[Hotel Review] St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London

Picked to move from Park Lane to this for a one-nighter because the property is so historic and honestly looks so impressive – just look at that architecture! But alas, it turned out to be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Experience the iconic St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London. Originally opened in 1873, the historic hotel welcomes guests with five-star amenities, spacious rooms and superb service. Every pet-friendly hotel room and suite combines a sense of elegant history with modern comfort and includes plush bedding, flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi and inviting decor. In the heart of King’s Cross, you’ll appreciate our proximity to King’s Cross Station, the Eurostar, Camden Town, Regent’s Canal and the buzzing Granary Square. We are also near the Royal Opera House, The British Museum and Convent Garden. Enjoy expanded living rooms and access to exclusive amenities at our Chambers Club. Take advantage of our spa, gym and stunning indoor pool.

From official site

Address – Euston Road, London  NW1 2AR United Kingdom. Website.

Contact – Tel: +44 20 7841 3540. Email: stpancras@renaissancehotels.com.

Location – This property enjoys the convenience of being onsite as the Eurostar station so rain or shine, you’d have no worries getting to your train for sure. I did not have the chance to check out the surroundings but the insides of the station provides a smattering of food and shopping options if you need any.

Price – 337GBP booked for a Deluxe King under the Member Rate Prepay Non-refundable Non-changeable rate which I thought was decent especially when Titaniums get access to the Chambers Club and have breakfast and dinner & drinks covered.

Getting There – I hopped onto a London cab (what else to do in London, hah) from Park Lane and a slight jam along the way took us slightly less than 30mins to arrive – and what an entrance this property makes indeed. Seeing the hotel facade in person for the first time took my breathe away.

The prettiest hotel entrance ever

Check In – The check in area was buzzing due to its co-location with the The Hansom (sorry I cannot help but chuckle at this name), and is 4-desk area although I never quite saw them full strength.

I was informed that I have been upgraded to a Junior Suite and given this cute map showing a little of the hotel history as well.

But before that, what the rest of the hotel looks like:

Some views of the hotel from the Eurostar station side

Room – I actually can’t tally which exact room type I got based on the website but it is a huge space! The not-quite-Junior Suite starts off with an entire living area equipped with a sofa + a single seater, a mini bar cupboard, work desk + chair, and a TV. I can also tell that the vibe of the space is …. rather old-style antique kind of way.

At the end of this is a little stepover which leads you to the bedroom space – nothing fancy here but the bed is really quite comfy.

Further into this space is the wardrobe containing the usual essentials:

Opposite this is the surprisingly cosy bathroom – open concept toilet, a single sink with limited countertop space, a bathtub (which I didn’t use), and a tight standing shower space. I’m not big and yet I find myself having issues navigating the shower space carefully to avoid accidental bumps.

Toiletries were from The White Company – Noir series. I found the shower design hilarious because there is no ledge to place stuff – even the toiletries were simply left on the floor of the shower. What was the designer thinking?

Later in the evening, a bar of chocolates with a generic note was left in the room – I think that’s turndown service?

Unfortunately, after closer inspection of the space, I realized I have a few problems at hand which the hotel attempted to and eventually succeeded in providing service recovery (more on this later).

I found this bag in the cupboard of the living room – it was a bag of half eaten chips and snacks left from the previous guest (or the previous before that, can’t be sure). Called for help to take it away and a staff came by quickly enough to remove the item and apologizing while at it.

Then I found my bedsheet stained – called for help again and 2 staff came by to change the bedsheet and did an inspection of the rest of the room. But they prob missed the giant stain on the curtain, and actually so did I, until much later in the evening.

I mean I know its harder to clean a bigger space but surely the hotel can do alot better than this?

Thereafter, I got a call from a staff informing that the housekeep manager wants to speak with me, presumingly about the above issues. I agreed and said I can meet later 5:30pm at the Chambers Club as I would be there for evening cocktails.

Chambers Club – I was quite looking forward to checking this lounge out as it is the first Bonvoy property I know that does not accord access to Platinums (they get around the Bonvoy official terms by not listing is as an Executive Lounge or something I read) if you do not book a room that comes with it – only Titaniums and Ambassador Elites if its status-based. So what does this super exclusive club offer?

