Hotels In London, visit England

LONDON, ENGLAND — As guests walk up St. Ermin’s Hotel’s tree-line courtyard, they are not just entering a luxury hotel they are revisiting history. St Ermin’s is built upon the site of a 15th century chapel dedicated to St. Ermin (a derivation of St. Armel.) In mid to late 19th century, Westminster underwent great changes and expansion, resulting in the creation of St. Ermin’s Mansions by E.T. Hall in 1889, the building that now forms the basis of  St. Ermin’s Hotel.

In 1899, the mansion blocks were finally converted into a hotel, the new owners embarked on a major refurbishment, involving the redesign of the interiors. This work was undertaken by the famous Victorian theatre designer J.P. Briggs, who created a dramatic collection of reception rooms with rich plasterwork. This vintage marketing brochure from around 1910 illustrates this spectacular craftsmanship first-hand, much of which is still in evidence today. Like the present St. Ermin’s, the previous owners understood that modern technology enhanced the guest experience, they mention the installation of telephones in all bedrooms, rather than an antiquated bell system.

In 1940 Winston Churchill, held a historic meeting at St. Ermin’s Hotel. He asked a group of remarkable people to join him in ‘Setting Europe Ablaze’ – this elite set, were to become the founding members of the SOE (Special Operations Executive). The unit carried out covert operations during WW2, from their headquarters – an entire floor of St. Ermin’s Hotel, whilst MI6 were stationed two floors above. In the 1950’s the spy Guy Burgess (part of the infamous Cambridge five) handed over secret papers to his Russian counterpart in the Caxton Bar.  St. Ermin’s continues to play an important part in London’s history, as it is rumoured that a tunnel runs from underneath the grand staircase in the Lobby all the way to the houses of Westminster.

The hotel is also home to 200,000 Buckfast bees, a good tempered honey bee, who reside in three custom-built hives on St. Ermin’s’ rooftop. These lucky bees have fantastic access to London’s parks, all within their three mile flight radius, to collect a wide variety of pollen and nectar, which in turn gives their honey a truly delicious taste.

London is a perfect environment for bees, as aside from all the green spaces on the hotel’s doorstep, cities actually trap heat, which mean they can start foraging earlier in the year than rural bees and continue later into Autumn. It has also been proved that keeping bees can help staff morale, so St. Ermin’s’ staff will be even more friendly and welcoming, than they were before.

These bees are the embodiment of local and seasonal produce that help the environment and people on so many levels.

Hotels In London, visit England
A Great Hotel In The Heart Of London

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