The five-star Corinthia Hotel London is part of the Corinthia group, a collection of luxury properties founded in 1962 by the Pisani family of Malta.
It stands in Whitehall on the site of the former 600-room Hôtel Métropole, and is the ideal location to explore some of the Capital’s most famed attractions including the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament.
Today, the beautiful Victorian building overlooking The Thames boasts just shy of 300 rooms including 47 suites and seven penthouses. We stayed in the tranquil and luxurious surroundings of a 45 square-metre (484 foot) Executive King room (from £630 per night, and amongst the largest in London) on the fourth floor, which featured a very comfortable king-sized bed with a plethora of soft cushions, and mood controls on the side tables. Other furnishings included a sizeable Loewe flatscreen TV (with Sky Sports and international channels), a Nespresso machine, a walk-in wardrobe, plus a large table. The turndown service sees the arrival of atmospheric lighting, bottles of mineral water, clean towels and slippers on both sides of the bed, the perfect invitation for a good night’s sleep.
Separated by double sliding doors, the spacious marble-clad ensuite bathroom with under-floor heating is another haven of relaxation. As well as being able to have a calming soak in the bath courtesy of the good selection of toiletries from ESPA and the built-in TV, there is also the soothing and powerful standalone tropical rain shower which leaves you feeling utterly refreshed. Twin sinks are also a welcomed addition, and were once again lined with plenty of accessories for the daily ablutions.
When it comes to dining at the Corinthia Hotel London, there is plenty of choice. The Northall (read Sabi Phagura’s review here) is a 185-cover eatery focusing on British cuisine, and the Massimo Restaurant & Bar, which we opted for, is a menu dominated by Neapolitan and southern Italian flavours. This eatery is characterised by its green leather banquettes and high ceiling sporting big glass balls, whilst the large window bays house decorative retro lighting. Striking black and white-layered columns complete the architectural beauty of this room.
It’s quite a compact à la carte menu at Massimo, but there is nevertheless plenty on there to tantalise the tastebuds, and specific dietary requirements are very well catered for. Before we began to work our way through it, we sampled a Piña Colada and a ‘Cocktail of the Day’, which was a strong concoction of Vodka, lime, strawberry purée and champagne sitting on crushed ice – both were exquisite. This was accompanied by a very good selection of different breads (Pane carasau from Sardinia, focaccia, rye and caramelised garlic) and parmesan-based sesame, poppy seed and oregano grissini sticks.
For the starter, I tried aubergine parmegiana with smoked cheese which was simply superb, and the tomato-based sauce finished this dish off beautifully. My guest headed for an opening course of endive salad and pear with caramelised walnuts which was similarly a great success.
The lights were dimmed at dusk, and it was time for the mains. From the specials, my eyes were fixated on the raviolini parcels filled with salted cod, capers and mozzarella. It was an interesting recipe, and slightly dominated by salt, but the accompanying butter sauce balanced this out nicely. Sharing a side of lightly fried and thinly sliced zucchine fritters, my partner opted for the roast duck with orange, broccoli and barley from the ‘Carne’ (meat) section of the menu. Not only was the composition tender and very nicely garnished, but the presentation was also extremely elegant, a running theme of our meal.
Dessert is always a tough decision when you have a sweet tooth, and it’s no different at Massimo. However, with Rum Baba being one of my favourite all time dishes, there was no question what I was going to have. Moist in texture, and topped off with vanilla cream, this was the perfect way to end what had been a truly exquisite meal. My partner closed her experience at Massimo with a refreshing fresh fruit platter followed by mint tea and a small selection of petit fours. Although we didn’t sample any wine, there is a large choice on offer, as well as an in-house sommelier who is able to recommend pairings for each course.
For those guests who crave something a little lighter or a sumptuous afternoon tea beneath a spectacular Baccarat chandelier, there is the Lobby Lounge, whilst the Bassoon Bar provides a wide range of classic and bespoke cocktails and some live musical entertainment.
Breakfast is served in The Northall, which offers an extensive and central continental buffet (at £32 per person). There is everything from fresh fruit to cheeses, to pastries, and to seeds (pumpkin sunflower, linseed and goji berries), with even a dose of honeycomb. For an additional cost, guests can also choose a hot dish from the menu, which includes delicacies such as porridge and eggs cooked to choice.
Corinthia Hotel London is equally home to the flagship ‘ESPA Life at Corinthia’, spread across four floors. Facilities include a glass-clad amphitheatre sauna surrounded by a fire feature, steam room, silver steel pool, comforting sleep pods and a gym.
On entry, you immediately start to feel relaxed. The black and cream surrounds, and labyrinth-like hallways, make you forget the stress of daily life, and that you are in fact in the very heart of London. From the comprehensive ‘For Her’ treatment menu, my guest sampled the two-hour ‘Detoxifying Body Cleanse’ (priced at £230). This treatment began with a mustard foot soak and rub designed to release toxins. This was followed by a whole body scrub using various salts aimed at smoothing, softening and refreshing the skin. After washing this all off, she could already feel the change.
The next phase of the experience was a fully body algae wrap, and whilst it was working its magic, the therapist completed a scalp massage. After another shower, the therapist continued the cleansing process with a colon massage using both her hands and the G5 mechanical system. This total detox was completed with a lymphatic massage with oils, resulting in soft and smooth skin. After returning to the changing room, where there was a choice of sleeping pods or heated loungers, she continued to relax, and proceeded to emerge completely revitalised.
With attentive service throughout, superb cuisine and hospitality, and a great location, the Corinthia Hotel London should be high up on any list when looking to stay in the Capital. It’s the perfect choice for a special occasion, or just a weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle.
Free and fast Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. For more information, or to make a reservation, visit www.corinthia.com/hotels/london.