SPY HOTEL RENDEZVOUS
Did you know that many central London hotels have been linked with MI5 and MI6 and other shadowy outfits throughout the decades? Many were used to meet and debrief contacts. Some were used to question those under suspicion. Some of them even had intelligence officers based inside. Rooms were habitually bugged in others, and one was the scene of a poisoning which to this day still creates tension between the two countries involved. Potential recruits to the intelligence services were often interviewed in them, over the dinner table. And many celebratory occasions were held in London’s finest hotels – or their bars, to be more accurate!
Are you going to be staying in one of them during your time in London? If so, why not arrange for your own tour with Mr. X that starts and finishes there? Immerse yourself in the intelligence world as soon as you meet Mr .X in the hotel lobby all the way until your return. Your tour can either be for a group of adults or perhaps a more intimate tour for two (not surprising considering that the vast majority of people joining the ‘Trail are couples).
BENEFITS OF HOTEL PICK-UP AND DROP-OFF TOURS
Save time – no walking, cab ride or tube journey to the ‘Trail Rendezvous point (RVP).
Get a real feel for the history and events associated with the very place you’re staying in.
And of course, you’ll also be maximising your time in town by not having to concern yourself with the time after the tour to return to your hotel: your hotel IS the end-point! So if you’re wanting to cram in as much as possible during your London trip but not compromise on transit times to and from the venues, then the ‘Trail is here to help!
So, from which London spy hotels can you start and finish your private ‘Trail?
ST. ERMIN’S HOTEL
Arguably “the spy hotel of spy hotels” in London, the deluxe four-star St. Ermin’s Hotel is the end point for THE INTELLIGENCE TRAIL on the standard Classic, Early Years, Cold War, and Sexpionage tours – and for many very good reasons! It also appears on the forthcoming ‘Westminster and Water’ tour, launching in Summer 2012. The hotel was refurbished in 2011 and located adjacent to New Scotland Yard, the hotel features in the Conde Nast Traveller Hot List . All in all, the perfect spy hotel for spy aficionados!
Address: 2 Caxton Street, LONDON, SW1H 0QH
THE ROYAL HORSEGUARDS
Situated immediately behind the Old War Office (inhabited by the Defence Intelligence Staff), and yards away from the Ministry of Defence Main Building, the five-star Horseguards is well located to immerse yourself in thoughts of Whitehall intrigue. The hotel building plays its part in the early years of one of Britain’s most well known intelligence services, and duly features in the standard Early Years, Sexpionage (and occasional Classic) ‘Trails.
Address: 2 Whitehall Court, LONDON, SW1A 2EJ
Opening in 2011, the five-star Corinthia occupies the same building as the former Metropole Hotel, and has also played host to military and defence intelligence sections over the years. The hotel boasts its own Harrods concession, and has the largest spa facilities in London – spread over four floors. Alongside the St. Ermin’s, the hotel appears in the Conde Nast Traveller Hot List. With only a few yards separating Corinthia from The Royal Horseguards and the Old War Office, it also merits mention in THE INTELLIGENCE TRAIL standard Early Years, and occasional Classic, tours.
Whitehall Place, LONDON, SW1A 2BD
HOW TO BOOK
Booking your hotel rendezvous tour is simple. Email the ‘Trail with the normal required information (name, contact details, date/time requested, number of people), adding your preference for a hotel rendezvous, specifying the hotel you’re staying in. Or if you’ve already checked in to the above hotels, ask the concierge to do so. Please note there will be an additional £30 supplement payable for hotel pick up/drop off tours.
AND THERE’S MORE!
THE INTELLIGENCE TRAIL will introduce pick-up/drop-off tours from further London spy hotels (and there are many more!) throughout 2012 and 2013. Maintain your surveillance of this page for new details!