Victory House, London – Hotel Review
Victory House, Leicester Square, London
by Roger Crow / @RogerCrow
Ah London. Forever changing like the cityscapes from Doctor Strange or Inception, especially as it’s been a while since my last visit. Of course, some things never change that much. Leicester Square for example, the heart of the UK movie industry, where Tom Cruise spends hours chatting to fans before a premiere, and millions mingle here 365 days a year.
Getting a decent hotel is everything if you have business on the doorstep, or just want to be in the heart of cinema and theatre land. Having visited the area countless times, I’ve never been lucky enough to try out the local hostelries, until now.
While en route to Seville, my wife and I are in town celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary and want an evening to remember. She’s booked tickets for a concert version of Les Miserables, and the fact the Gielgud Theatre is a few minutes’ walk from the Victory House hotel, Leicester Square is a massive bonus. None of that travelling across London on packed Tubes at rush hour to ensure we get where we need to be in time. And obviously the fact there’s no shortage of affordable eateries on the doorstep is equally terrific.
So what of the hotel itself? Well, from the minute we arrive on a rainy Friday afternoon, the service is excellent. A guy on the door helps us in; check-in is fast and efficient, and within about five minutes, we’ve taken a lift to the second floor and found our room.
It’s an incredibly stylish hotel which echoes the cinematic roots of the region. A mix of black and white, Art Deco styling, with a clever video running on a loop by the lifts is a nice touch.
The room is compact but terrific, with tea and coffee-making facilities as standard. Always a must for any decent hotel, and not a bad cuppa either. The bathroom is elegant, with a wonderful spotless shower, sink and loo.
And with a view overlooking Leicester Square, there’s plenty of time for people-watching, or in my case setting up a time lapse video to see life go by at an accelerated speed.
The bed, as you might expect, is wonderfully comfortable, and there’s an HD TV for those moments when you just want to chill out.
Obviously as this is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, it’s not quiet outside, so best to go to bed tired as partygoers will be up ’til all hours. A small price to pay for such an experience.
Before we nip to the theatre, we ask the guys on reception if they would print our boarding passes for the next day’s flight. And they couldn’t be more helpful. It’s little touches like that which make the difference between a good hotel and a great one.
Following the show, and the luxury of strolling back to the hotel, it’s obviously a thrill to be in such a thriving hotspot, but even nicer to close a door on it.
Because the bed is so comfortable, I’m soon out like a light and enjoy a wonderful night. Yes, the pulsing sound of London does interrupt the odd dream, but in a weird way, that’s half the experience. Forget New York, New York. I don’t mind waking up in a city that never sleeps, even if it is in the early hours.
“Fast and efficient”
Breakfast, which is served from 7am in the hotel’s elegant cafe/dining area, is a help-yourself feast of staples, from cereals, to croissants, bacon, scrambled eggs, beans and terrific sausages. The perfect set up for a very long day ahead.
Check-out is as fast and efficient as it was on the way in, and like all great hotels, we consider it for a future stay next time we’re in town. It’s that good.
As we race off to the Tube to catch our bus to Stansted, it’s hard not to be reminded of those classic lyrics “Goodbye Piccadilly (Line), farewell Leicester Square.”
When it comes to cracking hotels like Victory House, my heart’s (still) right there.
Victory House, 14 Leicester Pl, London, WC2H 7BZ
Prices for rooms start at £249 per night. Victory House is part of Criterion Hospitality who proudly partner with Crisis, the national charity for homeless people. For every room sold, a donation is made to Crisis through the ‘Bed for a Bed’ initiative.