In short: opulent yet offbeat design meets world-class cuisine (and a hidden whiskey bar for those in the know) in this sophisticated new offering from Hyatt.
Price point: ££
After opening briefly before the pandemic, this new favorite from the Unbound Life collection finally had its official launch in March 2022. You wouldn’t know Great Scotland Yard was there unless you were informed in advance.
It’s down the road from London’s big political hitters – Downing Street, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament – but is also well located for cruising along the Thames on Embankment or Southbank, as well as the tourist squares Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Covent Garden. You might say deep down while allowing guests to escape the hustle and bustle of central London.
The artistic design couldn’t be far from pompous with Whitehall’s buttoned-up, balancing sophistication with insane eccentricity. The chic cream-walled lobby area and floor, for example, has a chic edge with burgundy rugs, bronze round lamps, and cream and mahogany leather chairs — but there’s also a huge glossy black rhinoceros that doubles as a chair, giant postage stamp artwork and dog sausage cushions to add even more. A fun touch. Meanwhile, the main bar is adult charm: think burgundy backed seating, intricate, contemporary chandeliers, and the bar covered in blue-green patterned wallpaper.
Síbín’s new whiskey bar has a different feel again, with a central marble bar perfect for chatting with the world of mixology, backlit green and red bottle shelves, and clusters of high-back velvet chairs and plump sofas to curl up in a cozy nook.
The entire place has a charming and grand feel: the perfect getaway for a couple looking to indulge in a decadent slice of gorgeous London or a group of friends wanting a well-placed base dripping in style. It’s a destination all its own, thanks to two upscale bars and a sophisticated restaurant led by a Michelin-starred chef (more on that later). Although it doesn’t look too formal or crowded thanks to the trendy vibe, it is nonetheless the type of hotel where it is really a pleasure to throw your cheer in the evening to match the affluent guests and elegant decor.
bed and bathroom
Bedrooms are quieter than the public areas—a soothing palette of stone, cream, dove and beige, with pops of color provided by deep teal, featured on splashback tiles next to the expansive bathtub and round armchair in the lounge (you should) stocky by wing). Marble floors, honeycomb lighting and a double-sized showerhead represent the luxury factor in the bathroom; Touches like an inkjet print of London with a stunning Thames bronze, and a dresser made of faux bookshelf stacked with cream-colored spines add unexpected charm. There’s (of course) a Nespresso machine and coffee tablets everywhere, plus all the five-star amenities you’d expect, like fine Scottish Soap Company’s bamboo toothbrushes and toiletries.
Food and drink
This is where the Great Scotland Yard really excels. Ekstedt at The Yard Michelin-starred chef Niklas Eksted brings signature ‘old Nordic’ wood-fired cuisine to London. With an open kitchen where guests can enjoy the extraordinary techniques used to create the immense smoky flavor that imbues every dish, this is the hotel’s dining destination at its finest. Innovative tasting menus apply the most rustic cooking methods to the fanciest: think juniper smoked turbot; grilled langoustines with fermented cabbage vinegar and cranberries; smoked beef with morel; The Baked Alaska is made in a wood oven and accompanied by elderberry ice cream (seven courses for £135; three courses for £80; wine pairs from £50).
By day, breakfast is served in the same place – slip into one of the orange leather booths and order an array of classics, including eggs royale and avocado on toast.
Elsewhere, The Parlor serves a “completely different” afternoon tea inspired by Floris London’s signature fragrance, “A Rose For”, designed by His Royal Highness, Royal Highness.
Bar 40 Elephants is the hotel’s central watering hole, serving handcrafted beers and thoughtful cocktails (try Smash and Grab: a mix of pisco, apple, amaranth, vetiver liqueur, lemon, sugar and soda), while the newly opened Sipin is a whiskey bar hidden behind Secret door (another well used bookshelf). They combine whiskey cocktails but not as we know them: Curated by Joe Last, Diageo’s Malt whiskey ambassador and global ambassador, the menu includes innovative combinations like single malt with apricot cream, lemon juice, and mint for a light summery sip.
Nuts and bolts
The number of rooms: 152 rooms and suites
in the bathroom: Fine Scotch Soap Company
Extra charge: Estimated service fee of 5 percent on accommodation. Discretionary service charge of 12.5 percent on food and beverages.
deficit access: The hotel was recently awarded the Blue Badge Access Award; It includes a discreet sesame access lift at the lobby entrance for wheelchairs and trolleys to the reception area, foldable reception desks and a portable inductive hearing loop system. Rooms include smoke detector, emergency strobe light, cordless telephone, low light switches, peephole and door latch, emergency wire in both bedroom and bathroom, solid base bed, 61 cm/2 ft bed height, and wheelchair access.
pet policy: The Great Scotland Yard describes itself as dog friendly. We welcome dogs up to 50 pounds or two dogs under 75 pounds; A pet fee of GBP 50 per dog per night applies. For longer stays, please contact the hotel directly to determine the rate.
the best thing: Hidden Whiskey Bar – Perfect for pretending you’ve entered a secret members club.
worst thing: Being tucked away in a side street, there are no opinions to speak of; Given that the hotel is in a Grade II listed building dating back to the 1820s, the ceilings in the bedrooms were lower than expected.
suitable for: An adult night away for couples or friends looking for a decadent modern base.
Not suitable for: I suspect the luster of all this would be lost on young children (although they might appreciate the sausage dog pillows).
Instagram from: Giant unicorn chair for fun – or the dreamy Forty Elephants bar for sophistication.
room price: My husband’s from £295.