Firmly in the grand-hotel tradition, the Corinthia actually spent years as government offices before its conversion to a hotel. The colossal Baccarat chandelier (with 1,000 clear crystal globes, plus one in red) in the expansive lobby complete with central dome; the dark wood and silk-covered walls in the high-spec rooms; the luxurious bathrooms with pool-like oval baths: everything is as you would expect for a hotel in this price range, and it’s done well and with a light, modern touch that avoids self-importance or stuffiness.
The Espa spa and subterranean pools (with jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and hot seats) form a complex over two floors. Espa products are in the bathrooms too. Afternoon tea is a stylish affair, served in the lobby. The Bassoon bar is an intimate, after-dark retreat, while the Northall restaurant serves British food in a dramatic circular space with floor-to-ceiling windows.