The Chambers Club was once the entrance hall of the Midland Grand Hotel, and for Victorian ladies and gentlemen, entrances were everything. As a lobby, its breathtaking staircase, archways and ceiling set the stage for the hotel beyond. Today, that grandeur and sense of occasion are reserved for Chambers guests and private members. They can enjoy hospitality of a very special nature, beginning with a breakfast worth breaking the sweetest sleep for. The Chambers Club offers modern and traditional food and drinks served in surroundings that unite the grand and the contemporary. Every moment spent here is a rare treat – a taste of the best the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel has to offer.

From official site

The entrance to the Club is via a rather pretty looking door located within the Booking Office, accessible by tapping your key card. If you are coming from outside. If you are coming here from your room, and staying in the Chambers Wing, you can access it via an internal staircase on level 1.

The space is actually quite big and contains quite a few enclaves of red velvety seats for various group size.

2:30pm-5:00pm Afternoon Tea – this session is unpublished for some reason but still a nice touch. Quality was just okay – with most being too sweet for me.

5:30pm-7:30pm Hors’d oeurves – this session saw a very small selection of food: 2x hot dishes, cold cuts, cheeses, simple salads, and some cakes. Quality was okay-ish and enough as dinner for me but the offerings never got refilled, even at the 45mins mark, which is halfway into the 2-hour session. Guests who arrived later had to make do with whatever was left, which I thought was quite shameful for such an exclusive Club. It is only reasonable to expect food still being offered a whole 45mins before end of session – learn from Marriott Park Lane perhaps? Service otherwise was not too bad though with soiled plates cleared quite efficiently.

Drinks wise, there was a decent selection of 2x red, 2x white, a champagne, and spirits. The coffee/tea is also available all day.

07:00am-11:00am (12pm on Sat/Sun) Breakfast – was decent enough, the usual fare, and plenty carbs.

Facilities – both were locared at the basement of the building, accessible by the lifts or by stairs if the lifts are down like during my stay. The Fitness Centre (24hr) was actually a little depressing as it is a window-less basement of sorts but hey, rower spotted!

Pool – this indoor heated pool (7am-9pm) was so packed during my walk-about that it was impossible to take proper pics but it actually is quite pretty I must say, and the below official pic shows how it looks like sans crowd.

From official site

Service – Okay, where do I begin?

First of all, the above cleanliness issues were already signs of shoddy housekeeping. And remember the appointment with the housekeeping manager who asked to meet me?

She never turned up.

That’s right. She never did. I sat in Chamber’s Club from 5:30pm-7:30pm and no one came looking. I’m sure it’s not me who thinks its far worse to offer to meet and dont show up, than not asking to meet at all?

And then…

9:30pm later that night, a staff turned up at my door with a plate of scones. He said something about how its meant for another guests but now it’s meant for me, and “its free”. I was sleepy and didn’t feel like clarifying so I let him leave it on the dining table. Never touched it til I checked out.

Check Out – I did a in-person check out at 10:30am as I was catching my Eurostar to Paris. When the staff asked me how’s my stay, I took the opportunity to feedback about everything that had happened. She acknowledged all of them, said she will be sending the info on to the management, and asked me to expect a reply on email.

In summary,

I really wanted to like this property but alas, this turned out to be the worst of the properties this trip. Why do hotels allow themselves to fall into such disgrace I wonder, and where is the General Manager’s policing of how a property should be properly run?

[Post Stay]

Here comes the best part!

After checking out of the property, taking my Eurostar essentially leaving the country, and checked into my Paris hotel, I received an email from the Front Desk Manager (with a couple of people cc-ed) asking after the fact I was “not happy with the cleanliness of my room”, and that he had attempted to call me in my room multiple times to no avail, and for me to call back when I get the email.

Well….if you try to call someone in the room after their check out, of course there will be no response?

The fact that he didn’t even bother to check the system prior to reaching out, and that he only made reference to “cleanliness issues”, shows systematic miscommunication in their system and a general lack of effort to provide real hospitality. So I actually replied to that email…. and to no surprise, nothing came back from him after that.

Only after I opened a case via the Titanium hotline did I hear back from another Front Desk Manager with apologies for every that happened, as well as 40,000 points compensation which I accepted. But man, was it an adventure.

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