Scotland On Sunday Travel: Do Not Disturb, Victory House Hotel, London - Red Carpet Reception

That the coronavirus pandemic was on the way had not been yet fully acknowledged in the UK’s consciousness as I boarded my LNER service to London on Wednesday, 11 March.

Victory House Hotel, London

Five hours later, after a relaxing and swift journey south, little seemed out of place as I gazed out over Leicester Square from my vantage point on the fifth floor of the Victory House Hotel, apart from, perhaps, the high number of tourists hiding behind face masks and the fact that some door staff were wearing blue surgical gloves.

Situated in the bustling heart of London’s West End, the Victory House Hotel stands on a site once dominated by taverns, drapers, upholsterers and a post office. The French Renaissance style facade, also home to the famous Hippodrome Casino, behind which the hotel is located has since been christened a “heritage icon” and is a familiar landmark in the ever-changing square.

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Described as “exuding chicness both inside and out” the hotel invites visitors to immerse themselves in a “land of film and theatre”.

Victory House Hotel, London

Room service

An efficient check-in precedes a wander along a short, low-lit corridor, during which you are transported back to the golden age of cinema courtesy of a British Pathé News reel projected on to the wall - Elizabeth Taylor and the Queen in a never-ending monochrome loop as the lift doors slide shut.

Opened in 2017, Victory House Hotel offers a modern take on the ultra-chic hotels of the past, capturing a bygone era with exquisite detail and a refreshingly minimalist approach. Chilled and ever so slightly decadent, the cinematic theme continues in Room 506 where the calming silvery grey and white colours, highlighted by monochrome period prints - 1930s bathing belles, filming in Berlin back in the day, an old hand-cranked camera atop a car roof - complement the corridor’s darker greys and subdued purple.

Elegance and style continue in the bathroom’s sparkly black and white tiles and vintage fittings.

Glass teapot at the Victory House Hotel, London

The bed is large, comfortable and, like the rest of the suite, immaculately clean and bright. There’s a TV, desk and chair but otherwise the simple design and creative use of space give a deceptively spacious impression – a separate “lounge” area is perhaps too small to be more than a reader’s corner.

Budget or boutique?

With 86 rooms and suites, Victory House Hotel falls firmly into the boutique category. With a choice of Classic, Superior, Deluxe or Executive rooms and Deluxe and Executive suites, prices reflect the hotel’s supremely central location. Discounts are available when booking direct through the hotel.

Wining and dining

Granaio Caffe & Cucina, doubles as the hotel bar, restaurant and breakfast area. The menu is one of traditional and regional Italian dishes inspired by “Grandma’s kitchen”. It’s all very rustic as is the décor, in direct contrast to the rest of the Victory House experience.

Breakfast is a big affair with plenty of choice from cooked breakfasts to fruit, yogurt or a cold collation of meats, cheeses and fish. Tea is served in eye-catching, talking-point glass teapots.

Worth getting out of bed for

The hotel’s theme is perfect for film buffs. From the window there’s an ideal view of the Leicester Square Odeon cinema, home to so many red carpet screenings – they were setting up for the European premiere of Mulan as I looked out.

Little extras

“We know travelling is thirsty work…” declares the notice by the complimentary tea and coffee, which come with a selection of Ringtons biscuits and Joe & Seph’s caramel and sea salt gourmet popcorn. Addictive.

Guest book comments

Despite the bustle of its location, Suite 506 boasts a peaceful ambiance, but just to ensure you enjoy a great night’s sleep there’s a small, black bedside pack that tempts, “Close your ears and shut your eyes, with a good night’s sleep, time flies. Open me…”

Inside you’ll find a set of ear-plugs to keep London’s rumble at bay and an eye-mask to block out the neon glow of Leicester Square – although the heavy silver grey curtains do the job.

Indeed, the ear-plugs proved a godsend when, at 2am, there was a quick mic check for the next day’s film launch.

Room only prices start at £116 per night at Victory House Hotel, 14 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BZ (+44 203 909 4100, [email protected])

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