corinthia hotel london

Luxury on a grand scale at the five star Corinthia Hotel London

The first thing that struck me about the five-star Corinthia Hotel in London when I stayed there was how utterly huge everything is. From the vast central lobby lounge with its soaring dome and chandelier made of 1,001 crystal baubles, to the high-ceilinged pillared restaurant, to the  enormous breakfast room, huge ballroom, conference rooms and outside courtyard, everything at the Corinthia is super-sized.

The Corinthia London is a destination hotel

It’s got 225 rooms, 51 suites, seven penthouses, two top restaurants and a multi-award winning spa, covering four floors and containing two pools, a sauna, ice fountain and 17 treatment rooms. The bustling central lobby alone – where everyone from politicians, tourists, ladies who lunch and aspiring business tycoons meet for power coffees and afternoon tea – is the size of most hotels. Corinthia Hotel London is a destination in itself.

inside the five star Corinthia Hotel London
The central lobby contains a massive chandelier and is a handy place to meet over morning coffee or afternoon tea
Full of history

As it is so hard to miss, taking up a whole block of central London real estate between Embankment tube station and Whitehall, I was surprised I hadn’t been inside before. Originally the Hotel Metropole when it was built back in 1885, its location on Whitehall Place, just round the corner from Downing Street, made it a perfect Government building and was taken over by the Ministry of Defence in 1936.

To book directly with the hotel, click on: Corinthia Hotel London
To compare prices for Corinthia Hotel London click on: Trivago Expedia
To read more reviews and get the latest prices click here to go to the Corinthia Hotel London on TripAdvisor

Following the sale of the building in 2007 the hotel has now been restored to its original style, with many rooms having access to their own private terraces. Its Royal Suite claims to be the largest two-bedroom suite in London.

inside the five star Corinthia Hotel London
Corinthia Hotel London is just across the road from Embankment tube and minutes from Trafalgar Square
Style with fun – even talking loos

However while the hotel is indeed grand and luxurious on a vast scale, it isn’t without a sense of fun and style too. Visitor to the loos on the ground floor will wonder why there seems to be a familiar voice reading poetry to them: it’s part of the I Can Foundation supported by the Corinthia and means your trip to the smallest room will be accompanied by Shakespeare, Wordsworth or Beethoven. Sounds strange but it’s certainly memorable!

Corinthia hotel London
A sign in the ladies loos explaining why someone appears to be reading Shakespeare to you
Corinthia Hotel London
Our room, like this one, was smart and light with all the luxuries including a coffee machine, mini bar and TV in the bath

Our room, an executive king, was smart and full of little luxuries such as a TV in the bath, separate walk-in shower, original artwork and well-stocked mini bar. However we were keen to check out the spa which is one of the largest I’ve seen in a London hotel: the changing rooms alone were vast and opulent.

Corinthia Hotel London
The spa contains a 15-metre swimming pool which we had all to ourselves
Corinthia Hotel London
There is also a hydrotherapy pool with various jets to pummel and massage
A breath-taking spa

But it was the jet-black spa area itself took the breath away, with a 20 metre indoor pool, a hydrotherapy pool, a step-down sauna, marble heated loungers next to a line of flickering flames, private sleep pods and an ice fountain to boost the circulation after all that relaxing.

spa at the five star Corintha hotel London
If all this activity is too much, then there are heated marble lounger to relax on

I could have happily spent all day here but a few hours had to be enough: we had dinner booked at the hotel’s Massimo restaurant. I don’t think I’ve eaten in a room with higher ceilings and with the pillars it looked like an old Roman temple.

Corinthia Hotel London
The hotel’s Italian restaurant is vast, with a high ceiling, pillars and ornate light-fittings
Top British chefs

The restaurant is now Kerridge’s Bar & Grill headed by renowned Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge, It’s his first London restaurant and according to the hotel offers a menu which plays on Tom’s reputation for serving his take on the UK’s most celebrated dishes.

The hotel also contains The Northall restaurant which specialises in British cuisine and where I recently returned for lunch: the vast curved room with views of The Thames is worth a visit in itself but the food is impeccable.

Cocktail hour

Not wishing to call it a night just yet, we then headed to the Basson Bar for a couple of cocktails accompanied by a jazz singer playing the guitar: our waiter was happy to replace our iPad menus with traditional printed ones, and then equally happy to return with the iPads once we’d realised it was useful to see what size the drinks were. At £17 they weren’t cheap but our they were excellently made and perfect for a nightcap.

Corinthia Hotel London
The hotel’s Bassoon lounge is designed round an 1920s Art Deco theme and has hosted acts including Lana Del Rey and the Scissor Sisters
Corinthia Hotel London
Breakfast is served in two massive rooms – the buffet is laid out across the central bar in this room
Corinthia Hotel London
Freshly-cooked eggs benedict for breakfast

Thanks either to the drinks or the hotel’s formidable double-glazing we woke to find we’d slept through a colossal thunderstorm. Breakfast was in not one but two massive rooms, with a good buffet selection and cooked dishes.

It was brought home how central the hotel is when from our breakfast table we could see across the street to the commuters emerging from Embankment tube. Thankfully that day I could return to the spa instead of heading to the office – a far more civilised way to start the day.

Corinthia Hotel, Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2BD
Tel: 020 7930 8181

Prices for the Corinthia hotel London (ex VAT) start from:
Double rooms start from £575
Executive King rooms start from £655
Suites start from £1,500
Penthouses start from £5,100

Day spa access at ESPA Life costs £150

Recent awards:
GQ Food & Drink Awards 2019 – Best Hotel Gala, Gruner + Jahr Spa 
Awards 2019 (Germany) – Best Spa Concept 2019 GQ Grooming Awards 2019 
– Best Spa Conde Nast Readers Awards 2018 – Best Hotel Spa World 
Luxury Spa Awards – Luxury Wellness Spa – Country Winner: United 
Kingdom 2018 World Luxury Spa Awards – Luxury Fitness Spa – Luxury 
Fitness Spa – Regional Winner: Northern Europe 2018 Ultratravel 
Collection – Hotel of The Year 2016 & 2017

To book directly with the hotel, click on: Corinthia Hotel London
To compare prices for Corinthia Hotel London click on: Trivago Expedia
To read more reviews and get the latest prices click here to go to the Corinthia Hotel London on TripAdvisor

Note: I visited this hotel in 2016 but updated this review June 2019 to ensure accuracy and relevance. I was hosted by the hotel but all opinions expressed here are my own.

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Sarah Bridge

Every review is personally researched and written by me, Sarah Bridge, who, when I'm not writing about leisure for a national newspaper, spends my time seeking out the best leisure experiences, from city centre boutique hotels to country house estates, Michelin-starred dining to the newest openings. Some of the links on my reviews are affiliate marketing links, which means if you click through I get a small commission if you end up buying on these sites. This in no way affects the independence of my reviews, but helps with website running costs and I just wanted to let you know so as to be fully transparent.
Sarah Bridge

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