A sexy hotel in London’s Kings Cross?
Anyone who visited the Kings Cross area of London prior to the renovation of the train stations could be forgiven for thinking it was a dump and any suggestion of a sexy hotel laughable. However, the multi-million-pound restoration projects of St Pancras and Kings Cross have breathed fresh new air into this area.
En route to the Eurostar, designer boutiques line the concourse of St Pancras, and passengers lounge at the longest champagne bar in Europe. The incredible architecture of the Renaissance Hotel looms imperially above, whilst platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross proves a popular tourist attraction for Harry Potter fans. This area is on the up and its revitalisation heralds a newcomer on the hotel scene, the Megaro Hotel.
Introducing the Megaro
This hotel should really be named ‘Majestic’ for its magnificent location directly opposite Kings Cross. There are not many places in central London where you can lounge on your very own balcony whilst admiring the twin architectural delights of Kings Cross and St Pancras. Watching sunny skies fade to a balmy evening one sultry August day, I smile to myself as I revel in the luxury of what has to be the best-kept hotel secret in London.
I have been staying in London for business regularly for around five years and have not come across this place before. So here’s five reasons YOU should consider making this your home from home next time you are in London.
1. Great Value luxury
You know sometimes you visit a hotel with no expectations? You aren’t expecting silver service, haute cuisine, fancy rooms or even a good bed. You simply anticipate the bland functionality typical of London hotels.
After all, London accommodation is pricey. If you have upwards of £200 a night to spend, you can easily find extravagant luxury, sparkling chandeliers and afternoon tea accompanied by harpists and fine china. If on the other hand, you are limited by business expenses or personal frugality, then a classy hotel can be harder to come by.
This hotel, however, packs a punch, at less than £200 a night, and the hotel services are all reasonably priced.
Bang opposite the entrance to Kings Cross station (why pay for a cab if you can walk?!), you seriously cannot get any more convenient for passengers arriving from the North. It is a stone’s throw to the Tube once you have dumped your bags and saves on left luggage charges too!
Alternatively, if you are heading to Gai Paris on the Eurostar, it is only a few minutes walk to check in from the hotel entrance.
3. Cool design
Even having seen this funky, colourfully decorated hotel a number of times from the road, I never felt curious enough to investigate further. Wrongly assuming that it would be similar to some of the other less salubrious options in the area, I am pleasantly surprised to find an inviting entrance way with brightly coloured chairs and tables lining the pavement outside.
As I wander through the doorway, I’m impressed by the ornate Victorian tiling and parquet, the wood panelling décor, bright lighting and plush velvet black seating. I feel as though I have walked into an Alice in Wonderland scene and half expect the Mad Hatter to come racing through reception and disappear down a rabbit hole.
I certainly feel like I’ve entered a parallel universe, with the noise and chaos of London’s bottleneck traffic minutes away, I feel like I’ve entered a charmed inner sanctuary. Check in is swift and with my bag whisked away to safety, I head back to the Tube and a day of meetings.
When I return hours later, weary from the heat, I’m handed my room card efficiently and head to the lift.
Only when I disembark the lift on the fourth floor do I realise that this is no typical hotel. Modern, Art Deco metalwork decorates the walls, floor length windows frame ancient warehouses, and quirky signs direct you to your rooms. It’s pretty compact with only a handful of rooms to each floor and I stand outside the door to my room wondering if I have made a terrible mistake. My room is, after all, overlooking the noisy thoroughfare of Euston Road.
4. Spacious hotel rooms
That feeling soon turns to joy as the familiar green light signals my entry into the room and what a room it is!
I stop dead in my tracks at the impressive sight. London hotel rooms are not renowned for being large. It’s usual for you to have to edge your way around a bed and lodge your bag awkwardly in a corner or under the bed. This room is astonishingly large, with a king-size bed, a writing desk, seating area and joy of joys a BALCONY!
A balcony in London has to be a rarity indeed. In all of my years of working in London, I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed such a treat and on a day like today no less. Bright blue skies make the perfect backdrop for the Victorian stations opposite, and flinging open the double doors of the balcony into the balmy evening breeze feels like being on holiday.
As if that treasure isn’t enough, a sign invites you to enjoy complimentary waters and wifi (thank you!). This hotel knows how to deliver on the small things that make a big impression (no £4.95 for a bottle of water here!) An espresso machine is hidden away in copious wardrobe space and a tower of pillows and cushions invite you to laze.
It’s just as impressive in the bathroom with a spacious vanity sink, plentiful towels and a fabulous shower with massage jets. This hotel just keeps upping the ante.
5. Great food
A menu invites you to order from the restaurant below and I’m pleasantly surprised to find a chicken Caesar salad for £9, trout with rice for £16 and steaks from £21. I place my order and settle into an evening of work expecting bland food and long waits.
Yet again, I am surprised as the food arrives within twenty minutes and is absolutely delicious. The rice is cooked to perfection, the trout light and perfectly seasoned and the corn on the cobs roasted to divinity. I’m kicking myself for how good the hotel is and how I have managed to overlook it so many times. In my excitement, I post a few grainy photos to Facebook and in minutes have a former client asking me for the hotel details. It seems it isn’t just me who is impressed.
If you can steal yourself away from your room (but seriously if it’s a hot day, grab a bottle of champers, drag the chairs outside and enjoy the view!) the Karpo restaurant is on-site allowing you to indulge in drinks and dinner. With an open kitchen and large solid benches and tables carved from huge tree trunks, it’s an unusual but vibrant place.
I eat a decadent breakfast there the next morning – eggs hollandaise and a fruit bowl with italian coffee and sparkling water, for the bargain price of £12.50. It is all served a la Carte (and boy do I hate a buffet!) in super quick speed while you browse the Internet or catch up on emails.
By the time I leave I am positively gushing! This hotel is a true gem hidden away in plain site of two of Britain’s busiest stations. Even the slight error on my bill does nothing to quash my enthusiasm.
If you are visiting London for business or pleasure and arriving from the North or heading off on the Eurostar early in the morning, you must head to the Megaro hotel. Once you’ve stayed once, you won’t want to go elsewhere!
Have you stayed at the sexiest hotel in London?
Maybe you have stayed at the Megaro. If so what do you think? Or maybe you disagree entirely and have your own view on the sexiest hotel in Kings Cross. If so, I’d love to know. I tried to book this hotel for next week and it was fully booked.
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