Historical Hotel and Great Location Makes This London Hyatt A Fun Choice!

by Shelli Stein

There are cities that become favorites even if you don’t actually live there. You simply enjoy them for all they have to offer and visit them as often as you can. When it comes to cities that offer what I enjoy, London has always ranked HIGH on my list. It has a certain charm. For me it’s magical. The parks, gardens, walking along the River Thames, the art, the theater and so much more. And yes, the people too! Each time I visit and get to know the city better, I realize how good I feel when in London. She matches me well! There’s never a doubt when I visit that I will return. For my most recent visit I decided to spread my time in London across a variety of Hyatt properties, one of which was Great Scotland Yard Hotel. I do like to sample different hotels in London, as well as different areas of the city, so this idea worked well for me.

a sign on a sidewalk

How I Paid and My Room Assignment at the Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Don’t think for a minute that I’ll go easy on the Great Scotland Yard Hotel as I pen this hotel and hotel room review. I may be a Hyatt fan girl, but that often means I hold Hyatt properties to a higher standard. After all, first impressions matter and if you’ve not yet stayed here I want you to have the best and most informed impression possible.

I’m not writing to promote Hyatt. I’m writing to inform readers!

Specifics About The Hotel

The hotel has 151 rooms and only 7 suites. Some would say it’s a boutique hotel. A boutique hotel is typically 100 rooms or less, yet this property might feel like a boutique hotel to you. Great Scotland Yard Hotel is managed by Hyatt for a company that owns many hotels around the world and across brands.

The hotel is part of the Unbound Collection for Hyatt and fits the description of Unbound Collection hotels very well. Hyatt describes the Unbound Collection like this: “The Unbound Collection is a portfolio of new and existing upper-upscale hotel properties, ranging from historic urban gems to contemporary trend-setters and boutique properties to resorts. Whether the properties have a fascinating past, an exclusive location, famous architecture and design, or an award-winning dining experience, the properties in the collection create story-worthy experiences for guests.”

Front entrance Great Scotland Yard Hotel

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Unbound Collection properties are not branded Hyatt hotels. In fact, in the lobby there was only one sign that mentioned the connection of Great Scotland Yard Hotel to Hyatt.

The front of the building is the original structure. The owners and hotel design team were not allowed to change anything when they built out the hotel.

Front entrance Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Hotel guests are mainly Americans and Europeans would be the second largest group. The hotel serves mostly leisure guests and 2-3 nights is the average length of stay.

Great Scotland Yard lobby

Lots of interesting artifacts and artwork to explore in the hotel lobby

Great Scotland Yard Hotel is a good choice for families. There are two bedroom suites and rooms that connect creating a larger space. It wouldn’t be a good choice for a convention or big business group because of its limited number of rooms.

My recent stay at the Great Scotland Yard Hotel was for two nights. I could have used a World of Hyatt free night award or booked nights with Hyatt points. Hotels in London can be super pricey. The all cash rate hovered around $400 USD a night. I decided to use points for one night and a free night award for the other night.

Artwork in lobby of hotel of England's new king

Hard to tell from the photo that this artwork of the new king is crafted out of buttons!

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Great Scotland Yard Hotel is a World of Hyatt Category 6 property, meaning free nights start at 25,000 Hyatt points per night.

I was upgraded to a Premium room—quiet, high floor, corner. My room was on the top floor so the architecture in the room had curved ceilings and the old classic room style was kept intact.

Because of my Globalist status with Hyatt I was proactively upgraded to a premium room, and knew this ahead of time. That’s always a welcome gesture!

I asked hotel management what occupancy was during my stay and generally how many guests are Hyatt members. They would not answer those two questions. As an aside, this is the first hotel management team I’ve put that question to who would not answer. Strange but true.

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Using my Hotel Room Scorecard I broke down the individual elements of my Great Scotland Yard Hotel room which scored a 36 of 40 points.

Location (5/5)

Location, location, location is often why people choose this centrally located property. The history of the building and street are fascinating, too! The hotel is just off Trafalgar Square, which is considered a central London location. The metro is two blocks away.

No matter which direction you walk from the hotel, you’ll be exploring London highlights. Another location plus is being able to walk to the theater district of London rather than taking public transportation should you stay in other areas of London.

