Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Grand, luxurious, classic Victorian style meets the 21st century
With crushed velvet furniture, silver damask curtains, elaborate crystal chandeliers, and beautiful sculpted ceilings, the Royal Horseguards Hotel has preserved its original Victorian architecture, and the craftsmanship is downright stunning, especially at One Whitehall Place, the hotel's function and event space. Other public areas, such as the bar and lounge, are an intimate blend of traditional and contemporary -- think classic oil canvas portraits paired with chrome statues and curvy vinyl ceiling features -- without ever compromising the luxury look and feel.
One of the most fascinating things about London is its deep sense of history and intrigue, a legacy the Royal Horseguards carries on. In addition to its connection with the Liberal Party, the hotel was taken over by the Ministry of Defence during both World Wars, and exclusive floors were used by both MI5 and MI6. The hotel has also hosted a number of famous political and literary figures, including Winston Churchill.
Situated at the edge of London’s Parliament sector, on a wide street with sweeping Victorian facades
The Ministry of Defence and 10 Downing Street are just around the corner from the Royal Horseguards, whose block is lined with sweeping Victorian facades. The hotel is next to Charing Cross Station, which places it smack in the geographic heart of London. Situated on the north bank of the Thames River, the location lends itself to leisurely summer strolls along its banks.
Traditional and comfortable, with abundant luxury amenities
All the 282 rooms, which include five suites, come with an abundance of luxury amenities regardless of room category. Whether it's a Deluxe Single or a King Suite, guests should expect to find free Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations with in-room Bose surround sound, bathrobes and slippers, Elemis toiletries, international plug-in sockets, 32-inch flatscreen TVS, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and plasma screens in all bathrooms. Room safes have built-in plug-in sockets to recharge laptops.
Although the rooms are comfortable, with Egyptian cotton linens, soft leather furniture, and high ceilings, the decor in some of the rooms could use some brightening. In many rooms, shades of cognac and brick red make for monotomy, and the bed throw -- a drab brown color -- doesn’t help brighten the brighten the effect. On the plus side all rooms have lovely views, either overlooking the Thames and the London Eye, or the Victorian architecture of neighboring buildings.
Breathtaking function spaces with original preserved architecture, an award-winning restaurant, and high tea
One Whitehall Place, the hotel’s collection of function spaces, is hands-down the hotel’s prize feature: With jaw-dropping high ceilings, ornate sculpting, romantic winding staircases and archways, and colossal period chandeliers, it represents Victorian classicism at its formal and traditional best.
Award-winning cuisine in One Twenty One Two Restaurant, which provides outdoor dining on the terrace when weather permits, afternoon tea in the Lounge, and cocktails in the Equus Bar, where drinks are named for former celebrity guests such as Winston Churchill and George Bernard Shaw, cater to guests' tastebuds.
The 282-room Royal Horseguards offers classic Victorian architecture and modern amenities in a five-star luxury setting with views of the London Eye and the Thames River. Ornate sculpting, stunning high ceilings, and romantic archways are all dominant elements that complement a rich history -- the Royal Horseguards housed the Secret Service during World War I. The hotel, with a horse guards theme throughout, connects to One Whitehall Place, the palatial meeting and events space.