We recently told you that the amazing St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London has launched the St Pancras Pooch Package – the ultimate chic city break for dogs and their owners. Far be it from us to recommend something to our readers without trying it ourselves, so George and I took on the task of road testing this new pet friendly experience at one of London’s most iconic hotels……and it didn’t disappoint.
If you’ve ever strolled past the The St Pancras Renaissance, you’ll know just how breathtaking the imposing hotel is – I often snap pictures of it on a clear day when I’m walking through the city. An iconic landmark in London’s now very fashionable Kings Cross area, it oozes Victorian grandeur, but with all the contemporary touches you’d expect from a 5 star hotel.
Originally the Grand Midland Hotel, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, the Grade I listed building was meticulously restored by the Marriott Group to its current incarnation. Dizzyingly high ceilings, grand walkways and sweeping staircases evoke the hotel’s original splendour (you can almost imagine high society pulling up in their horse drawn cabs), but with exclusive restaurants, bars and a spa, it is now very much a modern affair.
For a small supplement, dogs can stay with you in St Pancras’s standard rooms, but for those enjoying the full St Pancras Pooch Package, a luxurious Chambers Suite awaits. Situated on the first floor, and overlooking the bustling Euston Road, the Chambers Suites are all-out opulence, with 18ft high ceilings, enormous (and criminally comfortable) bed, decadent marble bathroom with walk-in shower and bathtub (complete with Ren skin products), and there is a desk and workspace if you really have to log-on during your stay.
PET FRIENDLY PERKS
Plenty of hotels claim to be ‘pet friendly’, but the St Pancras Renaissance is the real deal. Firstly, your dog is welcomed through the main doors (not always the case with so-called pet friendly hotels). On arrival in your suite, pooches are greeting with a bounty of goodies from Woof Box. In George’s box was a brilliant flamingo toy (which is sadly now missing two legs, half its stuffing and is hanging on for dear life), Lilly’s Kitchen organic dog treats, breath freshening doggy chews from Pooch & Mutt, and a nifty poo bag dispenser.
While you’re sinking into the unbelievable bliss of your gigantic bed, Fido can enjoy some creature comforts too. StyleTails have teamed up with the hotel to deck out pet friendly suites with a beautiful designer bed, blanket and bowl, all available from our online shop (shameless plug). St Pancras pooches also receive VIP membership to StyleTails, offering 10% off the world’s best luxury pet brands.
Finally (and probably best of all), dogs are treated to a two hour one-to-one training session with an expert trainer from City Dog – one of London’s leading urban dog trainers. For dogs that aren’t so familiar with the city, City Dog can help with things like getting on and off buses, navigating traffic and dealing with busy environments. As George is already a well-versed city dog, we discussed some of his other behaviours that need ‘tweaking’.
Nicole, the Founder of City Dog met us in the lobby, and due to the wet weather outside, we took the training session up to our suite. Nicole gave us a really insightful understanding of how a dog’s brain works (not always how we think!) and helped us with some fixes for George’s bad habits, like jumping up and refusing to let go of things (tennis balls, stuffed toys, chicken bones). Finally we had some fun using clicker training to teach George to take selfies and to paint with his nose on an iPad!
EAT & DRINK
For something really special, book a table at the Gilbert Scott restaurant, or if you’re in the mood for a more relaxed meal like we were, head to the Booking Office. Situated in the old Kings Cross train station booking office (see what they did there?), the space retains its original grand ticket hall feel, but is now home to a buzzing modern restaurant and bar. We ate the sumptuous fish pie, a fresh warm chicken salad, salt and pepper squid (finger licking good), and topped it off with a sticky date pudding with butterscotch ice cream and banana.
As a guest in a Chambers suite, you also have access to the Chambers Club, which was conveniently located right beneath our room. Head down there for an aperitif and light bite before dinner, and tuck into eggs, waffles and coffee for breakfast.
Dogs can’t join you in the restaurants, but fido can accompany you in the Hansom lounge, which occupies the enormous entrance to the hotel. Treat yourself to tea, a cocktail, and some nibbles, and your pooch will be provided with a bowl of water. Dogs can stay in your room while you dine in the restaurants, but this only advised if you feel they can be left unattended for a short time with barking or causing any damage.
WHO SHOULD GO?
Dogs and owners that want to experience the best that London has to offer in style. If your dog is terrified of big cities and hates crowds, this is probably not for them, but for dogs that are calm and confident in new environments, this is the ultimate dog friendly city break.
WHAT TO BRING
The Chambers Suites have just about everything you and your pooch could need during your stay. The only things you will need to bring along are your dog’s collar and lead and some food for Fido. Dogs have so many different dietary requirements these days so it is better if you bring your own to avoid any upset tummies. There is a fridge in your suite if you need to keep anything chilled.
“There’s no denying it – this is a very special treat for any dog and their owner. We certainly couldn’t afford to do it every weekend, but if it’s full-on luxury and an iconically London experience you’re after, this is it.”
“I can be easily bribed with toys and treats, so this was right up my street! While I like to think of myself as a hip hound about town, this was next-level on the hound-o-meter. I loved busting open my Woof Box, and immediately taught that flamingo a lesson it wouldn’t forget! Nicole from City Dog brought along cooked chicken and cheese for our training, so I was happy to oblige, and the staff were very liberal with dishing out the tummy rubs. When can we go again!?”
The St Pancras Pooch Package starts at £740. For something more modest, your dog can stay in your room for a £30 supplement, including a dog basket and water bowl. Visit marroit.co.uk for more details.