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Great Northern Hotel, Tribute Portfolio - London, UK [Master Thread]

Great Northern Hotel, Tribute Portfolio - London, UK [Master Thread]

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Old Sep 9, 15, 5:04 pm
  #1  
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Arrow Great Northern Hotel, Tribute Portfolio - London, UK [Master Thread]

Checked in tonight.

I'm impressed for day 1 of a SPG property, all of the material (at checkin) was already present. I was recognized as a SPG Platinum, got the right key card sleeve and was also upgraded to one of their larger Queen bed rooms. TV was tuned to the SPG channel (which still mentioned having only 9 brands -- oh well). The wifi internet is the only thing not SPG branded yet!

The room was tastefully redone in the recent past. New wallpaper & paint, good lighting, multiple power ports (including 2x USB on the left side of the bed! ). Found out that the hotel's restaurant has a michelin star chef at work -- a nice additional add on.

Not to mention that this might be one of the best located SPG properties in London. Right next to Kings Cross / St Pancras. Such a vibrant and wonderful location.

All in all, I'm impressed. It is true the rooms aren't big but the location, restaurant and staff are fantastic.
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Old Sep 22, 15, 7:15 pm
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I spent two nights here this past weekend, booked on 12K points/night into a Couchette room.

I arrived into King's Cross Station and could see the hotel and the GNH Bar - but you need to exit onto the sidewalk to reach the (very small) lobby and elevators.

The hotel was full - no rooms available for sale - so as a Platinum I wasn't upgraded. Travelling alone, the Couchette room was indeed small, but the bed was comfortable, the bathroom was great, and it was very quiet. If you plan on doing significant work at the desk in the room, this may not be the room for you, as there was a stool and not a chair at the desk. Wifi is free for all guests.

Malin and Goetz toiletries in compact but nice bathroom and a decent spread (cake, candies, fruit, coffee/tea) in the pantry located at the end of each floor.

At check-in, I was offered a choice of 500 points or breakfast. I chose the latter, which is a full a la carte breakfast (anything off the menu) at Plum + Spilt Milk, the hotel's restaurant. Very good quality food. There was some sort of technical issue on Sunday morning (the printer wasn't working in the kitchen, which resulted in orders being backed up by the time they realized), and I understand the hotel proactively comped breakfast to a good number of guests that morning - very good service recovery.

I wouldn't hesitate to return - Kings Cross is on six tube lines, I believe, so its easy to get all over town. Travelling with someone else, I'd probably book a larger room type, unless we didn't plan on spending a lot of time in the room.
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Old Oct 29, 15, 11:30 am
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A few impressions --

As others have said the rooms are very very small. Even by London standards. Even by Tokyo standards. DO NOT consider staying in a standard room here with two people, or even one person with a bigger-than-could-fit-in-an-overhead-bin suitcase.

That said there is a lot else to like. The finishes are really excellent -- I keep thinking "this is like what I imagine one of those fancy non-chain boutique hotels that I am aware is so much nicer than the vast majority of chain hotels would be like, but no points so I would never do it." Like what you would get if Le Meridien married money.

In one particularly boutique hotel-esque touch, the bathroom takes up a full third of the not-big room footprint, making it spacious and elegant at the expense of more room space -- but not necessarily a bad tradeoff. Also very nice, Malin and Goetz-branded toiletries.

The pantries with snacks and coffee at the end of each floor, free to all guests, are a very nice touch.

Some of the staff seem to be a bit over the top, in a "parody of a boutique hotel" kind of way and verging on a "makes you feel like you're not cool enough to be welcome here" kind of way, which is not a great look IMO. Like early-era W.

Funny little things, though -- the TV is a bit small and of a low-end brand/style in comparison to everything else in the room. There are three "don't steal me" nubbin-type clothes hangars on a rack on the wall, but then regular hangars in the narrow hanging space in the closet. There is a wall outlet with two USB plugs above the desk, and plenty of regular outlets available but located awkwardly below the desk (perhaps this hotel's guests have only a tablet computer, or a new USB-powered MacBook)?
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Old Oct 29, 15, 1:48 pm
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I just booked this for next June, 5 nights. Will apply suite upgrades and hope that they clear!
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Old Nov 2, 15, 1:42 am
  #5  
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Warning: King is not a king

Of note: Every other SPG property in the UK offers universally-accepted King sized beds (76x80).

At the GNH, they offer UK King beds (59x79), or actually smaller than a US Queen (60x80).

I recognize that this is a US-centric view of the world, but pretty much every western chain (and even independent...) hotel centers around the sizing of the US King bed.

