There are few locations as buzzing and exciting as London’s Charing Cross. You’re within a five minute walk of Embankment, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and Leicester Square – where restaurants, bars, theatres and pubs jostle for space in all directions. There are also probably more major galleries and exhibitions in the nearby vicinity per square mile than anywhere else in the Capital.
The Amba Hotel Charing Cross is slap bang in the centre of all this action, positioned as it is directly next to Charing Cross Station. The façade of the Grade II-listed building is adorned with Union Flags and juts out towards the Strand with the famous Villiers Street running alongside it.
The large Victorian interior is grand and welcoming, with a marble foyer and plush red carpets lining the high arched corridors. A particular design highlight for me was the wide, sweeping staircase with wooden and brass bannister. There are frequent nods to the hotel’s past as 19th-century railway hotel, with just the right amount of modern twist.
Our room was a large double, kitted out with the usual hairdryers, robes and ironing boards. A nice extra touch – and an example of larger chains adapting to the needs of smaller boutique hotel-users – was having iPads, phones from which you simply dialled zero to reach the helpful reception staff, and USB sockets by the beds.
We dined out, but enjoyed a truly hearty breakfast buffet the following morning next to one of the floor-to-ceiling windows offering views across the already-bustling Trafalgar Square.
The hotel frequently creates excellent package based on local events or national holidays. Their current offer, running until May 31, is a pre-theatre dinner and cocktail package including 10% off the best available rate, a complimentary breakfast and pre-theatre three course dinner and cocktail.
Where: Strand, Charing Cross, London WC2N 5HX
How much: prices start from £199 per night