London Marriott County Hall: hotel review

C&IT checks out the historic London Marriott County Hall hotel, which is in the final stages of an extensive refurbishment.

London Marriott County Hall hotel
London Marriott County Hall hotel

Pitched as ’the rebirth of an icon’, the renowned London Marriott Hotel County Hall is in the midst of unveiling its multi-million-pound refurbishment to the press and public.

Despite only operating as a hotel since 1998, the former HQ of local government in the capital dates back to 1922 and the 200-room property certainly has a colourful back story. Rumour even abounds that a tunnel exists between there and Parliament on the opposite side of the Thames, enabling politicians to make hasty exits – who would have thought it?

Despite this rich heritage, however, like all Grande Dames the expectations of customers and intensity of competition in London ensures evolution is a necessity. Retaining its vaulted ceilings and listed wood panelling, the facelift has modernised the interior throughout, with all bedrooms and public spaces being reopened by this summer.

Westminster Suite, London Marriott County Hall

The redesigned rooms include balcony suites with views of Big Ben Westminster Bridge and the London Eye – all, like the rest of the interior, showcasing classic London landmarks and quirky icons such as bowler hats.

For events, the ten meeting rooms have also been modernised – incorporating ‘intelligent design and cutting-edge technological capabilities’ – but still exude history and pomp, probably more suited to a a law or finance group than a media start-up. In total, there is 717sqm of event space, with the largest room capable of hosting up to 90 delegates. A private dining room is also available.

The signature restaurant is Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar, which does what it says on the tin in bright, welcoming surroundings. Or, for something different in a more relaxed environment, guests should try The Library Lounge for Afternoon Tea. Finally, Leaders Bar offers an outside terrace for light snacks or events in warmer weather. Elsewhere, facilities include a health club and spa, with – at 25m – the largest hotel pool in London.

General manager Theresa Maw said of the refurbishment: "The hotel is a great example of the ongoing transformation of our company’s flagship brand, highlighting innovation within design and overall guest experience. We believe the new rooms capture the subtle essence of great British style and echo our precious building’s incredible history. Our guests will find the new look exciting, surprising and really enjoyable."

The location is special, as is the building's history. When combined its contemporary new makeover, the Marriott County Hall would make an extremely attractive option for corporate groups, especially those coming from abroad wanting a slice of British history.

C&I Traveller stayed at the London Marriott County Hall on 25 June 2016.

FAST FACTS
Bedrooms: 206
Largest Meeting Room Capacity: 80, theatre-style
Day Delegate Rate: from £85 per person
Contact: Hannah Smith
Tel: 0207 902 5551
Email: hannah.smith@marriotthotels.com                                          
Web: londonmarriottcountyhall.co.uk

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