HomeHotel ReviewsReview: Great Scotland Yard Hotel London (Hyatt Unbound Collection)

Review: Great Scotland Yard Hotel London (Hyatt Unbound Collection)

TravelingForMiles.com may receive commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on TravelingForMiles.com are from advertisers and may impact how and where card products appear on the site. TravelingForMiles.com does not include all card companies or all available card offers.

Other links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission that helps contribute to the running of the site. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. Terms apply to all credit card welcome offers, earning rates and benefits and some credit card benefits will require enrollment. For more details please see the disclosures found at the bottom of every page.

Recently, I read a review of the Great Scotland Yard Hotel in which the writer called it the best Hyatt in London so, as I’ve always considered the Churchill to be London’s best Hyatt and as my only experience of the Great Scotland Yard Hotel was ‘enjoyed’ during the Covid pandemic, I decided it was time to pay this property another visit.

The admin

  • Length of stay: 1 night
  • Actual cost of stay: £282/$359 (including taxes/fees)
  • Points cost for the same night (had I booked with points): 25,000
  • Paid with: The World of Hyatt Credit Card
  • Elite status at time of stay: World of Hyatt Globalist (top-tier)
  • Points earned from the booking: 3,378
    • World of Hyatt: 1,942 (1,494 base points + 448 elite bonus)
    • World of Hyatt Credit Card: 1,436
  • Upgrade instruments used: None
  • Upgrade received: Yes – to highest non-suite room category

Link to hotel website

Getting there/location

The Great Scotland Yard Hotel has a very central London location and is within walking distance of a significant number of London’s key visitor attractions (Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Whitehall, The Houses of Parliament, etc…).

a map of a city
Click or tap to enlarge.
a map of a city
Click or tap to enlarge.

If you’re visiting with a view to walking around London, you will struggle to find a better located hotel.

If you’re arriving from Heathrow and using public transport, the cheapest way to get to the hotel would be to take the Underground (subway) Piccadilly Line to Leicester Square (no changes required) and to then walk from Leicester Square to the property (approx. 15 minutes).

The quickest way to the property from Heathrow (using public transport) is to take the Elizabeth Line to Tottenham Court Road, change there to the southbound Northern Line before alighting at Charing Cross station. This will leave you a 5-7 minute walk to the property.

If you’re arriving from Gatwick and using public transport, one of the easier ways to get to the hotel would be to take the Thameslink service to London’s Blackfriars station, change there to the Underground (subway) District Line before alighting at Embankment station. This will leave you a 6-8 minute walk to the property.

The brand

The Unbound Collection brand is Hyatt’s equivalent of Marriott’s Autograph Collection in that it is comprised of properties that keep their own independence and character (i.e. they don’t look or feel like cookie-cutter properties) while still participating fully in the World of Hyatt program.

An introduction to the property

The building that the Great Scotland Yard Hotel sits within is probably best known as the historic former headquarters of the London Metropolitan Police force, but its history goes back a lot further than that.

It is said that parts of the rear of the building date back to 997, and while the current frontage was redeveloped into what we see today in 1910, the building has served various uses over the centuries (it even served as the UK’s Ministry of Defence up to 2013).

In its communal areas, the Great Scotland Yard Hotel embraces its law enforcement past with historical Metropolitan Police artefacts …

a display case with objects on it
Memorabilia from UK law enforcement down the years.
a display case with various objects on it
Memorabilia from UK law enforcement down the years.

… images of famous and notorious people from London’s history …

Hyatt Great Scotland Yard Hotel London

… and even artwork from modern-day inmates created while serving time at various places of incarceration around the UK (some pieces are surprisingly good).

The lobby at the Great Scotland Yard Hotel is in keeping with what you’d expect from a boutique hotel with a small welcome area and a small-ish check-in area with just two desks in place of a large entrance hall with a grand reception desk.

a room with a desk and chairs
One of the two check-in desks at Great Scotland Yard.
a room with a couch and a coffee table
The lobby area.
a room with a couch and coffee table
The lobby area.
a room with a piano and a couch
Decor in the lobby area.
a couch with pillows and a table in a room
Decor in the lobby area.

Several of the pieces of furniture that you’ll see around the hotel were specifically made for the property and while you may think that having numerous artefacts hanging on the walls may make the property feel smaller than it is, it doesn’t.

Great Scotland Yard embraces a significant part of its history with style, and as you’ll hopefully see in some of the images to come, the overall decor of the property (from the hallways to the dining area and the bars, gives off a high-end vibe that I really like.


