April 23, 2024

Strand Palace, London

THE HOTEL

Right in the heart of London’s theatre district, the Strand Palace has been welcoming guests since 1909. It’s had many makeovers since – most recently a multi-million-pound refurbishment of all 788 bedrooms – but always sympathetically done to retain a touch of Art Deco glamour.

THE CHECK-IN

This is a big hotel and the lobby was bustling, a small queue forming at the long reception desk and staff looked a little frazzled. I’d chanced an early check-in and was lucky my room was ready. A map by the lifts on each level helps guide guests to their rooms down a maze of corridors.

THE ROOM

Rooms range from cosy singles to deluxe studio kings. Mine was the latter, with a pull-out sofa bed, although the king-sized bed would have been easily big enough for a family of four! Other highlights included a complimentary minibar, Nespresso machine, Rituals toiletries in the ensuite shower room, tea and coffee making facilities, a large LCD HD TV, fluffy robes, slippers, iron and board. In a nice eco touch, the hotel has teamed with Bottle Up to give guests free reusable, plant-based water bottles in their room, that can be refilled at water stations by the lifts and along corridors.

THE FACILITIES

Sadly the onsite modern British restaurant, Haxell’s Restaurant & Bar, had a private event that night, but the following afternoon I was treated to the hotel’s delicious and delightfully-presented Festive Afternoon Tea served on snowmen cake stands and with an assortment of loose leaf teas. The rest of the year it becomes a Theatre Afternoon Tea. There’s also an elegant cocktail bar, Gin Palace, with over 50 types of gin, and from the hotel lobby you can directly access the nextdoor New York-style brasserie, Joe Allen, although it’s not part of the hotel. A basement gym has all the basics but lacks views. In the lobby, umbrellas can be rented for £2 for 48 hours.

THE BUSINESS

The Wi-Fi was super speedy and easy to access. A private dining room at Haxells can be hired for meetings of up to 40 people.

THE VERDICT

Great if you’ve got overseas colleagues or clients visiting who want to mix work with sightseeing and a West End show. But it’s a big hotel, so allow extra time for checking in and out.

THE DETAILS

Single rooms from £139, deluxe studio kings from £324. strandpalacehotel.co.uk

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