked a junior suite using Ultimate Rewards through the Chase Travel Portal. One of the perks of booking a room in the Chamber’s Wing is that you get Eurostar VIP access, which I discuss more below.
The junior suite is not very huge but for London standards, it’s reasonable.
The first thing you’ll probably notice is how tall the ceilings and doors are.
There’s a TV but it’s on the other side of the bedroom so it’s not really in an optimal location for viewing.
Across from the TV, there’s a chaise lounge, some artwork, and a large wardrobe.
I did appreciate the two welcome macaroons.
There’s also a table/desk area with two chairs. I liked being able to look out to the train station while working.
The bedroom is pretty compact, as there’s not much room between the bed and the walls and windows but it’s not as bad as some hotels I’ve seen in London.
The bed was pretty comfortable but the room was very chilly. It was about 32ºF outside and I’m not sure if it’s because of the large windows or just because it’s an old building, but the heating didn’t seem to be warming up the room very much at all.
We each had one large glass of water on the nightstands.
And there were lighting controls on either side of the bed, though only one side had outlets.
You can really get a sense of just how tall the ceilings are with the the photo below.
It was a trip to look out from the bedroom and see the trains load and unload passengers. It wasn’t as loud as I thought it would be and it was cool people watching but you look kind of funny peeping out of a giant window with so many people potentially onlooking.
The bathroom was a bit small but gorgeous.
Overall, the junior suite was a nice room but it would have been nice if it had a bit more room like a junior suite usually does. The layout with the TV was a little weird, too. But I honestly felt like the room was perfect for a one-night stay for the novelty of looking out to the train station.
The Chamber’s Club breakfast
Making our way to breakfast in the morning felt like taking a stroll through a palace. The hotel corridors are pretty amazing throughout the property, at least in the Chamber’s area.
Although we were early birds, there were already some trains gearing up for early rides as we made our way to breakfast.
Then we hit the staircase leading down the Chamber’s Club lounge, where we would have breakfast. Once again, I was blown away by how elegant the staircase was.
When we finally arrived down in the Chamber’s Club, I was very impressed with the lounge. It used to be the entrance hall of the old Midland Grand hotel, which is why it has such an elegant feel. It’s definitely different from your traditional executive club lounge experience.
The breakfast opened up at 6:30am and we did our usual and arrived right at the opening time. I always feel kind of annoying being so punctual but it’s the best practice for getting good photos so it’s what I stick with.
The Chamber’s Club breakfast was fantastic and it had a lot of different offerings from pastries, waffles, breads, meats, yogurt, cheeses, fruits, sausage, the list goes on and on.
Since it was early, we had the entire lounge to ourselves which was a really cool feeling. Aside from getting better photos, it’s just a nice feeling to have a lounge to yourself by being the first to show up.
We opted to sit by a window were we could lookout and watch some of the snow falling outside. Even though it was March, it felt more like Christmas at this hotel.
While there are many buffet options, you can also order offer the menu which I recommend doing. We went with the eggs royale which just felt appropriate.
The Chamber’s Club offers complimentary afternoon tea from 2:30pm to 5:00pm and pre-dinner canape from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. They also offer wine and beer from 3pm to 10pm daily.
Since we were departing to Paris early in the afternoon, we were not able to try out any of these additional meals.
Shorts and “fitness wear” are not allowed in the Chamber’s Club.
St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Spa and gym
I checked out the spa and gym area which are both located in the basement, which seems to be a common thing for hotels to do with older buildings.
The pool is in a small room with a few places to sit. It’s pretty narrow but looked like a nice place to relax.
The pool room was very warm and humid thanks to the well-heated water.
The gym is small but there are some machines for doing cardio in various forms. I did see another room with weights and other equipment but it was occupied so I wasn’t able to get any photos.
The spa area had some pretty nice locker rooms.
Eurostar VIP transfer
Guests staying in The Chambers Rooms and Suites get Eurostar VIP transfer, which means you’ll be escorted through security and to your train without having to worry about lugging your bags. This was much-needed on this long round the world trip where we had tons of luggage.
Thankfully, none of our bags were knocked off the luggage trolley this time.
When we made it to our platform we could see the windows to our hotel room as we said goodbye to London for the moment (we’d be back soon).
This was our first experience on the Eurostar and it was pretty good.
I loved just about everything about this hotel.
The staff did a tremendous job owning up to my broken lens and then doing whatever they could do to rectify the situation in less than 24 hours. I thought the property was beyond gorgeous.
The junior suite wasn’t the most impressive junior suite I’ve stayed in and definitely not the biggest and I didn’t like how cold it was in the room but I thought it was cool to have such a unique view of the train station for a night.
I’d say this was one of my favorite Marriott stays to date.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.