On the day before arrival, the Hyatt app showed that our room had been upgraded, but the booking details that I could see online still showed us in the entry-level room that we had originally chosen (1 King Bed).

Upon arrival at the property, the desk agent who was checking us in confirmed that we had been given a complimentary upgrade to a ‘1 King Deluxe Balcony’ room (the highest non-suite room category) … but there was a catch. The room was an ‘accessible’ room and not a standard room.

There are positives and negatives to having an accessible room if you’re not in need of all the extra aids that an accessible room offers.

On the negative side of things, you have the fact that the bathroom (complete with all its assistance equipment) can feel a little more functional than comfortable or luxurious, and if you’ve booked a property for its luxurious feel, this could reduce the enjoyment of your stay.

On the positive side of things, you have the fact that an accessible room is likely to be larger than most other non-suite rooms in the property because it needs to offer disabled guests enough space to move around when using whatever aids they require.

For a one- or two-night booking, I’m usually more than happy to accept an accessible room* and as I was also aware that a lot of the lower category rooms at Great Scotland Yard can feel a little small, I thanked the agent for the generous upgrade, and she proceeded to check us in quickly and efficiently.

For what it’s worth, I should probably take this opportunity to point out that for the second time at a Hyatt property this year, a duty manager appeared as we were checking in to welcome us back and to see if there was anything they could do to help make our stay better – that was a nice touch.

*For stays of more than two nights, I will usually ask the property what other options they have, and there have been times when I have accepted an upgrade to a lower category room to avoid being assigned an accessible room.

1 King Deluxe Balcony Room (Accessible)

a hallway with a door and a black door
The hallway outside our room.

Our room was on the top floor of the property (I suspect that this is the only floor with rooms that offer a balcony) and it was situated a nice distance from the elevators (not too far away and not too close).

Unlike a lot of other hotel rooms (including some in this hotel), the room we had been assigned doesn’t have a small hallway leading to the sleeping area. Once you step through the door, you’re in the sleeping area.

a bedroom with a tv and a bed
1 King Deluxe Balcony Room (Accessible).

A large king-size bed dominates the room, but unlike the room we had on our one and only other visit to this property, this one didn’t make the room feel small and compact (almost certainly a benefit of this being an accessible room).

a bed with white sheets and a lamp on the side

a bed with white sheets and pillows in a room

Opposite the bed is a standard big screen TV alongside a small round table, a single chair and a stool (there’s no desk) …

a room with a television and a table

And the wall furthest away from the door is where you’ll find a clothes hanging area, a narrow closet (wardrobe), the in-room drinks making facilities, and the mini bar.

a closet with a mirror in it

a closet with white shelves and white walls

a white cabinet with a tea set and wine glasses a teapot and cups in a drawer a drawer with a drink and bottles inside

A small coffee maker (Nespresso-style), a kettle, two cups, glassware, and some overpriced water and miscellaneous soft drinks/sodas are on offer.

As it wasn’t clear if the bottled waters were complimentary (for Hyatt Globalists) and as I couldn’t be bothered to ask the front desk, the water stayed in the mini bar.

The accessible bathroom looks like this:

a bathroom with a shower curtain and sink
The accessible bathroom.
a blue tiled shower with a white towel on the wall
The accessible bathroom.
a mirror above a sink
The accessible bathroom.
a white table with towels on it
The accessible bathroom.

If you weren’t sure what I meant by ‘functional rather than comfortable or luxurious’ when I describe an accessible bathroom earlier in the review, perhaps the images above help explain further.

Functionally, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the set up, but it reminds me more of a high-end private hospital bathroom more than a bathroom at an otherwise lovely property and that’s why for a longer stay I’d rather take a lesser room category than accept an upgrade to a higher category accessible room.

For completeness (where the bathroom is concerned), I should point out that the toiletries on offer come in full-size bottles and are supplied by British cosmetics maker Jo Malone (although they’re not the higher-end Jo Malone toiletries that you’ll find in the main Jo Malone stores – these are the entry-level toiletries from the same brand and that have a website of their own).

a group of white bottles on a metal shelf
Jo Loves – Jo Malone Toiletries.

Moving back into the main part of the room, we have the room’s power and connectivity to discuss.

In brief, the wi-fi was complimentary and the few times that I used it to browse the internet and to send/receive emails, it worked fine.