The hotel is on a small cross-street with the police stables just a few doors down the street. Make sure to watch for police on horseback as they depart and ride down the street. Old world sites, for sure.

Great Scotland Yard Hotel view from room of Trafalgar Square

Great Scotland Yard Hotel view from room of Trafalgar Square

Lighting (5/5)

The lighting in the room was great. There was plenty of natural light, too. This makes a big difference in what can be gloomy, rainy, overcast London weather.
There were two floor-to-ceiling windows in the bedroom. The lighting was all overhead with no floor lamps, which can often mean quirky lighting options, but not in this case. The lighting options were alongside the bed, clearly marked, and super easy to use for creating whichever lighting levels you needed. It’s rare that I give lighting a 5 out of 5 score, but this room was one of the best lit, easiest to use lights I’ve seen in a long time.

Door entrance to suite at Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Door entrance to suite at Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Yes, I recognize that the average guest stays maybe two nights, but there are guests who work or just want to sit and READ with proper lighting. Having a well-lit room makes a difference. At least I think so!

Window Access (5/5)

Having floor to ceiling windows in both the bedroom and bathroom made a huge difference.

There are two levels of window shades, one for sun/privacy and one for black-out darkness.

View of bedroom from bathroom in suite at Great Scotland Yard Hotel

The windows opened even in the bathroom. I do know that not all bathrooms at the Great Scotland Yard Hotel have windows in the bathrooms.

I know it can be unrealistic to expect hotel windows that open, but for me that’s always what makes window access a 5 star rating, instead of a 4. Being able to open both the window in the bathroom and the bedroom.

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Bed Comfort (4/5)

The bed was too soft for me, but not as soft as some beds at other hotel properties I’ve stayed at. I did sleep well though, because I found the room design peaceful. And just in case you’re not already aware of this, bed sizes in the UK are different from in the States. They are smaller in width and often shorter in length as well. The pillows worked well and there were already different pillow types on the bed, so I was able to choose which worked best for me. Too often all the pillows are the same, but not in this case.

Bathroom (5/5)

Before I comment on the hotel room bathroom, here’s a tip for you. You must visit the lobby bathrooms. They are so creatively decorated! I know that’s not much information, so just visit them 🙂

I thought the bathroom was great. It was well-laid out and designed. The blue-green tile design in both the shower and the bathroom wall gave the bathroom a splash of color.

Bathroom Great Scotland Yard Hotel

All the rooms have Toto Washlet toilets. This means heated toilet seats. Always a welcome addition in a bathroom.

I love marble floors in a hotel bathroom. To me they make the most sense.

There are two lighting options for the bathroom as well as natural light from the window.

Bathroom Great Scotland Yard Hotel

The mirrors were well-placed and have lights on them. I much preferred this instead of those magnifying mirrors that everyone hates because no one ever looks good in them.

There were no hooks for towels except one on the back of the door. No racks for towels on walls even though there was plenty of wall space. There was a heated towel rack, though. Nice touch!

Great Scotland Yard Hotel is still using bar soap and shampoo rather than dispensers attached to walls. Given that I don’t use sundries dispensed from canisters, this was a plus.

Old style heater in bathroom of Great Scotland Yard suite

Old style heater in bathroom of Great Scotland Yard suite

You can tell from my comments that I thought the bathroom design was perfectly done and the bathroom space functioned really well.

Interior Appointments and Furnishings (4/5)

The carpet and wallpaper were neutral brown colors and worked well with the room decor.

The carpet did have quite a few stains and the desk chair had stains on it as well.

There was a black laminate desk that seemed odd and out of place color wise. However, I totally appreciated having a desk surface and nice natural light by the window.

View of bedroom from bathroom in suite at Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Yeah for a peep hole for women’s height. The placement of peep holes that are too high for women has long been a pet peeve of mine.

There was nothing high tech about the room, which is nice. All lights were easy to use and marked so you knew which switch did what.

There was a full-length mirror. This too is not always the case in hotel rooms and I’m not sure why. This mirror was on the back of one door. Simple enough to add in a hotel room, right?

There was no dresser but drawers were built in to the closet area.

