Luxury Explorer Review

5-Star Hotel Review

Corinthia London

United Kingdom

A 5 star landmark in Whitehall SW1 to suit luxe-trotters and business travellers alike

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Corinthia London
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Corinthia London

Location

10 Whitehall Place, London, SW1

Travel Information

London City Airport - 25 mins,
London Heathrow - 45 mins,
London Gatwick - over an hour,
Nearest Tube - Embankment

Top Tips

The fabulous spa, ESPA Life is not to be missed

5-Star X-Factors

The penthouse suites set a new standard for privacy and luxury when staying in the capital, several with stunning roof top terraces

Best of British

Life glows at Corinthia London, a truly special 5-star hotel. It's hard not to feel extremely proud, even patriotic, as you drive through some of London's most formidable addresses enroute to Corinthia London. We passed the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey before burbling along the Embankment to our final destination, Whitehall Place, SW1 overlooking the river and a stroll from Trafalgar Square.

Either side of the River Thames, new and old landmarks stand side by side, always appearing more impressive than you last remember. History has left its indelible mark, while the 21st century is competing admirably. London is always spectacular.

The Corinthia had much to live up to. In a city with more luxury hotel rooms than we care to imagine, how does a new hotel create an allure impressive enough to stand out? The answer lies in understanding just how privileged it is to be housed in a glorious Victorian building in a wondrous location where both the soul and the style are reflected. But more besides, it would need to offer guests an exclusively holistic and contemporary experience. It appears to have done this by painstakingly connecting the dots of premier detail.

Occupying a complete triangular Victorian block with a magnificent sandstone façade, Corinthia London offers 294 rooms, 43 suites and 7 exceptional penthouses, ideally placed to suit luxe-trotters, celebrities and business travellers alike. For the ultimate experience, where haute luxury and priceless views combine, a penthouse with rooftop terrace will sweep you off your feet.

Luxury on the double

My room on the fifth floor was impressively large for a double. I liked the subtle refined palette of cream, beige and olive with a splash of vibrant aubergine coming from the silk cushions. It was modern with a twist of nostalgia, having a striking sun mirror on the wall reminiscent of the Festival of Britain in the 50s, coffee table books by the infamous fashion photographer, Bob Richardson, while supreme luxury, along with slick cutting-edge technology, was never spared.

The all marble bathroom with a capacious shower, steam free mirrors, twin vanity units, a large bath tub facing the flat screen TV above the taps was superior to most city bathrooms I have experienced anywhere in the world. The room service was swift and obliging, and they got ten out of ten for the cappuccino test: they arrived in five minutes, piping hot, perfect espresso to milk ratio and, thankfully, the milk was frothed.

I also had a peak at a River Suite where the views overlooking the Thames are beautiful. The suites here rival superlative city suites worldwide and, I can absolutely see why. Each of the vast 7 penthouses is uniquely alluring, fit for film stars, royalty or heads of state.

Artistic endeavours

On entering Corinthia London's lobby you are struck by an enormous shimmering round vision, glowing with a white incandescence that appears to float down from a central dome. This is a 'full moon' chandelier was created by Parisian designer, Chafik Gasmi and produced by Baccarat. 1,001 crystal baubles hang, seemingly effortlessly, illuminated with inconspicuous LEDs, creating an uplifting aura synonymous with a hugely galmourous Christmas.

This elegant lobby lounge, with an outdoor courtyard complete with open fireplace, is an obvious place for day and night meetings and greetings, while it offers up a delectable high tea, thanks to the finger-licking pastry skills of Claire Clarke.

There is an impressive collection of around 250 pieces of modern artwork throughout the building, which was specifically commissioned, using mainly British artists. We all know that art is subjective but the collection is so eclectic that you will undoubtedly admire some.

With so much original and evocative artwork in all the public spaces, there is a creative art gallery ambience that sets this hotel apart from five-star formulaic 'grand-luxers'. What's more, it reflects the imposing posse of some of the world's finest art, housed only minutes from the hotel: The National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain on Millbank, and, on the other side of the Thames, The Tate Modern on Bankside, to name a few.

Divine dining

Kerridges Bar & Grill has recently replaced Massimo's as Corinthia';s destination restaurant and features the same staggering room with soaring ceilings, acres of marble and original features. References to Rome, London and Corinthia flow throughout the informal yet grand room, while the overriding feeling for me was one of scintillating, classical, maritime-inspired brasserie.

This is Tom Kerridge's first London restaurant, where he brings his Michelin-starred cuisine with a menu that features classic dishes and traditional techniques, combined with the best of British ingredients.

Try glazed 'Lobster Thermidor' omelette or Loch Duart Salmon and apple pancake to start, followed by saddle of Cotswold Lamb with smolked aubergine, feta and green olives. Instead of pudding I could not resist another marshmallow martini crafted by the dextrous hands of Bassoon's (the piano bar) cocktail-savvy mixologist.

The other restaurant, Northall, has a distinctively British stamp, in both its design and menu. It is cleverly arranged over four areas, all of which offer a suitably different sense of occasion. I could imagine this being a fabulous venue for a working lunch or dinner or even a celebratory meal with friends or family. The slightly idiosyncratic private dining room is an absolute winner: roll on the exclusive, intimate, Christmas parties; this room has serious charm.

Northall is committed to traditional British dishes sourced from the finest farms and fish markets in the country, such as Goosnargh duck, and the likes of fresh lemon sole dressed with cockles and clams. 

It's an ESPA Life

I was booked in for a treatment involving bamboo for two hours. Being a little fickle with beauty products, I thought my ESPA days were behind me. Oh my, how wrong could I have been? My bathroom is now an ESPA shrine while my head (and body of course) are pestering me to go back to spa-utopia.

ESPA Life is the next generation of spa even and I've fallen for its charms. It is a one-stop beauty and wellness shop that offers absolutely everything imaginable in unsurpassed surroundings, from personalised healing procedures to rush-hour makeovers. There is even a Sports Injury and Rehabilitation Clinic and a state-of-the-art gym with personal trainers.

But back to utopia. I began with a consultation in the relaxed and almost exclusively white-leather lounge. I felt like I was on an Austin Powers movie set, but in a good way. Following my consultation, I ventured down to another level that was noticeably darker, thankfully, as I was about to set toe and body into the most sensual misty emerald green pool. I followed this with pulverising water blasts from within the amazing hydrotherapy pool.

With muscles now weak and easy to work on, I ventured along the black granite floor, past flickering fires set between glass walls, past the heated curved marble beds and around another corner. There are only curves here, no edges. Where am I? This was magical. I didn't have time for a steam in one of the pristine steam rooms as my cocoon-like pod was waiting along with my skilled therapist to give me my, exclusive to ESPA Life, Bamboo Joint-Release Experience.

I was scrubbed, showered and intensely massaged with reparative bamboo sticks along with lashings of glorious hot healing oils while my limbs were pulled and pushed like a rag doll. It was invigorating and after my head massage there was only one thing that I desperately needed a good blow dry.

They really have thought of everything. I had an outstanding wash and blow-dry in the groovy Daniel Galvin salon beside the spa, where, once again, I discovered they do everything, from the technical to the thirty-minute blast. One last thing my nails. A quick dip into the supersonic nail studio and I now felt truly preened.

After just one day at Corinthia London, I was ESPA'd for life, galvinised and full of British pride.

Sophie Marchant
Sophie Marchant


Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer