Trafalgar St. James

2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Sq., London, SW1A 2TS, England

Toby Orton

Once just a cog in the Hilton chain—and before that the offices of luxury cruise company Cunard—the stylish Trafalgar St James now dazzles alone as part of the hotel behemoth’s boutique Curio Collection. Independent, creative and cool; the hotel wants the clientele to mimic its own style so expect to find a cast of guests who know what’s going on in the scene beyond the hotel walls. The excellent views of Nelson’s Column and Trafalgar Square are part of the appeal and the rooftop bar is the best place to enjoy them.

room

It may be a Hilton but you wouldn’t know it thanks to the maximalist British design details going on in the rooms. Expect to find Mick Jagger and other Brit-centric images glaring down from the walls of the chic rooms decorated in a palette of neutral greys.

The hotel may be fashionably styled and it may well have a Nespresso coffee machine in every room but when it comes to the wow factor, the views are the main event. Deluxe rooms guarantee grand vistas over Trafalgar Square so stump up the extra cash if you can.

bathroom

Smart white tiles decorate the modern baths which come with luxe bath products and walk-in showers. Larger, deluxe rooms and family suites come with additional bath tubs.

lobby

Mid-century modern chic welcomes guests to the hotel in the opulently appointed lobby. Mirrored walls and red velvet sofas amp up the luxe levels, and guests can choose to descend to the seductive lounge-cum-bar, Biblio for more of the same.

gym

The hotel’s gym has everything guests need for a full cardio workout.

dining

The menu at the Trafalgar Dining Rooms is inspired by Mediterranean flavors and the restaurant is an all-day dining affair. Naturally there are more views of Trafalgar Square and there’s a dashing colorway that brings the blue skies of the Med to the smart London restaurant whatever the weather.

drinking

One of the most talked about hotel bars around, the Rooftop is a trendy spot tailored to those who like a bar with an exclusive vibe.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Space gets tight on the rooftop so arrive early or a secure a booking to enjoy the views. Book ‘The Room’, a glass panelled private dining space that seats 14 people, for special occasions.

LOCATION

Getting Around

You couldn’t wish for a more central location that the heart of Trafalgar Square. Near to the majority of Central London’s major sights, this is the perfect location for a trip spent sightseeing. Black cabs are plentiful and Ubers circle the square constantly so finding a taxi should take seconds. Charing Cross or Leicester Square are the closest Underground Stations.

Restaurants

For more views with your meal, eat at The National Dining Rooms (2-minute walk), on the upper floor of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Even swankier than the hotel, Bronte (3-minute walk) is the place to see and be seen. The pretty pink and gold interior is a stylish place for a bite to eat from morning till late.

Bars

So tiny you’ll have to do battle with your elbows to get to the bar, The Harp (6-minute walk) is still worth a visit thanks to a gregarious, rowdy atmosphere on every visit. For a classic cocktail bar that has stood the tests of time, try Freud Bar (14-minute walk) on Shaftesbury Avenue. Descend the rickety steps and you’ll find yourself in a happening cocktail bar where a clientele of long time regulars and tourists means you’ll fit right in.

WHY WE LIKE IT

While we don’t usually like to have the wool pulled over our eyes, we’re happy to let the Trafalgar St James of the Hilton Curio stable do it to us. Naturally, we love the Rooftop Bar and the views, but there’s also the restaurant and Biblio lounge which get a lot of love. While the great location is a prime reason for picking this hotel, the property would impress just as much without Trafalgar Square backing it up.

QUICK FACTS

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HOTEL INFO

Phones: 020-7870–2900

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