Fireplace corner in suite at Great Scotland Yard Hotel

I very much liked the way the room was designed and laid out. The classic look of the room worked well. Being on the top floor of the hotel meant that the architecture, whether original to the building or added when the hotel was built, added to the homey decor. The fireplace gave the room a homey feel rather than the sometimes sterile feel of a hotel room.

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Electronics (4/5)

For a room this size, there were plenty of plugs and outlets. There were outlets near the bed with universal plugs and USB charging ports. I needed to borrow an adapter. I recognize it’s on me to carry my own, which I do. Just needed an extra one this time around. The hotel did find one for me, so I appreciated that.

Amenities (4/5)

As a Hyatt Globalist I was given a welcome gift and card. I did have to inquire as to whether or not Globalists receive one, though. After management saw they had not provided a welcome gift or card, they did deliver one to my room.

Creative welcome card greeting from the Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Creative welcome card greeting from the Great Scotland Yard Hotel

So original, and I love them!

Creative welcome gift from the Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Creative welcome gift from the Great Scotland Yard Hotel

The property provides water, and it was super generous whenever I requested more. It was also generous with whatever supplies you needed. That always leaves a positive impression on a guest.

When writing hotel reviews I often review the minibar and available snacks. The minibar and coffee area was well-equipped with a kettle and Nespresso style coffee maker. There was a good size fridge. There was shelving above the coffee area. For an extended stay or a stay with a larger group when you might bring your own snacks or food items along, it’s quite a spacious area.

There was an area for coffee/tea and snacks. Nice touch that snacks and drinks were complimentary. I enjoyed the chocolate bars, and nuts in cans.

Great Scotland Yard Hotel coffee and snack area

Spacious coffee and snack area in the suite

For breakfast there is a restaurant area just off the lobby. It offers a full menu of plated foods. There is also a full buffet style option as well. I enjoyed both a plated breakfast and the buffet. The breakfast service was spot on. The staff who helped me were courteous and well-trained.

To purchase breakfast if not included with your room the fee is 30-35 GBP. This seems to be the going rate in hotels in London. The menu is varied and I’m quite sure you’ll find whatever you take for breakfast on the menu or buffet. Not the best buffet I’ve seen here in London, but has all your basic breakfast items.

There are many large common space areas at the hotel. There is a large pub style bar, the restaurant which does serve dinner, and work areas. They are well used by hotel guests.

a room with a checkered floor and a clock

Great Scotland Yard The Parlour

a bar with chairs and a chandelier

The 40 Elephants Bar Great Scotland Yard London

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When I review a hotel I always wonder what complaints hotel guests have, so I ask the hotel team. I would call the complaints that Great Scotland Yard receives cultural complaints. By this I mean that many guests don’t realize how small hotel rooms in the UK can be and that bed sizes are different and often smaller than in the States.

Hotel Service at the Great Scotland Yard Hotel

While you can tell I was thrilled with the hotel room and thought the design and layout were excellent, I was also pleased with the service! This really does tie into my being impressed with the hotel.


Great Scotland Yard Hotel says that ‘Service’ is the hotel’s flagship artwork. This is on exhibit in the hotel’s entrance hall. This artwork tells the story of Great Scotland Yard through thirty portraits and establishes the narrative and themes that continue throughout the hotel.

Each portrait tells the multi-layered history of Great Scotland Yard. It displays a wide range of diverse characters including notorious gangsters and infamous criminals, prominent judges, lawyers and politicians, police personnel, literary figures and monarchs from the 12th Century to the present day, who all serve as storytellers of the incredible history of this London landmark.

a room with a red carpet and a couch

Great Scotland Yard lobby portraits of people in history

Guess who’s who lobby artwork. Very creative way to teach history!

I had an easy and excellent check-in experience. The team was helpful, energetic, and the check-in and lobby area is VERY well-staffed.

Housekeeping was always quick to deliver whatever I requested. If you’ve been traveling much this past year you might have realized how short-staffed many hotels are. I did not find that to be the case at the Great Scotland Yard Hotel at all.

If you choose to engage the hotel staff in conversation they are a fun bunch to chat with. There was never anything I asked for from housekeeping, the front desk team, or the hotel management team where the staff didn’t happily oblige. I thoroughly enjoyed the friendly, warm and very helpful environment.

