New townhouse style hotel The Gyle opens in Kings Cross

12 December 2019

The Gyle hotel in King's Cross is now open, on the historic Argyle Square.

The Gyle is housed in three original 19th century townhouses, and has been developed at a cost of £3m by the St Pancras Hotel Group headed by Tony Megaro. The transformation from what was previously a bed and breakfast operation has taken two years.

The name is a pun on the square it sits on, itself named after the Dukes of Argyle, who had been landowners around Kentish Town in past centuries. Hence, the hotel is steeped in "discreet and whimsical decorative detail that give a nod to its Scottish and Victorian roots, while setting a resolutely fresh and modernist tone."

The Toast, which is the social lounge deep inside the hotel, is a topsy-turvy upside down world. Visitors walk on an image of the sky reflected in Loch Fyne, while the ceiling is covered with a British lawn through which a large seismic crack emits intermittent lighting strike effects. This is “the rabbit hole”, a symbolic pathway between 19th and 21st century in homage to numerous Victorian scientists and writers, also connecting The Gyle to the industrial past of the St Pancras area once covered by large coal furnaces and gasworks.

For food and drinks, The Toast offers another tongue-in-cheek nod to a well-loved British institution, the B&B but re-thought here as “Booze & Breakfast”. Here guests are invited to raid the bakery pantry and the self-service fridge, which offers a selection of artisan juices, house-made charcuteries and fresh salads in Kilner jars. As the day progresses, a light lunch can include the likes of hot-smoked salmon and barley salad, Mull of Kintyre cheese, and heather-honey raspberry granola. The fridge is also stocked with bottled craft pils, ale, beer and porter - all from the Scottish Highlands brewery Harviestoun as well as a curated selection of gins and whiskies, focussed on the Scottish Western Highlands and Islands.

The 33 rooms continue The Gyle’s characteristic mix of comfort, quality, convenience and eccentricity. Upon arrival, guest will find in the room their own tablet to control the technology, fridge with complimentary water and large bottles of Scottish toiletries. Each room includes bespoke furniture such as a wardrobe and a bed with detailing that references the crafts of British fashion, carpentry, engineering and literature. Optimising the feeling of space and natural light, the en-suite bathrooms are enclosed with steel and fluted glass panels, reminiscent of a garden greenhouse.

The entire hotel, content and identity, have been conceptualised by artist and designer Henry Chebaane with the intent to communicate the rich industrial legacy of the neighbourhood and the Victorian heritage of the buildings, while also making the experience entertaining and relevant to 21st century travellers.

The Gyle aims to deliver an "original experience that transcend clichés while remaining true to its roots, inspirations and dedication to providing a quality, memorable visit to Britain".


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