The name is synonymous with law and order, Charles Dickens and Sherlock Holmes, but Great Scotland Yard has now entered new territory, operating as a luxurious five-star hotel.
You’ll most likely recognise Great Scotland Yard from its countless appearances on the news, but the history of this Edwardian Building dates back much further. In medieval times Scottish royalty would use a castle on the site as their London base – hence the name – and from the 1820s it stood as the home of the Metropolitan Police until almost the end of the 19th century. Numerous famous names have graced its grounds over the years: it was the place where Jack the Ripper’s crimes were investigated – one of the many suspects being Lewis Carroll – and served as inspiration for Charles Dickens. English poet John Milton also lived there at some point. It was used as the HQ of the Army Recruiting Office during both World Wars, and later by the Ministry of Defence. But in 2015 its path turned quite dramatically thanks to Twenty14 Holdings, who bought the site for £110m and spent a further £50m transforming it into a five-star hotel. Opened in December 2019, the hotel is part of The Unbound Collection By Hyatt.
Nods to the building’s history are visible throughout the venue: think 19th century policing artefacts, police uniforms integrated into the design, and doors decorated with the Metropolitan crest. There’s also a particularly moving collection of artworks created by current offenders as part of their rehabilitation, a project from charity Koestler Arts. 40 Elephants, the hotel’s main bar, is named after the infamous 19th century female shoplifting gang, who operated in London over two centuries. The broken glass chandelier has been designed to encapsulate the spirit of the thieves, and keep your eyes peeled for items dotted around, meant to reflect some of the things they might have pinched. Note the Lewis-Carroll inspired clock hanging above the hotel’s grand entrance, too.
The hotel’s centrepiece is The Yard, the fourth London project from Irish chef Robin Gill, who trained under the likes of Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc before setting up a string of his own restaurants including The Dairy in Clapham. Diners can expect more of the farm-to-table style cooking Robin is known for at The Yard, a rustic, brick-walled restaurant with an open kitchen and tanned leather banquettes. There’s a big focus on game, seafood and market-catch fish, with the current menu featuring a roast fallow deer dish, raw Scottish scallops, and Cornish cod with Delicia pumpkin ravioli. Robin oversees the restaurant alongside Executive Chef Alex Harper (The Harwood Arms, The Ledbury) who he worked alongside at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
There are 152 rooms and a standalone Georgian townhouse serving as the hotel’s version of a presidential suite, which spreads across five storeys and comes with 24-hour butler service.
Room prices start from £430 a night inclusive of VAT. hyatt.com