Be warned if you're there with more than just yourself, it could be quite cozy depending on your size.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 8:33 am
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Originally Posted by carsonheim View Post
I just booked this for next June, 5 nights. Will apply suite upgrades and hope that they clear!
same here....its 16k points a night so 64k points for a 5 night stay....not bad value considering the very expensive rates in london in june....
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Old Nov 7, 15, 6:07 am
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Originally Posted by carsonheim View Post
I just booked this for next June, 5 nights. Will apply suite upgrades and hope that they clear!
They only have two suites in the entire hotel, so I wouldn't hold your breath.
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Old Nov 19, 15, 4:21 pm
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A heads-up for users of the SPG Amex, I did not receive the second point per dollar for spend at this hotel and am following up with Amex now but it appears Amex does not currently reflect this as an SPG property. So if you have stayed here and paid with the SPG Amex, check your bonus points earning.
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Old Nov 20, 15, 1:40 am
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Originally Posted by bgriff View Post
A heads-up for users of the SPG Amex, I did not receive the second point per dollar for spend at this hotel and am following up with Amex now but it appears Amex does not currently reflect this as an SPG property. So if you have stayed here and paid with the SPG Amex, check your bonus points earning.
Just to add for those who have the UK SPG Amex you won't be missing anything as you don't get extra points for spend at SPG properties anyway.
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Old Nov 21, 15, 10:24 am
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Originally Posted by bgriff View Post
A heads-up for users of the SPG Amex, I did not receive the second point per dollar for spend at this hotel and am following up with Amex now but it appears Amex does not currently reflect this as an SPG property. So if you have stayed here and paid with the SPG Amex, check your bonus points earning.
Thanks for this. I had two stays here last month and neither were credited with 2x by Amex.
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Old Dec 15, 15, 3:21 pm
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Good Plat Experience

So yeah, I really did enjoy this property.
Had a one-night wknd stay, as Platinum was upgraded from booked Couchette room to Cubitt room.

Easy peasy tube ride from Heathrow to King's Cross. Just a few steps and inside the small lobby. I arrived at 11am, but was told my room would be ready at 12:30pm. (No issues for me waiting for an upgraded room. And yes, the SPG app showed the upgrade as well.)

Front desk was friendly, but not over-the-top friendly; so in my book, adequate and sufficient. Front desk agent recommended that I choose the breakfast over the Pts. (Much better value, as it was anything on the menu.)

Had a few drinks & dinner at the bar. Bartender Fabio is amazing! He takes a lot of pride in his job, and very service-oriented.

The pantry - LOVE this concept! I must've had like 10 Nespressos. (Possibly more?) I even own a machine at home, but was unable to get the machine in my room working. But the pantry concept is pretty cool. Had my first mince pie in there... that was yummy.

Comfortable rooms, friendly staff all throughout the property - - I will definitely consider this property on a future London stay.

I was fortunate to get a last-minute C+P rate this time.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 2:42 pm
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I was able to call SPG and upgrade from a Couchette room to a Wainscot room. It will be 2 of us traveling and staying for 4 nights in September. It was 17,750 a night instead of 16,000 for the initial reservation in the base room.

The rep was nice enough to remind me as a SPG Gold I would be upgraded (space available) but I'd rather not risk having to stay in a very small room for 4 nights.

I know, 4 award nights, it's killing me too but our travel plans are set.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 6:11 pm
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Originally Posted by poncherelli View Post
Thanks for this. I had two stays here last month and neither were credited with 2x by Amex.
Has this issue been cleared up by Amex yet?

I'm trying to decide between the W and GNH - all the reviews have me leaning towards the Great Northern. Also helps that I need to be at St. Pancras at 7am!
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Old Jan 6, 16, 6:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Jebby_ca View Post
Has this issue been cleared up by Amex yet?

I'm trying to decide between the W and GNH - all the reviews have me leaning towards the Great Northern. Also helps that I need to be at St. Pancras at 7am!
Yes. My SPG Amex charges got the correct bonus points (Sheraton Bucharest hasn't but that's another story).

If it helps, I've stayed at the W and GNH and I'd chose the GNH every time. The rooms are lovely, the pantry is great and the staff have been really great every time I've stayed there. Also the breakfasts are excellent. I'm always going to stay here when I'm in London.
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Old Jan 7, 16, 6:04 am
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Originally Posted by Jebby_ca View Post
Has this issue been cleared up by Amex yet?

I'm trying to decide between the W and GNH - all the reviews have me leaning towards the Great Northern. Also helps that I need to be at St. Pancras at 7am!
Even if it weren't, it would still be worth staying at the GNH if it works for your travel plans -- it's a nice hotel, you'd still get most of your SPG points (the regular stay points and the first Amex point per dollar), and it's not too hard to get Amex to issue a correction if you didn't get the second point. Well, at least at this property it wasn't too hard. I also have some missing second points for the Le Meridien Jeddah which seem to have been lost in a bureaucratic quagmire.
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