Whether you’re looking to book a weekend trip to the theatre, do a spot of shopping or checking out London’s must-see sights, the Strand Palace Hotel is the perfect place to stay, located in the heart of the city. As you step into the hotel you’re welcomed by polished marble floors and steps up to reception, it really is quite an entrance!
Where is the Strand Palace?
Located in the centre of the capital, Strand Palace is just a 10 minute walk from Covent Garden station and just a stone’s throw away from the famous Savoy Hotel and Thames. If you’re someone who enjoys the hustle and bustle of city life and culture, then there really isn’t a better place to stay. The hotel is surrounded by plenty of theatres (including the Aldwych, Lyceum, Duchess and Novello); shops and lots of restaurants. A five to 10 minute walk down the strand will lead you to Trafalgar Square, which is also home to the National Gallery and London Coliseum,
Having first opened in 1909 in Edwardian London, the Strand Palace has seen its fair share of history including three monarchs, two world wars and throughout it all, the hotel has stood the test of time.
Where will I sleep?
The Strand Palace offers 10 different types of rooms for guests to choose from. My sister and I stayed in one of the newly refurbished superior twin bedrooms, where prices start from £200 for one night (saving you around £400 from a stay at the Savoy).
Our room was lovely and modern, and individual furnishing, such as the burnt orange leather chairs, helped to keep the hotel's art-deco style. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable, with the TV situated in the perfect position directly opposite the beds, and there was plenty of wardrobe space. The room came with everything we needed, including an iron, a mini-fridge (which had a great selection of chocolate, crisps, biscuits, water, fizzy and alcoholic beverages), and a safe.
For me, one of the room highlights was the dressing gowns, as they were without a doubt the softest dressing gown that has ever touched my skin. Our windows had wooden shutters too, which was also a nice touch to block any light coming in. The bathroom was compact and well designed, with a very well pressured shower and White Company toiletries, just down from our room was a vending machine filled with any bits you may have forgotten for your trip (such as paracetamol, toothpaste, hairbrush, toothbrush), which was handy.
Although £200 for the room may seem quite a stretch when you take into consideration the location of the hotel you really can’t beat it. A newly single refurbished room starts at £100, while a cosy double starts at £170. If you do have some cash to splash, you could treat yourself to a deluxe room (prices starting from £205), which all include a complimentary mini-bar.
What is there to do?
What isn’t there to do? Situated in such a fabulous location, you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to entertainment, eating and shopping.
We enjoyed some time in Covent Garden exploring the local market and watching the street entertainers, before walking to Regents Street for a spot of retail therapy. With so many great theatres right on the hotel’s doorstep, you’d be silly not to head to one of the brilliant shows in the West End.
Other famous sights and attractions nearby include St. Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, and the London Eye on the banks of the River Thames.
What is there to eat?
We enjoyed dinner at the hotel’s Haxells restaurant and bar, located right next to the lobby of the hotel. The new menu includes a great selection of sharing plates, small plates, starters, mains and desserts, with vegan and gluten-free options too.
To start, we ordered the salt and pepper squid (£8) and chicken satay (£8). While both had excellent presentations and tasted great, the standout really was the calamari, which you could tell from its unique shape, was fresh and not just your standard shop-bought type. For mains, we both opted for the sirloin steak (£33), with a side of fries each (£5) and a side salad (£5). My steak was cooked perfectly to medium and accompanied by plum tomatoes and side garnish.
Dessert had to be the chocolate brownie (as recommended by the waitress, which was £8) and it was one of the best vegan brownies I’ve tasted at a restaurant, rich and moist in the middle with a cracking top, not to mention it was also gluten-free. My sister went for the crème brûlée and said it was the biggest portion she’d ever had.
Prices of the menus starters and desserts were very fair I found, but I felt the mains were a little steep, for example, £22 for a burger (however this does include fries).
The hotel also has another restaurant, the Joe Allen Restaurant, which was founded in 1977 and has live piano every evening from 7:30PM to 10:30PM and if you're a gin lover, you'll definitely want to pop into The Gin Palace, which houses over 30 types of gins.
We also revisited the restaurant in the morning where breakfast was also served. Personally, I never feel you can go wrong with a buffet breakfast and there was everything you could have wanted, from your cooked breakfast to fruit and yoghurt, pastries, and even blueberry muffins, which were delightful. If you’re someone who worries about going overboard at a buffet breakfast, like myself, one thing I found particularly useful is that for the hot breakfast you don’t serve yourself, there are chefs behind a counter who do it for you, so you can’t add five sausages at a time you’ll have to keep going back up.
If you're looking for a comfy stay in a great location, which still feels a little 'posh', then I'd highly recommend The Stand. Everything you could want for a trip to London is literally on your doorstep or a short walk away. If you don't want to venture out for food, the hotel's restaurant offers high-quality dishes and drinks, so you'll never feel as if you're missing out. It may not be the Savoy, but if you're looking for somewhere that's still grand, we recommend The Strand!