London Drum

The Royal Horseguards Hotel – Review of the 5-star Guoman hotel in Westminster

The Royal Horseguards HotelPhoto: Craig Cross
Star rating: ★★★★★ Address: The Royal Horseguards, 2 Whitehall Court (behind Whitehall Gardens) Contact: Tel: 0207 523 5062 Web: Facilities: Restaurant, bar, lounge, outside terrace, concierge, laundry, gym, turn-down service, room service, minibar, tea & coffee, Wi-Fi, TV, telephone, hairdryer, iron, ensuite bathroom, air-conditioning, safe, newspaper Parking: Car parks in Westminster Buses: 3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 87, 88, 159 Bus fares Trains: The closest station is Embankment Bakerloo Circle District Northern Other nearby stations: Charing Cross, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, St. James’s Park, Waterloo and Westminster Train fares

Craig’s review… If you want to impress somebody then show them a photo of the Royal Horseguards Hotel from the outside. Book a weekend away and show them a photo of where they’re staying – I guarantee that they will be impressed. If you look at the hotel from across the river then it’s all turrets and spires and golden lamplights in the leafy trees. It really is a beautiful building.

The Royal Horseguards Hotel, overlooking Whitehall GardensPhoto: Craig Cross
The Royal Horseguards Hotel, overlooking Whitehall Gardens

Inside a room at the Royal Horseguards

This is the kind of hotel that I’d happily live in forever. Some of the stuff you get in here I’ve never seen in a hotel before, like the underfloor-heating in the marble bathroom – it’s like walking on a piece of warm carpet – and the TV screen inside the shower cubicle.

Inside a room at The Royal Horseguards HotelPhoto: Craig Cross
Inside a room at The Royal Horseguards Hotel

The bedroom has all the usual goodies in it: a desk, a chair, another chair, a big armchair, lots of drawers with nothing in them, an ice cooler with no ice in it, a dressing gown and pair of flip-flop slippers, an iron and ironing board, a shoehorn that is about a foot long, a personal safe, three telephones. And you get free Wi-Fi as well, which isn’t always the case with 5-star hotels.

They’ve also been pretty generous with the teabags. They actually give you more tea than I can drink in a day – and I can drink a lot of tea. You get a little wooden casket full of Twinings teabags, plenty of coffees, sugars and milks, plus a few nutty organic biscuits. The minibar is full of booze and crisps and nuts, but of course the prices are totally crazy (as they always are in hotel minibars).

Ensuite bathroom with underfloor heatingPhoto: Craig Cross
Ensuite bathroom with underfloor heating
TV inside the shower cubiclePhoto: Craig Cross
TV inside the shower cubicle

Breakfast in the Royal Horseguards restaurant

The restaurant is very nice, all white china and marble floors, dark wood tables and portraits of old soldiers hanging on the walls. The bookcases are filled with leathery old tomes that are too old to open, and all the staff are wearing red ties and waistcoats and walking around with silver trays balanced on a tripod of upturned fingers. You could practically have a three-course meal for breakfast if you wanted. You could start with fruit and yoghurt, follow it up with a plate of sausages, eggs, boiled potatoes and a bowl of olives, and polish it off with a croissant and five triangles of toast.

The customers who frequent this restaurant all have very important things they need to do today. The old blokes next to me are currently discussing the market’s reaction to the latest business news, and the effect it’s having on their portfolio. Every other sentence contains a phrase like ‘forcing audience direction’ or ‘company communication channels’ and I’m just sitting here thinking come on, guys. At least wait until 9 AM before you start talking about work. They’re probably the kind of guys who make proper use of that TV in the shower, catching up on the Bloomberg news while they’re washing their hair.

The Royal Horseguards bar

The bar is nice and dark and gloomy (I like dark and gloomy). It’s the kind of place where you can think dark and gloomy thoughts over a ten quid coffee. They’ve decorated it with lamps and candles and golden horse heads and the staff say things like “yes, sir” and “you’re welcome, sir” but let me be honest: there’s no way that anybody can truly mistake me for a sir. I’m not even a mister. I’m barely even a guv. I should be calling them sir. But that’s part of the fun of staying in a posh hotel, isn’t it? – you can pretend that you’re somebody worth knowing. And for all they know, maybe you are. As long as you keep paying the bill then they’ll carry on playing the game.

Location of the Royal Horseguards Hotel

The hotel’s location is pretty much perfect. Horse Guards is just across the street. You can walk to Downing Street in about three minutes and Trafalgar Square is four minutes down the road.

Worth a stay? Value for money? Nice rooms? Good location?

London Squire bookThe owns and has spent the last decade reviewing the capital’s landmarks, attractions and hotels. His guidebook is available from Amazon

Your comments and questions

Rich Hi. Do you know if the hotel has car parking?

Craig Hi Rich. The hotel doesn't have a car-park, but there's a Q-Park just past Admiralty Arch which is only a couple of minutes walk away -​en-gb/​cities/london/trafalgar/

LGill Hello. Please can you tell me what the check-in times are for the hotel, thank you

Craig Hi LGill. The check-in time is 3 PM, and the checking-out time is 11 AM

Leave a comment