Standing in front of the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel, it’s impossible not to be transported back to the glamour of an era long gone. Originally opened in 1873 as the Midland Grand Hotel, the towering historic property oozes old-world charm, greeting guests with a genuinely Gothic moodiness. Visitors are beckoned inside to explore the wide, winding hallways, designed to accommodate the full, sweeping skirts of traditional Victorian dresses, allowing two women to pass each other comfortably. Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, a Victorian architect whose creative genius brought many cathedrals, churches and hotels to life, the St. Pancras hotel was initially opened to welcome travellers from the adjoining St. Pancras train station. Now, 139 years later, the hotel is still hailed as one of London’s most romantic buildings and threw its doors open earlier this year, following a massive restoration project. The result is a gorgeous, grand and glamorous hotel that gives 5-star luxury a whole new meaning.
Sir George Gilbert Scott suite
The Sir George Gilbert Scott Suite embodies true high Victorian style. It’s the only room in the hotel that’s been 100% restored, from the ceiling and wallpaper to the mirror, floorboards and reproduction furniture.
“This room was the grandest private sitting room in the original hotel,” says Harry Handelsman, owner of the hotel and CEO of Manhattan Loft Corporation. “British Rail then painted over all of the original wallpaper and ceiling design and turned the room into an office.”
Restoration didn’t come cheap. The ceiling was restored at a cost of £90,000 and Harry says it’s impossible to distinguish between the original and this. The original mirror was restored and the wallpaper was re-created – it took five people 18 months to re-produce it at a cost of £46,000 and then a further £12,000 to put on the wall. The floorboards are also the restored originals. Dark and moody, this room is exceptionally Victorian in atmosphere, giving guests a true sense of what it felt like to be here in the late 19th century.