The best hotels near King's Cross
With 60 en suite rooms across four Georgian townhouses, plus a characterful lounge bar, the California – a stone’s throw over Euston Road from King’s Cross and St Pancras stations – is more hotel than bed and breakfast (as it describes itself on its website). The rooms, though fairly compact, are clean and modern, with new wood panelling and simple decor enlivened by individual artworks or wall coverings. The bar area and lobby retain much of the building’s original architectural features, melded with Art Deco touches in the form of mirrors and lighting.
Located between King’s Cross station and Clerkenwell, Clink78 sets the bar high for party-style hostel-dom, through both its architectural and cultural heritage – it’s a converted courthouse with original wood panelling, where The Clash once stood trial – and its urban-chic decor. The café/bar downstairs is a sociable space, with a street art-inspired design scheme, comfortable furniture, computers for internet access and a pool table. The tasteful rooms are a mix of dorms with bunks and private rooms – with some of the latter including former prison cells. Clink261, nearby, is a better choice for older and calmer hostellers.
The Great Northern is a good bet for Continental business travellers, sitting opposite St Pancras International’s Eurostar terminal. It was London’s first railway hotel when it opened in 1854; it’s had plenty of rough times since then, but almost £40m of renovation has recreated the place as a classic. The soundproofed rooms mix contemporary style with echoes of the building’s Victorian railway heritage (such as wood panelled walls) and all have free wifi. Room service is available and each floor boasts a charming pantry with cakes, coffee, newspapers and even a USB printer, while the first floor also has a grand restaurant-bar.
Sitting directly opposite St Pancras International, Hotel Megaro isn’t easily missed, thanks to the colourful geometric mural on its Victorian exterior. The positive vibe is continued in the stylish, contemporary interior, which houses 55 comfort-focused rooms (including six family rooms) and eight self-contained apartments. All have handcrafted contemporary wooden beds, free wifi and high-tech mod cons, including personal espresso machines. The moodily lit bar has an inventive cocktail menu, while the much brighter Karpo restaurant focuses on steak, modern European dishes and brunch classics.
London’s only branch of the business-oriented international chain is situated on busy Euston Road, just a five-minute stroll from Euston, King’s Cross and St Pancras stations. The modern four-star creates a luxurious feel through its muted tones and top-drawer furnishings. The most expensive rooms are on the upper floors, where there are enviable skyline views, as well as free wifi, Bose iPod docks and Nespresso machines. The Golden Arrow restaurant and bar, on the ground floor, has a Modern European focus, in line with the general Continental vibe here, which is also bolstered by good business facilities (17 meeting rooms, for a start).
Located between St Pancras International and the British Museum, the Mentone is a family-owned B&B set in three Grade II-listed townhouses on a classic Georgian crescent. The basic rooms have free wifi, high ceilings, en suite bathrooms and rather uninspiring furnishings – but the views of the tree-lined square outside (housing tennis courts, which guests have access to) make it stand out from the raft of other Bloomsbury hotels and B&Bs in similar buildings.
The grande dame of King’s Cross hotels sits in a George Gilbert Scott-designed building right next to St Pancras International, that’s an epic celebration of Victorian confidence. Previously the Midland Grand Hotel, it was a wreck until its acclaimed restoration in 2011. Rooms have the classic neutral decor of other five-star Marriott hotels; the 36 suites, however – with their super-high ceilings – are as luxurious as they come. There’s top-notch modern British dining at the Booking Office restaurant, overlooking the Eurostar terminal, while directional cocktails and cooking can be found at the lavish Gilbert Scott bar and restaurant. The subterranean spa is a destination in its own right.
The name, branding and exterior (a cross between an old Virgin Megastore and a branch of Richer Sounds) might suggest a music connection but this Malaysian budget chain, which now has five hotels in London, is much more straightforward in its concept, with a focus on high-quality basics. So priority has been given to comfort – in the form of beds, showers, modern furnishings and cleanliness – over space and added extras. wifi, air-conditioning and toiletries can be purchased for a surcharge, however, and you can also pay more to get a room with a window… for views of busy Grays Inn Road.
This lively gastropub with rooms – on a residential street that’s less than ten minutes from St Pancras and King’s Cross stations – is a good antidote to the large chains or the more staid Bloomsbury alternatives. There’s a regular roster of comedy and live music acts (with the focus on folk and bluegrass) – but banish any thoughts of disrupted sleep straightaway: the hotel is two floors up and the pub closes at 11pm. The four en suite rooms (three doubles, one triple) are simply furnished but light and airy, and free wifi is included, as well as toiletries and a full English breakfast, which you can opt to have in your room.
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