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Whitehall Pl., London, England SW1A 2BD, United Kingdom

A staggering $488 million went into the purchase and restoration of this former Ministry of Defense headquarters south of Trafalgar Square. The 294-room hotel is an ode to grand living: it’s filled with extravagant gestures, such as seven two-story penthouse suites (the Royal Penthouse has a walk-in wine cellar, roof terrace, internal elevator, and separate dining area), and megawatt designer David Collins is behind the gilded accents at Bassoon bar and the vast seafood-focused Massimo Restaurant and Oyster Bar. We were impressed by the subtler touches: The Northall, the smaller English restaurant, for its all-local, organic ingredients, and the über-private sleep “pods” in the four-story spa.

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Hotel

Corinthia Hotel, London

A staggering $488 million went into the purchase and restoration of this former Ministry of Defense headquarters south of Trafalgar Square. The 294-room hotel is an ode to grand living: it’s filled with extravagant gestures, such as seven two-story penthouse suites (the Royal Penthouse has a walk-in wine cellar, roof terrace, internal elevator, and separate dining area), and megawatt designer David Collins is behind the gilded accents at Bassoon bar and the vast seafood-focused Massimo Restaurant and Oyster Bar. We were impressed by the subtler touches: The Northall, the smaller English restaurant, for its all-local, organic ingredients, and the über-private sleep “pods” in the four-story spa.