Overview: An acceptable mid-range hotel in London
Strengths: Iconic public areas, size of rooms
Drawbacks: A few service lapses (though nothing major), rooms uninspired
Unlike my last visit to London, for my most recent trip, I had the benefit of a bit of advanced planning. I carefully reviewed my companyÃ¢â¬â¢s approved hotel list, and picked the Ã¢â¬Åleast badÃ¢â¬Â property that was in a reasonably proximate location to where I needed to be. While sadly our approved list doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t include my favorites (Lanesborough and Mandarin Oriental), there was at least a long list of approved properties to choose from. IÃ¢â¬â¢d read a number of not bad things about the St Pancras, and, since it fit my location needs and IÃ¢â¬â¢m building Ritz Reward points, I decided to give it a try.
Located in a still active train station, the hotel offers some fairly dramatic public spaces. The main lobby/lounge, a large event room and the main restaurant all are located in what was originally part of the St Pancras train terminal.
Service was generally attentive. Several doormen were on duty when I arrived, and bellmen were available in the lobby. The front desk was well staffed.
The room category that I booked Ã¢â¬â and I presume what I got Ã¢â¬â was a standard room. I provided my Ritz Rewards number in advance of arrival (I have a silver card). Sometimes this gets me moved into a higher room category at Ritz and other Marriott-branded properties; no luck this time, but that was fine. The room, while uninspired, was larger than I expected for a run-of-the-house hotel room in London.
The bathroom was bright and clean.
Despite there being an active train terminal connected to the hotel, I heard no train noise in my room at any time.
Room level corridor
Main level corridor - my colleague found the photos to be creepy
The main restaurant is in an area that used to be the ticket office. I had a late night of drinks and hors dÃ¢â¬â¢oeuvres here and breakfast during each day of my stay here. The quality of the food offerings was good, and the service was satisfactory. Perhaps the only drawback was if seated near the windows overlooking the tracks, it was quite cold. Due to their age, the windows and doors were quite drafty.
Dining Room and Main Bar
In the main lobby, there is also drink and food service. One night, my colleague thought it was too drafty in the main bar/restaurant, so we had drinks in the lobby. At 10pm, despite having eight or nine separate parties eating and drinking in the lobby, the waitress came by to tell us her shift was over, and if we wanted any further service, weÃ¢â¬â¢d need to move to the restaurant area. While we did have to move to a drafty part of the restaurant, I found it a bit disheartening that so many parties were asked to leave or re-locate. Based on the diverse set of guests running up tabs in the lobby, it couldnÃ¢â¬â¢t have been unforeseen that guests would be in the lobby late. The waitress could have been asked by the manager to stay late, or waitstaff from the restaurant (quite nearby) could have looked after these active tables. The hotel should look to amend its work schedule to accommodate their customers.
From some discussions on FlyerTalk, I understand there is a club lounge at this hotel. As a Ritz Silver cardholder in a regular room, I wasnÃ¢â¬â¢t entitled to club access. It sounds like the hotel is taking an exceptional view of the club lounge, and not making it available to Marriott Gold and Platinum guests, despite some fairly clear language in the program documents.
My colleague and I sought the advice of the concierge for a local Indian restaurant. His suggestion came immediately Ã¢â¬â Roots N1. Roots was an Indian restaurant with a somewhat limited Ã¢â¬â but exceptional Ã¢â¬â menu. Located in a not-so-high-end residential area, this restaurant was definitely a find. If you are looking for good, but not unduly fancy Indian, you will be pleased at this restaurant. Details are below.
For the price point, I was quite satisfied with my stay at the St Pancras. While IÃ¢â¬â¢ll probably experiment with a few of the other company-approved properties in London, in light of our current travel limitations, IÃ¢â¬â¢d be content to return to the St Pancras.
Renaissance St Pancras Hotel (Marriott)
Euston Road, London, England NW1 2AR
Telephone: 44-20-7841 3540
Facsimile: 44-20-7841 3579
115 Hemingford Road, Barnsbury, London, N1 1B2