Last Updated on February 27, 2024

Visitors coming to London have a myriad of accommodations to choose from, which can seem overwhelming when planning a trip to one of the world’s most visited cities. Though my family and I have had the pleasure of staying at different venues during our London trips, one of our top recommendations is St. Ermin’s Hotel, now part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection.

St. Ermin’s Hotel Location

We want to easily get to London’s top sites and attractions during our time there. The magnificent hotel is in a prime location in central London near Victoria Station, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Green Park, Tower Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

As a matter of fact, it’s less than a 10-minute walk to both Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.

In addition, you’re only a mile to London’s West End, the vibrant district known for its world-class entertainment and extensive theater district.

The History of St. Ermin’s Hotel

Spy and Espionage Display at St. Ermin's Hotel.
Spy and Espionage Display at St. Ermin’s Hotel. Photo by Noreen Kompanik

When guests enter the tree-lined courtyard of the hotel, they are not just entering a luxury property, but one steeped in history with many stories to tell.

St. Ermin’s was constructed as a private mansion block on the site of a 15th-century chapel dedicated to St. Ermin in 1889. Ten years later, the building became the hotel you see today. There’s much more to the story given that the hotel had a significant strategic position close to the wartime intelligence offices and the Houses of Parliament.

Ramping up to World War II, St. Ermin’s became a site of wartime and covert operations. Spies and officers came here to train new agents and share vital information.

In 1938, the British Secret Intelligence moved into the top floors of the hotel. Little did guests know that they were sleeping beneath a floor full of demolition agents and explosives.

Hotel guests today can still immerse themselves into the spy experience as a number of items from the espionage years are on display. These include a silk scarf printed with radio codes and a special artifact display of original WWII SOE (Special Operations Executive) field equipment used by Winston Churchill’s secret army.

Ambiance and Accommodations

King room at St. Ermins Hotel in London.
King room at St. Ermin’s Hotel in London. Photo by Noreen Kompanik

Constructed in the Queen Anne revival architectural style, the hotel features a lavish lobby reminiscent of a neo-Baroque space with a raised verandah leading into a double-height foyer dominated by an undulating balcony at gallery level, accessed via a double staircase.

Accommodations in the 331-room hotel range from cozy queen rooms to suites and family rooms. All are tastefully decorated with private baths, refrigerators and minibars. Wi-Fi is complementary.

To the delight of those who travel with their dog family, St. Ermin’s is a pet-friendly establishment.

Bees and a Rooftop Garden

The third floor of the hotel is home to more than 350,000 bees which produce the hotel’s honey and can be viewed safely behind a glass enclosure. A kitchen garden is located on the rooftop, filled with fruits vegetables, herbs and a greenhouse, and bees who enjoy foraging in this space.

Guests can also select from several beekeeping experiences ranging from a “meet the bees” encounter to planting sessions, cocktails and candle making.

Dining and Drinking at the St. Ermin Hotel

Honoring the timeless British tradition, London Afternoon Tea is served in the stylish surroundings of the Tea Lounge and Library daily between 12 noon and 5 pm.

A selection of sweet and savory treats inspired by seasonal ingredients from the hotel’s rooftop garden compliment the tea service.

Caxton Restaurant & Bar offers guests the option of a leisurely buffet breakfast or a cozy breakfast in bed. Lunch and dinner are also served in the restaurant featuring inventive entrees inspired by the hotel garden and many items smoked on a Josper grill.

Caxton Bar is a popular meeting space, even for the locals, offering signature cocktails inspired by the history and heritage of the hotel and its deep-rooted association with spies and espionage. The extensive beverage menu also features beer, wine and hot drinks.

The bar food menu includes “Little Plates of Provenance” with its light and small bites, flatbreads, and a collection of small main offerings along with a few English-inspired desserts.

Finally, The Terrace overlooking the lush courtyard serves refreshing drinks and light meals along with Afternoon Tea during the summer months. It’s a great place to gather with friends and family or simply enjoy soaking up the sunshine on a summer day.

With its prime location, intriguing history, luxurious feel, attentive and friendly staff, commitment to tradition ,and lovely dining options, St. Ermin’s is our go-to place to stay in London. 

One visit here and you’ll completely understand.

Book your stay at St. Ermin’s Hotel in London

Author

  • Noreen Kompanik

    Noreen Kompanik is a retired registered nurse, legal nurse consultant, and military spouse turned travel writer. She launched her travel writing career in 2014 and has over 600 articles in both digital and print publications.

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