The Grand at Trafalgar Square Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Whitehall, Westminster, London

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Nearly unparalleled central location for site-seeing
  • Grand, majestic lobby and Victorian-era common spaces
  • Multi-purpose first floor lounge with free access to computers, Internet, and printers
  • Chilled water dispensers in hallways
  • Stock cupboards on every floor with free tea, coffee, and supplies
  • Free Wi-Fi in all rooms and common areas

Cons

  • Tired rooms are in need of an update
  • Shower stalls are reminiscent of those in a gym locker room
  • No minibars

Bottom Line

This 63-room hotel has retained its original beautiful Victorian architecture and ornate period furnishings in the common areas -- but the rooms are generically furnished, worn, and have a corporate feel. Nevertheless, its unparalleled central location and exclusive status as the only mid-range (read: affordable) hotel in the vicinity mean a relatively reasonable option in the very teeth of London's tourism beast. There's no pool, though, so young travelers may be disappointed.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

A grand lobby but generic, functional rooms in the geographical heart of London

With beautiful period flourishes such as soaring ceilings, majestic columns, intricate ceiling work, and ornate furnishings, the Grand's lobby and in-house brasserie are truly magnificent architectural works from the Victorian era. You can decide for yourself whether the two-and-a-half-story-high gold velvet curtains, Italian marble walls and flooring, and giant radial crystal chandeliers are more grandiose than grand -- but don't expect the rooms to echo the same period character, as generic faux-finish wallpaper, crinkled bedspreads, and gym locker-room-style shower stalls distract from the building's original Victorian beauty.

 Location

Just down the street from Trafalgar Square, within view of Nelson's column, and a few minutes' walk from Charing Cross and Embankment stations

As London's original geographic heart both historically and presently, Charing Cross is exceptionally well-situated for exploring nearly all of London's major tourist sites. Indulge in the opportunity to stroll virtually everywhere -- even if you're feeling lazy, you can rely on Charing Cross and Embankment stations around the corner to take you wherever you need to go.

Just down the street from the hotel is Trafalgar Square, one of London's most iconic public spaces. The architecture is virtually completely preserved from its original completion in 1845, all the way down to the four bronze lion statues guarding Nelson's column (which, incidentally, Hitler tried to steal in 1940). When it's not overwhelmed with dense throngs of tourists, the area serves as an official outdoor gathering space for protests, demonstrations, and performances -- historically, the square was such a frequent site for expressing political discontent that water fountains were introduced in an effort to keep the public from gathering in too large crowds.

  • 32-minute drive to Heathrow Airport
  • 2-minute walk to Trafalgar Square
  • 3-minute walk to the National Portrait Gallery
  • 4-minute walk to the Institute of Contemporary Arts
  • 5-minute walk to the Thames
  • 6-minute walk to St. James' Park
  • 7-minute walk to Leicester Square
  • 9-minute walk to Covent Garden
  • 10-minute walk to Piccadilly circus and West End theatres
  • 10-minute walk to Chinatown
  • 13-minute walk to the South Bank
  • 13-minute walk to Soho
  • 14-minute walk to Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, and Big Ben
  • 15-minute walk to Buckingham Palace

 Rooms

Traditional mahogany wood furnishings with generic decor

The rooms are functional and reasonably spacious above the entry-level category, but are definitely ready for a re-haul. The furnishings seem worn and tired, and have a corporate feel.

 Features

Unique perks such as free chilled-filtered water on every floor and delivery of fitness equipment to rooms

  • Chilled filtered water stations on every floor
  • Fitness center and free delivery of fitness equipment to rooms
  • Multi-purpose lounge with free access to computers, Internet, and printers
  • 24-hour concierge
  • 24-hour room service
  • Same-day cleaning and dry-cleaning service, for a fee
  • Various spacious meeting areas
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • View Full List of Amenities

 Food

Traditional English fare and edgy Japanese in stunning, elegant Victorian settings

  • Boyd's Bar & Brasserie is a casually elegant English brasserie offering fine food and wine at a surprisingly affordable price
  • Watatsumi is named after a mythological Japanese sea god and is directed by Nobu-trained Peter Makohus featuring modern and traditional Japanese fare

 Bottom Line

This 63-room hotel has retained its original beautiful Victorian architecture and ornate period furnishings in the common areas -- but the rooms are generically furnished, worn, and have a corporate feel. Nevertheless, its unparalleled central location and exclusive status as the only mid-range (read: affordable) hotel in the vicinity mean a relatively reasonable option in the very teeth of London's tourism beast. There's no pool, though, so young travelers may be disappointed.

Things You Should Know About The Grand at Trafalgar Square

Address

  • 8 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5BY, England

Room Types

  • One Room Suite
  • Single Room
  • Standard Room
  • Superior Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 63
Pool: N/A
Fitness Center: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): N/A
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Hotel Information

Location: Whitehall, Westminster
Address: 8 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5BY, England
(See Map)
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