The Amba Hotel Charing Cross is literally situated in the centre of London, a stone’s throw from the Victorian Queen Eleanor Cross which stands on the site of the medieval Eleanor Cross, and marks the centre point of London, from where all distances are measured from.
The hotel is on the east side of the old Victorian Charing Cross station building, and is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Inside the hotel seamlessly blends tradition and modernity – grand staircases, chandeliers and vintage photos combine with plush modern furnishings and boasts the fastest free hotel wifi anywhere in the world.
As we checked in we were offered a welcome glass of fizz and shown to our studio suite on the 6th floor.
In my former career I used to travel continuously, I (semi) joke that after buying my flat it took a good 4 or 5 months before I spent 7 nights in a row there, and as a consequence I am fairly picky and critical of hotels. Our room at the Amba was amongst the most well thought out that I have ever stayed in.
Firstly and most importantly, a blissfully comfortable bed – king sized, with a thick soft mattress topper, crisp smooth white cotton bed linen with a high thread count, a medium weight duvet that was appropriate for the season, no annoying extra sheet between you and the duvet to get tangled up in, two beautifully soft but supportive pillows without a hint of a lump or bump (extra pillows were available in the wardrobe). The room very quiet and dark, with none of those annoying glowing standby lights that need covering. I am plagued with insomnia and I had the best night’s sleep for many many weeks. Wonderful!
The room is designed for the modern, gadget carrying traveller. There is an electric socket with two USB charging ports each side of the bed, sensibly located above the bedside table to eliminate the need to move furniture, and scrabble around on the floor to charge your phone overnight. The desk has US, European and UK electric sockets as well as more USB charging points on it, perfect for the international traveller who has forgotten their adaptors, the desk chair is a proper desk chair, comfortable and supportive for working in. There was an in-room iPad packed with information about the hotel and London which you could surf the internet from at super fast speeds. Unlike some hotels that I have stayed in recently there was full access to voice and video calling over the internet.
A Nespresso machine catered for our love of good coffee and need for that caffeine jolt first thing before going down to breakfast, a kettle and selection of teas were also available, impressively there was a carton of fresh milk in the mini bar in place of the usual UHT milk. The room service menu was very similar to the main restaurant at the same prices.
The bathroom was immaculately clean and pristine white, with a huge walk in shower as well as a bath tub. Everything was well designed with a large shelf in the shower and taps you could turn on without getting drenched, and the hot water ran through in a few second. Toiletries were a high quality from L’ Occitane and were a generous size. The towels were proper bath sheet sized, soft fluffy and brilliant white – in fact they were so thick and generous I could barely pull them off the towel rail! Hand towels and flannels were of a similar high quality. Proper glasses were provided rather than those ghastly flimsy plastic beakers you see packaged in plastic bags. The extractor fan was whisper quiet, so no need to fumble in the dark for a middle of the night trip to the loo to avoid turning the light and fan on! A proper high powered hair dryer is provided with a handy electric socket in front of the full length mirror in the room.
I did have to turn the mini bar fridge off overnight the gentle hum was just enough to annoy me, and I’d have like a small light in the bathroom to avoid turning the main one on in the middle of the night.
Breakfast was served in the terrace restaurant on the first floor with a view along Duncannon street towards the National Gallery. Full English and Continental buffets were on offer as well as a selection à la carte specialities including my favourite eggs Benedict, impressively soy milk was out on the buffet as well as the usual regular milk. Service was swift and attentive.
Room rates are from £336 a night the studio suite we stayed in costs around £444 on a flexible rate.
Amba Hotel Charing Cross
0871 376 9012 / +44 871 376 9012
We were the guests of the hotel, all opinions our own.