St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel Tours
Until Wed Jan 29
Time Out says
Posted: Fri May 31 2013
The huge gothic building in front of St Pancras Station has a name: the Renaissance London Hotel. Reopened in May 2011 after extensive refurbishment, it now also has a tour – available to those of us who don’t have the £900 it costs to stay in the Queen Victoria Suite. (It’ll still run you £20, mind.) Tours are led by Blue Badge guides and last 75 to 90 minutes, with stops in some of the building’s most historic sections, including – get this – the staircase where the Spice Girls’ ‘ Wannabe’ video was filmed.
Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
- 5 star:27
- 4 star:8
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:1
What can I say the tour was magnificent, the knowledge our tour guide had was fantastic that related to the hotel and London in general well done to Janice Liverseidge, the hotel tour took our breath away, with all the history and architecture I only hope that these tours will be as great when the hotel takes over them as I can't wait to take my family, this was the start of a birthday celebration day for a friend and what a start please please keep up the high standard that the London Blue Badge Tourist Guides do.
What a privilege to be able to view the inside of this magnificent building the exterior of which has been an architectural icon for me since my very first trip to London, on London Midland railways from my home town of Derby, at the age of 12. The interior does not disappoint and though I am familiar with gothic revival architectural styles, I was struck by Gilbert Scott's dramatic use of iron, creating an almost industrial solidity to the building which echoed the magnificence of the train shed. Our tour guide was charming, very well informed and clearly enjoyed a lively dialogue with the group. I am eager to discover similar mini tours in London and can't wait to explore further! Thank you Time Out!
What an excellent afternoon at St Pancras Hotel. We started with a tour of the hotel which is stunning. Our guide was tremendous, she was very well informed and very patient with the group allowing us to soak up the history. We then had afternoon tea which was perfect and a must do. A superb afternoon
Our guide was friendly and spoke well. She showed us various places not open to the public and was well informed, giving us interesting information about the hotel. She welcomed questions and I really enjoyed the tour
This was a really great tour of a wonderful building, which has been gloriously restored for future generations to enjoy. Our guide was amazing - she really knew her stuff and was able to impart her knowledge in an enjoyable and interesting way. It made the tour all the more special that she was able to tell us lots of interesting snippets and show us into two of the rooms that were available on the day of the tour. This added to the opulence of the visit and really made us gain a feel for how it would be to make use of the building as it now is - something that is surely out of the reach of many 'ordinary' folk! Highly recommended - finishing up with cocktails or afternoon tea is also a real treat! Book now!!
I bought the tour as part of my boyfriend's Christmas present and we both loved it. The building is magnificent so there was a real sense of occasion (especially with the Christmas decorations) and a feeling of being privileged to see some of the rooms that you would otherwise never set foot in unless you had a spare few grand for the night. Our guide was fantastic - she really knew her stuff and brought the history of the building (and indeed Midlands Rail) alive.
It is an incredible building and this tour is the only way to get to see non-public bits of the inside (unless you stay there of course which seems to require remortgaging!). Whilst the guide was knowledgeable and personable and I learned a great deal and got to see inside one of the more quirky hotel rooms I still think it's an expensive tour for what it is. There are lots of things to do in London and this tour is £20 for 90 minutes so if money or time are limited consider how much you want to see it. You can see the Grand Staircase from the bottom (although you can't go up it if you're not on the tour) by just walking in, likewise for the public bars and restaurants. It's a unique but slightly pricey tours - up to you!
Although the guide was obviously a very experienced 'blue badge' guide, we were very disappointed with the tour. He did not have the depth of knowledge about the history of the building, the key characters involved, and most importantly the details regarding the architecture and decor. Considering this was a building specific tour one would expect an incredible depth of knowledge and detail. He struggled to keep giving new information. I have been on many tours over the years and this was the most disappointing one I have ever been on. Obviously the building itself is spectacular but he didn't do it justice at all. It certainly wasn't worth £20 for 1.5hrs when you can do a fantastic london walk for £12 for 2 hours!
Excellent tour. Really informative and interesting , providing great insight into the history of the hotel and unique opportunity to see it in current use. Stephen our guide was superb with his encyclopedic knowledge and easy manner the 90 minute tour whizzed by. Would have been even better if a coffee in the lobby had been included in the price! . We enjoyed ourselves so much we finished it off with lunch in the Gilbert Scott restaurant so all in all a memorable day.
The tour guide was extremely knowledgable. The tour was on a Friday night and we were able to get access to the Gilbert Scoot bar and restaurant as well as some of the rooms in the hotel. A must for anyone interested in seeing how the other half live or those with an interest in London's architectural past.
Would recommend the hotel tour. Lived in London 5 years but didn't realise the building was about 1/4 privately owned apartments! Lots of interesting info about the background of railways that they hotel was catering for, and the gas lit, horse-drawn streets that surrounded the hotel. Just a few hundred years ago, it's fantastic to think how different the city was.
What a wonderful experience, a magnificent restoration of a fantastic building brought to life by the knowledgable tour guide.
This is an amazing building and, as our guide Stephen told us, you have only to look out of one of its huge, iron and glass windows to see the sort of tower block which would have replaced it, had it been demolished in the 60s. It is wonderful to see it so beautifully restored and on the tour to be able to walk past the "Residents only" notice and up the grand staircase right to the blue, silver starred ceiling right at the top. My daughter had her photograph taken on the lower steps where the Spice Girls had made a music video before the building was restored. We were able to see a suite overlooking the Euston Road and, even better, a bedroom overlooking the Eurostar platforms. By the charming statue of John Betjeman a wedding was taking place at which one of the guests was a black cat! Truly English eccentricity is alive and well and getting married on the concourse of St Pancras International! We concluded our afternoon with a glorious tea in the Hansom lobby. The tour followed by tea made a very special day out.
