A heritage London hotel in the heart of Westminster with a fine pedigree in hosting spies is offering a new package that gives ‘Budding Bonds’ the opportunity to channel the legendary 007 as they discover the sites of London.
Part of Accor’s distinctive MGallery Collection, St Ermin’s is the only publicly accessible establishment in London closely associated with the history of espionage. The hotel makes the perfect base for visitors to London as the city celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond film with the launch of the newest Bond film, Skyfall.
Located in the heart of Westminster, St Ermin’s boasts a colourful history, closely associated with spies – both good and evil. During the 1930s the hotel and the adjacent building were used by officers of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6) located close by. The likes of Ian Fleming, Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Laurence Grand, and Eric Maschwitz were all known to have worked from the building, and throughout the Second World War it operated as a convenient annex for the SIS.
The hotel’s Caxton Bar was used regularly by SIS, MI5 and Naval Intelligence Division case officers to meet their agents. Eventual defector Guy Burgess frequently met his Russian counterpart in the bar to hand over top-secret government files. In 1940, British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, asked a group of individuals, who were later to become the Special Operations Executive, to “set Europe ablaze”.
Budding Bonds Package: The St Ermin’s Secret Agents package includes two nights B&B accommodation in a family room for a family of four, an “iSpy for St Ermin’s” pack for each child and a local London Spy Walk challenge designed especially for Budding Bonds. The package is priced at £550 inc VAT for a two-night stay, subject to availability
Location, Location, Location… Just a five-minute walk across St James’s Park to Buckingham Palace, The Mall and Piccadilly the hotel is ideally placed for stylish city sightseeing. What’s more, with the hotel’s links to the establishment’s secret London, it’s a stone’s throw from Big Ben, Parliament Square, The Cabinet War Rooms, New Scotland Yard and just a hop from the water taxis on the river and the South Bank.
Design….From the diverse combination of grade II listed architecture, evocative Art Nouveau styling, Rococo plasterwork, awe-inspiring, theatrical balcony in the lobby (the original St Ermin’s interiors were designed by the famous British theatrical designer, J. P. Briggs c 1900) and contemporary pieces, it is clear that LA-based designer Dayna Lee of Powerstrip Studio was influenced and inspired by the history of the building, the English great house style and London’s status as an international crossroads.
Lee also took inspiration from Christopher Dresser, a visionary 19th Century British botanist and designer who was influential around the time St Ermin’s was built, as plants, flowers and leaves appear throughout.
The result is a renovated property offering guests a contemporary version of ‘The Grand Tour’; handpicked antiques and collectables sit together with modern pieces to provide a warm, sophisticated, highly textural London welcome. A Porta Romana red-pleated lampshade perched on a pair of duck-webbed feet, terracotta Vivienne Westwood wallpaper, hints of the Orient in cushions and prints and framed origami clothes made from maps of the area, all come together to tie the hotel to its location and instil a global, yet local feel inside.
Rooms and Suites…The hotel’s 331 spacious rooms including 41 suites, are all individual in their shape, size and structure but all draw upon worldwide, textural influences to convey a real sense of relaxation, calm and home. Two-poster beds, crisp bed linens, sumptuous soft furnishings, vibrant colours, The White Company amenities and large windows all add to the sense of place.
In addition, the hotel has created 18 Family Rooms – also known as Double, Double Rooms – featuring two Queen-sized beds, two bathrooms and an additional sofa bed to ensure maximum flexibility for all. Prices start at £349 inc VAT+.
Food and Drink…The light and airy Caxton Grill offers fine, quality, uncomplicated British food with European accents, served with impeccable, friendly style in warm relaxed surroundings. The first restaurant for talented young London chef, Hus Vedat, his concept for Caxton is for the food to be simple yet creative, elegant and familiar. Signature dishes use a Josper grill, a Spanish design indoor charcoal oven that cooks at very high temperatures and delivers a distinctive smoky flavour to meat and fish.
Source = Accor