Both sides of the bed have switches that control the lights for the whole room and both sides of the bed have access to AC power as well as USB-A ports.

a close up of a wall
Power and light switches on both sides of the bed.

For those who’d like to work at the small table, there are further power outlets and USB-A ports available.

a wall with electrical outlets and a table
More power switches are offered on the wall next to the room’s small table.

Finally, I should mention this room category’s main selling point – the balcony.

Access to the balcony is via the French windows located to the right of the TV and behind the room’s table and chair (which will get in the way if you’re not fully mobile).

a table and chair in front of a window
Access to balcony may be challenging for anyone with mobility issues.
a glass door with a table and chairs outside
The balcony.

When London is blessed with glorious sunshine, I can imagine this balcony being a great place to relax.

a table and chairs on a balcony
The balcony is of an impressive size.

The image above makes the balcony look smaller than it is, so a view from the opposite angle may give you a better idea of its size.

a table and chairs on a rooftop

There is quite a lot of space here, and while you are in the very heart of an incredibly busy city, the fact that the Great Scotland Yard Hotel sits on a side street that is relatively traffic free (a side street that the balcony overlooks) …

a street light in front of a building
Not much of a view … but it’s usually quiet.

… means that you should find that the balcony is relatively peaceful (unless there’s a protest march in Whitehall which is a road running perpendicular to the hotel).


The main breakfast at the Great Scotland Yard is served in a room called ‘the Yard’ which sits towards the rear of the property on the ground floor.

a room with a tree and shelves
Entrance to the Yard.
a room with tables and chairs
The Yard.
a room with tables and chairs
The Yard.
a restaurant with tables and chairs
The Yard.

Breakfast here is a mix of a la carte and buffet offerings with the continental buffet costing £25/$32 and the continental buffet + an a la carte option costing £30/$38.

For World of Hyatt Globalist members, breakfast is complimentary and as we weren’t told of any limits on what we could order, it’s possible that Globalists can order as much or as little as they wish.

a menu on a table
The a la carte menu – click or tap to enlarge.
a menu on a table
The a la carte menu – click or tap to enlarge.

We chose coffees, Eggs Royale and Egg Shakshuka from the a la carte menu …

a plate of food on a table
Eggs Royale.
a plate of food on a table
Eggs Shakshuka.

… and juices and a couple of pasties from the continental buffet.

a buffet table with food and flowers from the ceiling
Continental breakfast buffet.
a display of food on a counter
Continental breakfast buffet.
a table with plates and food on it
Continental breakfast buffet.
a table with bowls of food
Continental breakfast buffet.
a table with food on it
Continental breakfast buffet.

The food we were served was very good (this property does some of the best poached eggs in London), the coffees (flat whites) were excellent, the staff were friendly and helpful, and the calm atmosphere in the room made breakfast an enjoyable start to the day.

While the breakfast offering at the Great Scotland Yard isn’t as broad as the offerings at some other popular London properties of similar standing, the quality of the food was, I think, a little higher, and the overall breakfast experience felt more upscale than, for example, breakfasts that I’ve had at the Churchill or the Conrad.

Other dining & bars

Tuesday through Saturday 6pm to 9pm the Yard changes into a high-end dining room called Ekstedt at The Yard.

This is the flagship restaurant of Michelin starred chef Niklas Ekstedt whose focus is on tasting menus with wood fired ‘old Nordic’ cooking.

Per the restaurant’s own description:

Ekstedt at The Yard focuses on Scandinavian cooking techniques using the very best seasonal British ingredients; featuring a menu of signature dishes, alongside an inventive cocktail menu and extensive wine list. The open kitchen, which feels like an extension of the restaurant floor, allows diners to sit at the heart of the action.

We didn’t have a chance to try out the Ekstedt menu on this trip, but from what I’ve been told by those who have dined here, the 3- and 6- course tasting menus are excellent.

The Parlour is the property’s second eatery where guests can enjoy a limited all day dining menu or ‘afternoon tea’.

a room with tables and chairs
The Parlour.
a table set up for a meal
The Parlour.
a table with a white tablecloth and chairs in a room
The Parlour.
a table with a white tablecloth and chairs in a room with a lamp
The Parlour.

The Parlour is open Monday to Sunday 12:00pm to 8.30pm and afternoon tea starts at £59/$75 per person.

The hotel’s primary bar is called ‘The 40 Elephants‘ (I forgot to ask why) and is a beautiful spot for a pre- or post-dinner drink, a snack/light meal, or even a limited breakfast.

a bar with chairs and a chandelier
The 40 Elephants.
a bar with a long table and chairs
The 40 Elephants.

