THE STRAND PALACE HOTEL
372 Strand, London
Built on the site of the former Exeter Hall (once part of the London residence of the Earls of Exeter, and demolished in 1907), the enviably located Strand Palace Hotel has grown to become a true landmark hotel in the heart of London’s West End, having now been welcoming guests to its prestigious address for over 100 years.
Located on the northern end of the iconic thoroughfare, and in close proximity to a wealth of historic landmarks, West End theatres and fine-dining establishments, the Art Deco-inspired hotel has unsurprisingly proven to be a prime spot for business and leisure travellers alike since opening its doors in 1909.
Now home to a whopping 785 bedrooms, the busy and vibrant 4-star hotel – the largest independently operated hotel in the country – can at times feel like something of a small town as you work your way up the nine floors and explore the various facilities and food and drink options on offer. Yet despite its capacity and size, there is a vintage elegance and charm that shines through the crowds, giving guests a fascinating glimpse into the style and glamour of the hotel’s heyday in the early 20th Century.
The Strand Palace Hotel may have seen considerable refurbishments and modernisations over the decades, however walking into the impressive lobby – stylishly furnished, and lit in atmospheric purple – one is immediately struck by the unique fusion of old and new, nicely complimenting period features with contemporary elements and decorative accessories that pay firm homage to its Edwardian, Art Deco past.
Former theatre and opera set designer Oliver P. Bernard’s re-designs for the hotel in the 1920s made the Strand Palace a firm fixture on the London social scene, boasting one of the most celebrated hotel interiors in the capital. Bernard’s iconic foyer was deemed so impressive it is now housed within the V&A museum.
Luggage storage for hotel guests is available just by the front entrance, and the concierge desk is located at the far end of the lobby. There is a small seating area in the centre of the lobby with a variety of complimentary magazines and daily newspapers available for guests.
Reception can be very busy at peak times, though the helpful, multilingual staff are very efficient and get through the queues fairly quickly.
As part of an extensive, multi-million pound refurbishment of all its guestrooms, this summer saw the Strand Palace Hotel unveil the first of its new Superior and Deluxe guestrooms, which again combine traditional art deco stylings with a fresh, contemporary twist.
Located on the top two floors (floors 8 and 9), the new rooms are very nicely decorated in clean, neutral tones and feature comfy, good-sized beds with soft pillows and high quality linens.
The Superior rooms all include flat screen televisions, tea and coffee making facilities, laptop safes, irons and ironing boards, hairdryers, reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi and complimentary bottled water and magazines. 24-hour room service is also available.
The air conditioning is very effective, as are the solid-wood window shutters, which do an excellent job in muffling the intrusive rush hour noise from the busy Strand, and of course keeping out unwanted morning light!
Given the Superior label, the rooms may seem a little on the small side for some, however as a cosy, elegant base in an unrivalled Central London location, they certainly do the trick.
If you are after more space then the Deluxe guestrooms are more generously sized and feature a larger TV and an extra pull-out sofa bed – ideal for a longer or more luxurious stay.
Superior room bathrooms are again clean and stylish, and complimentary toiletries are provided. No baths here as there simply isn’t the room, though the push-button (on/off) showers are powerful and the temperature stays hot!
Should you forget anything there are toiletry vending machines located on the first floor (along with an ice machine and snack and drinks machines), and there is a Boots just across the road.
FOOD & DRINK
The Strand Palace Hotel is home to a number of high quality food and drink spots including: The Carvery & Grill – serving traditional British favourites with A la carte, pre-theatre and buffet menus all available daily; The Gin Palace – a relaxed and contemporary cocktail bar, perfect for late-night drinks; The Lounge Bar – a more laid-back spot ideal for coffee and afternoon tea; and the New Zealand-inspired Sacred Café – ideal for post-gym juices, drinks and snacks!
Open nightly from 5pm to 10pm (and from 3pm to 10pm on Sundays) the award-winning Carvery & Grill offers a traditional carvery alongside a mouthwatering modern British menu using seasonal produce and top-quality local ingredients sourced within a 30-mile radius of the hotel. Food is beautifully cooked and the service from the friendly, attentive and knowledgable staff is exceptional.
A full cooked and continental buffet-style breakfast is served daily in the Carvery & Grill (Monday – Friday: 06:30-10:30am & Saturday – Sunday: 06:30-11:00am).
The Strand Palace is also famed for its afternoon tea – a guest favourite since 1909.
An extensive in-room dining menu is available via room service.
Free for guests aged 16+, the hotel’s in-house gym has a good mix of weights, cardio and resistance equipment available for guests looking to keep up with their fitness routines whilst away.
• Cross-trainer and treadmills
• Stationary bikes and rowing machine
• Free weights area
• Floor-to-ceiling mirrors
• Healthy snacks and juices available at Sacred Café
Walk out the front entrance of the hotel and you are no more than a ten-minute walk from so many of London’s essential attractions.
Just across the road you have The Savoy Hotel and Theatre, and one of London’s finest restaurants, Simpson’s In The Strand, whilst further North up the Strand you have two more theatres – the Vaudeville and the Adelphi – as well as Charing Cross Station, before arriving in Trafalgar Square.
Covent Garden is just a 2-3 minute walk behind the hotel, as are so many other major West End theatres, shops, restaurants and Instgrammable tourist spots. A relaxing stroll past Somerset House and over Waterloo Bridge will bring you to the Southbank and the National Theatre, from there you can walk along the Thames – in either direction – and visit the London Eye, the London Aquarium, the London Dungeon, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the BFI.
A walk along the Strand in the opposite direction will take you onto the iconic Fleet Street and past the Royal Courts of Justice, Temple Church, and eventually St. Paul’s Cathedral. Keep walking along the Thames and you will reach the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.
The nearest underground stations are: Covent Garden (0.3 miles), Charing Cross (0.4 miles), Embankment (0.4 miles), Leicester Square (0.4 miles), Temple (0.4 miles) and Waterloo (0.8 miles).
The nearest main-line stations are: Charing Cross (0.4 miles) and Waterloo (0.8 miles).
From Euston Underground Station, simply take the Northern line to Charing Cross (approx. 6 minutes), then its just a short 2-3 minute walk down The Strand.
The Strand Palace Hotel has everything you could possibly ask for in a 4-star London Hotel situated in one of the most enviable spots in the West End. Rates are not cheap but are certainly lower than might be expected given its prime location.
Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure and want to stay right in the heart of the action, then look no further than The Strand Palace Hotel – we loved it!
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