Creative artwork on each floor of Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Creative artwork on each floor of Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Creative artwork on each floor of Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Creative artwork on each floor of Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Great Scotland Yard Backstory And More

An 1820’s Grade II listed building with Edwardian and Victorian architecture, the Great Scotland Yard Hotel is part of the Hyatt Group and officially launched in March 2022, having briefly opened before the pandemic and subsequently closed during lockdown.

The famous address was originally the HQ of the Metropolitan Police. It’s where Jack the Ripper suspects were interviewed. Charles Dickens frequented the building and the location was used by Arthur Conan Doyle throughout his novels. It was subsequently taken over by the Ministry of Defense and also used as the recruitment office during both World Wars.

It has been entirely rebuilt and extended by two floors to create 151 rooms and 7 suites, where no two rooms are the same. The ground floor hosts the cocktail bar, The 40 Elephants and afternoon tea lounge, The Parlour.


Hidden in plain sight yet behind a false bookcase, Sibín is a space for evening drinks.

Síbín, a term coined in Ireland meaning illicit whisky. It refers to an illicit bar or club where alcoholic drinks were sold without a license. The space features artwork from Alastair Mackie, Belinda Frikh and Cornelia Parker RA.


This restaurant is the hub of the hotel and is open all day until late. The ‘Forty Elephants’ were famous as the UK’s first and only all female gang, taking a unique place in the history of British crime. Famous for their glamorous style,  the notoriety of the young gang came about when lead by Alice Diamond, known as the smartest shoplifter in Great Britain.

Under her leadership, they targeted luxury fashion and jewelry shops, successfully stealing the finest garments, furs, and diamonds. They were active throughout the 19th and 20th century. Their heyday was in the interwar period. The gang operated from the Elephant and Castle District. Their forty portraits surround the room and items from their thefts are displayed under glass tabletops.


Care for afternoon tea? The Afternoon Tea at the Great Scotland Yard Hotel collaborates with the iconic perfumery and Royal Warrant holder, Floris London. I was told the afternoon tea experience is inspired by the historical British perfumiers’ scents and is reflected through an assortment of seasonal cakes and patisserie.

Does your dog favor afternoon tea?

A dog afternoon tea is also available in partnership with Talula Eats, who handcrafts gourmet organic dog food and sweet treats in their Fitzrovia kitchen. With this Afternoon Tea menu, your pooch can enjoy doggy treats such as a Fresh Doggie Bowl, Doggie Digestives, and a Pink Peony cupcake. A portion of all Talula Eats’ sales goes directly to the DOTS (Dogs on the Streets) charity.


The flagship restaurant brings Michelin starred chef Niklas Ekstedt’s signature style of wood fired ‘old Nordic’ cooking to the UK. Ekstedt at The Yard focuses on Scandinavian cooking techniques using the very best seasonal British ingredients. It has an open kitchen which makes for a fun evening and dining experience.

Final Thoughts On Great Scotland Yard Hotel

This hotel choice provides a great oasis for a busy area of London. Even though you’re in the hub of London activity, the rooms and hotel had a quiet, easy-going vibe.

The Great Scotland Yard Hotel is an unusual hotel, in an excellent location, with an unusual concept. The hotel is a great value on points. What it offers and the service were both spot on.

Would I Stay At This Hotel Again?

I would absolutely stay here again. Putting together this review was fun because it brought back memories of an enjoyable hotel stay in a city I’m quite fond of. I’m thrilled I tried something different when needing a hotel in London and glad Hyatt made the move to take over this property and do such a fabulous job with the refurbished rooms and building.

Many friends have recommended I try this property and they will all get big hugs when I see them next!

I think of Great Scotland Yard as a hotel for people who enjoy mixing their hotel stay with spending time in central London. It’s in a super touristy area, but yet feels like a quiet oasis when you enter the property. That description includes me and if it includes you, by all means gather up your travel gear and give this hotel a try and see what you think for yourself.

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Robert December 17, 2023 - 4:41 pm

Thank you for the great review. Did you get free breakfast as globalist?

Shelli Stein December 17, 2023 - 5:30 pm

Appreciate you reading, Robert. Yes, breakfast for Globalists indeed. It’s served in the dining room and you can either order off the menu or take the buffet. Plenty of great options to enjoy!


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