This building is fantastic and having seen it just before it closed for good for the restoration, it was great to see the transformation. You get to see parts of the hotel that only those staying there can usually see and we were even allowed to snoop around The Royal Suite, which was enormous! Nadia, our tour guide, was extremely knowledgeable and fun and was very interested to hear any snippets of information about the hotel from us that she didn't already know - so if you have any pictures of the hotel before the restoration, take them along. Well worth the £20 if you are at all into architecture - or just splendour.
Really worth a visit. Time flew by. What a romantic history this hotel has. Beautifully restored building. A London landmark.
Excellent tour, the building has been beautifully restored. Our guide was very knowledgeable, I just wish we could have done into some of the original bedrooms
Brilliant. I just cannot believe where the 2 hours went. Our guide was brilliant and the building is fabulous. Well worth every penny and something you will always remember.
Back to it's former glory. Well worth a visit. My career started off by assisting surveying the Hotel for fire regulation purposes for the GLCback in the Mid 80's. Then no one wanted to be associated with the area. Now a complete change. It needed a lot of money to do. Go and see the transformation, and maybe have a drink in the booking office.
A stunning place, a must see. The tour guide was extremely knowledgable and made the whole tour through this stunning place a great experience.
I took my boyfriend for his birthday and we would both highly recommend this tour to others. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic. We learnt a lot about the history of the railways as an integral part of the hotel's own history. The hotel is stunning inside and this tour picks out lots of architectural details and sets these in a historical context. Fascinating, stimulating and very aesthetically pleasing!
Thank you to Sir John Betjeman for leading the fight to restore this Grade 1 listed building to its former glory, and thereby enabling us to enjoy an excellent historical tour. Steven, our Blue Badge guide was so knowledgeable and informative that 90 minutes were over all too quickly. My wife's working career took her many times from St Pancras station to the Midlands, and where the black cabs used to drop her off is now the Reception and Hansom coffee lounge. The original architecture has been painstakingly restored, perfectly enhanced by beautiful fabrics and artwork. This unique tour ended in The Booking Office, now an elegant restaurant where we partook of a delicious lunch. Highly recommended for Londoners and tourists alike. Quirky tip:look out for the 'nose' on the front of the building!
The St Pancras station hotel is a wonderful building with a great connection to the history of British Railways. Restoring this hotel was the best choice and walking through the corridors give you a wonderful insight into how life could have been all those years ago. Our tour leader was very knowledgeable and passionate making it an even greater experience. A very interesting hour and a half!
On Sunday, my family and I took the walking tour and were amazed by the beauty of this hotel. The interior is stunning. The tour was informative and fun and we were also shown around one of the suites. I would highly recommend it.
Brilliantly interesting tour of a remarkable and iconic building. I saw more than I expected and the tour guide was enthusiastic and engaging. Overall this tour well exceeded my expectations which were quite high in the first place.
Excellent tour. The guide was knowledgable, friendly, and made the two hours fly by. Really fun to get to see one of the guest rooms. Highly recommend.
We met the guide as arranged at the reception area of the hotel. She was very interesting and very knowlegable. She shared her information clearly. The visit to the hotel to see how it had been restored and the skill involved was facinating. Having watched the work develop over many years it was great to see inside and have the history explained. Well worth it. Thank you
Have loved this building since I was a child & my daughter feels the same. We were overjoyed to hear that it was to be brought back to life. It was truly wonderful to have such a close up view of such a beautiful & iconic masterpiece. Our guide Sue was fabulous, so knowledgeable & informative, we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience & would recommend this tour to anyone with an interest in this fabulous structure.
Over the years we have passed this building many times when it was looking sad and neglected but now.... Our guide was amazingly knowlegeable not only about the building but the history of it's architecture and how it came to be built in the first place. The tour covered so much and it was good to see how the design has blended in with the station and it's surroundings. Well done to everyone involved in saving this iconic piece of history and restoring it to it's former glory. Thank you Nadia for a most enjoyable tour.
The hour and a half sped by. Nadia, our guide, hugely enthusiastic and knowlegeable about this wonderful building. Interesting facts and stories about the history of the hotel and station. A great tour for steam/modern railway buffs. Would have been good to see a more characterful bedroom but great that the hotel was fully occupied. Well done English Heritage and those that have saved this building to be enjoyed. Go and do this tour if you can when in London and maybe splash out with tea in the hotel afterwards as we did - be warned do not have lunch beforehand though.
I have always loved this building and many years ago when I had a kitchen facing the main tower, I thought that the hotel should be refurbished. This eventually happened. It was great to see the inside of the building and to learn about its history. The tour was excellent, very comprehensive. The Guide was very knowlegeable, very well documented and extremely friendly and passionate about her work.
An excellent tour of an amazing building. The Blue Badge Guide was extremely knowledgeable. Having said that you are unlikely to go on your own and so at £40 per couple it does need to be something that you really want to do!
Great tour of a very impressive hotel, our guild was an extremely knowledgeable person. Would definitely recommend this.
Fantastic tour of an incredible building. Our guide couldn't do enough to give us a thorough history of the building. If you can't afford to stay there then this is a very worthwhile alternative!
I saw the hotel when it was in a dilapidated state. It was wonderful to see what has been done. The guide was very informative and it gave me a view of what the hotel was like in an earlier era
We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the hotel now it has been renovated. The Blue Badge Guide who took us round knew a great deal about the hotel but was willing to listen if any of the group could add more ie railway buffs. We were lucky enough to be shown the Royal Suite and also another room overlooking St Pancras Eurostar platform where 2 of our tour group were staying. it was a tour well worth taking .