5 Reasons To Visit Great Scotland Yard Hotel London

Smack in the heart of London and not far from the River Thames, Great Scotland Yard Hotel, adds a new option for Hyatt fans visiting the British capital. Instead of relying on brand hallmarks, this Edwardian red brick hotel weaves the building’s history as the former police headquarters throughout the public area décor.

Look very carefully everywhere you walk as not all is as it may seem. Walls of bookcases can swing open to reveal closets to store luggage, and some of the whimsical paintings on the walls appear as if they are watching your every move. When considering where to stay in London among its growing World of Hyatt property roster, here are five reasons to visit Great Scotland Yard Hotel, part of the The Unbound Collection by Hyatt.

The history

Now a hotel, this used to be a residence for civil servants before becoming the headquarters for the London Metropolitan Police Force. Until recently, it was home to the Ministry of Defense.

Its police days give Great Scotland Yard plenty of scandalous and sensational stories to tell. The moment you enter and descend the front stairs (sit-down reception is tucked around the corner to the right), you immediately see walls of colorful paintings, art sculptures, historical memorabilia and even profile sketches. These represent notable British authors like Charles Dickens, historians and artists. Other pieces highlight criminal investigation tools and sketches of detective work.

It’s a playfully entertaining take on what many might find to be a strange building to turn into a hotel. While the city’s police force now have new digs, this building is now a popular spot welcoming tourists and business travelers.

There is more than just police-themed décor, by the elevators, a black and white stamp featuring a profile of the new King of England. And on each guest room floor, there are large cutouts of characters in entertaining poses guiding the way to different rooms.

The rooms

Given the history of the building, each of the rooms has a slightly different shape, but they all share several features in common like plush carpeting over hardwood floors. The beds have thickly padded mattresses with duvets, and on either side of the bed, there are power and USB outlets within each reach.

Mirrored closets have ample storage space in what seem like secret compartments covered with a faux bookshelf as if it were disguised. Electronic do not disturb signs and light switches reminiscent of a century ago add to the thoughtful touches.

In bathrooms, Jo Malone grapefruit-scented toiletries are in pump bottles, and drawers disguise a plethora of eco-friendly toiletries. Japanese toiletries sit by heated towel racks, two amenities that were surely not here in this building’s former life. Showers have drenching rain shower power, which will wash away jet lag rather quickly.

The largest is a serviced residence near the hotel. This two-bedroom townhouse is ideal for those that want maximum privacy or families that want kitchen facilities.

The food

There are three main food and beverage areas in the hotel. One is the main restaurant, Ekstedt at the Yard, serving Scandinavian fare for lunch and dinner from an open kitchen. It gets busiest at breakfast when guests are welcomed with energy shots before being taken to tables and offered a menu. Many guests have breakfast included in certain rates, and this includes one item from the a la carte menu as well as anything from the buffet. My favorites were the avocado toast and shakshuka with sourdough bread.

Later in the day, the menu runs the gamut from British favorites to international dishes that please the global audience that stays here. A stunning bar and lounge has natural light, colorful paintings and a sexy vibe by a faux fireplace. Here, craft cocktails, local pints and a fine wine list keep the evening action lively.

The 40 Elephants Bar has a peculiar name, but a riveting story. Its name refers to a gang operation, dubbed Elephant and Castle, responsible for a major shoplifting ring a century ago. A second bar sits across from the elevators where more craft cocktails show the bar staff’s attention to detail and creativity. In between drinks, ask the staff to tell the stories of the art pieces on display highlighting the work of the female gangsters from a century ago.

The location

Within walking distance of the hotel are so many of Central London’s top sites. Trafalgar Square is just around the corner. Big Ben, Parliament and Westminster Abbey are a stone’s throw in the other direction. It is also easy to walk to Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and popular shopping streets like Oxford Street and Regent Street.

Piccadilly Circus is a few blocks away, too, and in Leicester Square, guests can score discounted theater tickets to one of the many hot shows playing in the West End.

The perks

All guests are treated to complimentary minibars, which have soft drinks and plenty of bottled water. One level below the lobby is a well-equipped fitness center and meeting rooms.

Perhaps the best perks here come from the hotel’s participation in the World of Hyatt since it is part of The Unbound Collection, a soft brand of boutique hotels that have a story to tell. Guests can earn and redeem Hyatt points with any stay, and for those with the World of Hyatt Credit Card, they earn bonus points on spending here.

Elite status members are treated to special extras like late checkout or room upgrades plus bonus points on their spending. Top-tier Globalist members have a full breakfast comped with their stay. No matter what status tier you have, World of Hyatt members can take advantage of the Brand Explorer promotion. It is in the World of Hyatt app and gives members one free night for every five Hyatt brands they experience. A night here would tick the box for The Unbound Collection.

If you know a top-tier elite status member, they also have the ability to gift Guest of Honor. This allows them to bestow their elite perks, like an upgrade or free breakfast, to a friend or family member, even if they don’t have status of their own. World of Hyatt rewards members with perks, but also lets them reward people they know with perks, too. That’s kind of cool, and certainly innovative for a global loyalty program.