1. The Standard
    Photograph: The Standard
  2. The Standard
    Photograph: The Standard
  3. The Standard
    Photograph: The Standard
  4. The Standard
    Photograph: The Standard
  5. The Standard
    Photograph: The Standard
  • Hotels | Boutique hotels
  • King’s Cross
  • Recommended

Review

The Standard

4 out of 5 stars

Central London hotspot for the city’s young fun-seeking crowd

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Time Out says

‘The Standard’ is a ballsy name for a hotel chain. It comes in hot, and essentially announces itself as the bar that everyone else should meet. It says ‘We are the standard; here’s what you’ve got to beat.’ And in the case of The Standard’s London hotel, it’s an accurate description. 

The Standard London is the UK branch of the global hotel chain, which has outposts in all of the world’s sexiest cities – from New York to Bangkok. Opened in July 2019, it contains 266 rooms of varying types, two restaurants (Decimo and Isla), two bars (the Rooftop and Sweeties) and one bar-restaurant (Double Standard). It’s a Michelin Guide Recommended hotel, but it’s also got a lift that flies up and down the outside of the building like Charlie’s Great Glass Elevator. It’s fancy and fun; an undoubtedly luxury hotel that is boutique-y and small enough to feel personal too. The Standard eschews the laciness and fancy frippery you might commonly associate with London’s poshest hotel destinations, to appeal to contemporary tastes and people who own multiple pairs of Salomons.  

Inside the hotel – a former Camden Town Hall annexe, itself a Brutalist masterpiece preserved from the 1970s – the design principles are bold and graphic, informed by the outer curve of the building. I got the most out of this unusual shape when I was allocated a ‘King of Kings’ room, which contains (you’ve guessed it) a bafflingly comfortable king-sized bed, a rainfall shower, and a corner sofa and working area, as well as one of the best views in Kings Cross. It’s the hotel room version of a corner office, meaning that fabulous curved wall is an in-room feature, with huge windows that offer a panorama of the immediate surroundings.

Elsewhere, there’s a bright, spacious bathroom – the sinks have lighting so flattering you’ll keep winking at yourself in the mirrors – with a free-standing tub, and present and correct too are all of the other expected hotel room creature comforts, like fluffy towels and robes, a room service menu and an excellently stocked mini-bar (complete with Torres crisps, in case you forgot you were in a cool hotel, not a regular hotel). For my part, I bundled myself into a bathrobe, ordered a burger and a martini to my room, and watched Netflix on the room’s giant TV in total bliss.

Lighting so flattering you’ll keep winking at yourself in the mirrors

If you’re more adventurous than me, and wish to venture out into the wider hotel during your stay, reservations at all of the bars and restaurants are available at reception – make sure you get out onto the Rooftop in the summer months – plus you can add a buffet breakfast at Isla as part of your stay. This, I’d say, is worth doing – it’s continental style, with a bit of everything and especially great pastries. 

The gym is small but well-equipped – and in line with the place’s sense of humour, the shelves are decked out with rows of 80s workout video tapes – with free weights, a few cardio and resistance machines, and a pair of Peloton bikes, loaded up with classes of all kinds. There’s also a plush downstairs common area, The Library Lounge, for working and taking informal meetings. 

Essentially, The Standard has everything you need as both a traveller, a visitor to London, or even a local after a bit of a treat. Aimed squarely at a millennial and Gen Z audience, offering genuine relaxation over straight-backed showiness. All things considered, it’s kind of a new frontier of the idea of the luxury hotel. There’s a reason it’s called ‘The Standard’ after all. 

Neighbourhood

The Standard’s location in King’s Cross is one of the best-connected in London – you can be in Soho in about ten minutes – but there’s also plenty of good stuff close by. The achingly contemporary Coal Drops Yard is great for shopping away from the Oxford Circus crowds, and you’ll find great restaurants and occasional pop-up events at Granary Square, near the iconic Central St. Martin’s building.

Nearby

La Chingada This second branch of this legendary Surrey Quays taco spot opened recently in Euston, and it’s as good as its predecessor. If you’re up for a cheap, cheerful meal, it’s only a 15 minute walk from the hotel, and the beef suadero is one of the best tacos you can eat in London. 

Aux Pains de Papy You may well be in the vicinity for a Eurostar trip but if you’re not, and you do fancy a taste of Paris, pop to this cute little boulangerie, grab a fresh pastry and briefly live your Amelie fantasy. 

The Lexington With a gig pretty much every night of the week, the upstairs room The Lexington is a must for live music fans. If that’s not your thing, settle into one of the leather booths downstairs, sink a pint and soak up the ambience of this Victorian-era building. 

Time Out tip

Should you be blessed enough to get a room with a free-standing bath, take full advantage. Fill up the tub, pull on one of the cosy in-room bathrobes, order a glass of Moët from the room service menu, and add ‘Queen of Sheba’ to your CV.  

Details

Address
10
Argyle St
London
WC1H 8EG
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