One of the Top hotels that we definitely covet is the stunning Renaissance Hotel St. Pancras, placed in the “cathedral of railways”. Once you arrive into the entrance, you can understand all the history behind that imposing building.
The story of how it came into existence is just as extraordinary. It is the tale of a true renaissance; of a national treasure that was almost reduced to rubble but that is today, once again, the pride of London.
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Renaissance Hotel’s story begins in the 1860s, when the thriving Midland Railway, which connected the industrial heartlands of the East Midlands and Yorkshire with London, took the decision to construct its own line into the capital, rather than share tracks with other companies. It chose the unprepossessing district of St Pancras, on the northern side of New Road (later Euston Road) as the site for its new terminus.
For the station building, which would be erected around William Barlow’s spectacular single-span trainshed structure, the Midland selected the designs of George Gilbert Scott, the prominent ecclesiastical architect who had recently picked up the commission from Victoria to create the memorial in Hyde Park to her late husband, Prince Albert.
Barlow’s plans included a large luxury hotel that would extend the St Pancras frontage westwards along Euston Road. Scott’s designs made the most of this huge canvas. Drawing inspiration from Sir Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin’s Gothic Revival Palace of Westminster.
He envisaged a building that was as imposing and ornate as the Palace, but strongly influenced by the softer, more colourful Venetian Gothic, championed by the noted critic, John Ruskin. Scott, in the face of criticism, held that he was creating a new style entirely rather than reviving one, maintaining that his designs ‘performed loyally and willingly to the habits of the age’.
Having witnessed the inventive use of brickwork on his European travels, Scott was eager to make red brick the signature material in his new creation – red brick whose manufacture in the Midlands was creating new wealth in the region.
In the Dining and Coffee Room (now The Gilbert Scott Restaurant), pillars of polished limestone lined the walls, their golded capitals carved with conkers, pea pods and bursting pomegranates.
The Signature Suites
St Pancras Chambers comprises thirty-eight suites. While every room showcases a perfect execution of contemporary style with Victorian features, transporting guests to a bygone era, the signature 6 are truly unique.
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