Victorian glamour with a pinch of modern near Trafalgar Square.
Housed in the same ornate building as Charing Cross Station on The Strand, this nineteenth-century hotel twines old English opulence with modern-day gadgets for the corporate guest. Sturdy columns flank grand corridors, and an original wide staircase winds up the inside of the building, designed to accommodate ladies of yore and the swish of their full-skirted dresses. Hidden atomizers wafting the scent of Victorian rose add to the atmosphere. The 239 double bedrooms in the main building contain modern red-and-mustard soft furnishings, light birch cupboards and desks, flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi and functional bathrooms that could do with a lick of paint --- though they've definitely improved since 1865 when guests had to pay five shillings for hot and cold sea water. For a railway hotel, this property is surprisingly quiet: a twitch of curtains is the only reminder of the bustling platforms below. Attached to the old building is a new 83-room executive wing, designed in aubergine, gray and taupe, and in accordance with feng shui principles. Rooms house high king-size beds, sleek bathrooms with heated floors and ample cupboard space. As evening approaches the hotel lights are dimmed and candles lit all the way up the stairs to encourage guests to relax or wander down to the Charing Cross Brasserie for traditional English dishes and an unrivaled view over The Strand.