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25th Oct 2018

Here’s What It’s Like To Experience Five-Star Luxury At A London Hotel That Used To Be MI5’s Headquarters

Kiara Keane

There’s nothing better than arriving at a fab hotel and immediately changing into one of those soft fluffy robes, climbing onto the bed and just totally relaxing in front of the TV.

Of course, because I don’t have unlimited money, it’s not too often that I get to experience that in a five-star setting, though I’m lucky enough that my job means I do get to stay in gorgeous hotels from time to time.

And last week I got to see what a luxury London 5-star experience was really like on a trip to the city as part of the Huawei Mate 20 launch.

Myself and a group of Irish media were put up in the gorgeous Royal Horseguards Hotel in St. James’s, right on the River Thames.

Side note – once you try out the camera (well actually, three cameras) on one of these phones, you’ll never look back. I’m still not over how good all my photos look now even without using the flash.

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Having just moved back to Dublin after four years living in a not-so-glam house share in Hackney, East London, it wasn’t too often that I got to experience that side of the city which made it all the more special.

Located right down the road from Trafalgar Square, the hotel is steeped in history and was originally built as a block of luxury apartments back in 1884 before being transformed into a hotel in 1971. Oh, and it was also used as a headquarters by the British Secret Service’s MI5 and MI6 during both World Wars – how cool is that?

Upon arrival, I walked into a stunning marble lobby complete with red velvet armchairs and very welcoming staff who couldn’t do enough for us.

After a swift and pleasant check-in (where they happily indulged my complaints about a two-hour flight delay after getting up at 4am) a porter took me up to my Deluxe King Room complete with spectacular city views.

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Modelled on a French chateau, the stunning hotel currently holds a Grade I listed building status which is reflected in the decadent hotel room interiors. From the grand balconies to the plush marble bathrooms (which come with a TV over the bath and a rainforest showerhead), once you settle in here for the evening you’ll never want to leave.

The little touches are what really make it stand out – the Egyptian cotton sheets (very much appreciated after a late night in the hotel bar), the Elemis toiletries and the gorgeous writing desk remind you that they’ve really thought of everything.

Whether you get a city or a riverside room, the views over London are second to none. My room was on the sixth floor with a city view and it was definitely one of the best hotel views I’ve ever had.

The Deluxe King Room starts at around €500 a night – a price that’s definitely not to be sniffed at, but well worth it if you’re looking to really treat yourself.

Of course, what’s a stay in a fab hotel without indulging in the breakfast buffet the next morning? Fluffy scrambled eggs, fresh croissants with jam and plenty of coffee were like a warm hug after our late night and made for a perfect end to my stay here.

From the beautiful location overlooking the river to the award-winning bars and restaurants inside, a stay at the Royal Horseguards is something you definitely won’t forget any time soon.

READ MORE: When In Rome – Seven Stunning Rooftop Bars You Have To Visit In The Eternal City