One of London's best loved landmarks looks finally to have been given a new lease of life. Marriott International announced last week that it will open a Renaissance Marriott at St Pancras at the beginning of 2009.
The Grade 1 English Heritage-listed Victorian building, owned by London & Continental Railways (LCR) was formerly the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras Station (more commonly known as St Pancras Chambers). After a £100 million makeover, it will re-open as the Renaissance St Pancras Hotel London in 2009.
As regular business travellers will know, St Pancras is currently undergoing the largest regeneration in a century as it prepares to become the home of Eurostar trains to the continent in 2007.
The hotel will have 52 of its 245 rooms in the Gothic landmark building, with the remaining 193 being in a new extension behind the hoteloverlooking new gardens or the railways tracks of the London International Passenger Terminal. The top floors of the hotel with views over Marylebone Road will hold 67 residential apartments (all of which have been reserved) from the Manhattan Loft Corporation, ranging in price from £450,000 to £3 million for a penthouse suite.
The hotel will have two restaurants and two bars, as well as a health and leisure centre in the basement – formerly used for storing ale from the Midlands. There will also be ample space for meetings and conferences, with a ballroom, eight meeting rooms and a business centre.
The hotel's location will suit both domestic and international travellers down to the ground. St Pancras International is set to become a major transport hub in Europe, with 25 million people per year expected to use the station. By 2007, journey times will be cut further, with London to Paris taking two hours and fifteen minutes, and London to Brussels just one hour and fifty-one minutes.
On the domestic front, the terminal already provides rail connections throughout the country, as well as six London Underground lines. The hotel will also be a mere ten minutes from the City and West End of London.The restoration and development of the building will be the first since it was made vacant in the early 1980s. The Manhattan Loft Corporation, which counts the regeneration of areas such as Notting Hill and Shoreditch among its past successes, is now responsible for sprucing up the property's old glamour with a modern touch. Over 20,000 square metres of bubble wrap will be used to protect the historical features until work is completed.
The hotel will join the Renaissance Chancery Court (in the former Pearl Assurance building in Holborn) as a hotel targeting those "who work to live, rather than those who live to work," according to Jurgen Giesbert, executive vice president, Marriott International UK, Ireland, Middle East & Africa.
For more information visit marriott.com, manhattanloft.co.uk
Report by Annabel Dixon