The 40 elephants is open daily between 10.30am and 11.30pm and you’ll find more information on what the bar serves (and its prices) on this webpage.

I called the 40 Elephants the hotel’s ‘primary bar’ because there’s a second and considerably less obvious second bar within the property.

Concealed behind a faux bookcase in the lobby is the Síbín Speakeasy.

a door with a couple of white blocks
Síbín Speakeasy.
a room with chairs and tables
Síbín Speakeasy.
a couches and a table in a room
Síbín Speakeasy.
a room with blue chairs and a table
Síbín Speakeasy.
a living room with a couch and orange ottoman
Síbín Speakeasy.

If you don’t catch someone walking out of Síbín, you can open the door to the speakeasy using a button located a few feet to the right of the door.

Síbín means home-made whiskey in Irish so while there are a good number of cocktails on the menu as well as a few wines, you’ll find the drinks list is heavily slanted towards whiskeys & whiskies from around the world.

Síbín is open Wednesday through Saturday from 6:00pm to 1:00am, drinks start from £17/$22, bar bites start from £9/$12, and you’ll often find a Jazz band in residence on Friday evenings.

The Gym

The final area of the hotel I’m going to mention (very briefly) is the property’s gym which is in the hotel basement and as such, has no access to natural light.

a room with a mirror and exercise equipment
The gym.
a room with exercise equipment
The gym.
a treadmill and computer in a room
The gym.

For a boutique city-center hotel, the gym is well equipped and should offer most people what they’re looking for to help them workout … just don’t expect an abundance of space or light.

If the weather is nice, please don’t waste your time on a treadmill here. St James’s Park (one of London’s many royal parks) is no more than 7 minutes’ walk away and would make for a considerably nicer place to run than a basement gym.

In fact, wherever you are in central London you’re almost certainly not going to be very far from a beautiful park, so treadmills should be redundant when the weather is fine.

In summary

I really like the Great Scotland Yard Hotel. The decor is beautiful, the staff are friendly, and the location is fantastic if you’re in town to explore the major sights.

If I was judging Hyatt’s London properties just on decor, location, ambiance, and dining, I would say, without hesitation, that the Great Scotland Yard is the best Hyatt in town.

But it’s not quite so simple.

The fact remains that the Churchill is also a very good property and it’s a property where the entry level rooms can be larger and brighter than a lot of the rooms offered at the Great Scotland Yard.

The Churchill also has a good Club Lounge (serving drinks and canapés in the evenings) which, if you’re in town to get some work done or if you’d like somewhere other than your room to relax before you go out in the evening, can be important.

What I think this means is that you can’t really say that London has one Hyatt that’s better than all the others.

The Great Scotland Yard and the Churchill are the best two Hyatts that London has to offer (that may or may not change when the Park Hyatt London River Thames finally opens), but they are very different properties and that makes them difficult to compare.

If location, elegance, and ambiance are more important to you than the size of your room or access to a good Club Lounge, the Great Scotland Yard will be the better option for you (assuming prices are comparable).

If however, you’re likely to be spending a reasonable amount of time at your hotel and will be using the hotel as a place to work as well as to access all that London has to offer, the Churchill would probably be a better fit.

For me, this stay was very worthwhile as even though I have no real need to be right in the heart of tourist-land when I stay in central London, it allowed me to realize how much I like the overall feel of the Great Scotland Yard Hotel and that has made it much more likely that, when prices aren’t crazy, this will be very high on my list of options on my next visit.

Our Favourite All-Round Travel Card


The card_name is Chase's incredibly popular entry-level Ultimate Rewards card which offers strong earnings on travel and dining and some great benefits too. Right now and in exchange for an annual fee of annual_fees, this card is offering all successful new applicants the following welcome bonus:


Our Favorite Benefits:

  • 5 points/dollar on most travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3 points/dollar for spending on dining worldwide
  • 3 points/dollar for spending on select streaming services
  • 2 points/dollar for spending on travel worldwide
  • Redeem points at 1.25 cents each when booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Annual $50 credit for hotels booked through Chase
  • Primary auto rental cover

Click here for more details

Regarding Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser or any other advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility or any other advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Credit Card News & Offers

Miles & Points On Sale

Air Fare Deals

Related Posts

Shop Briggs & Riley luggage today!

Discover more from Traveling For Miles

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading