The Montcalm Royal London House is a luxury hotel in the Finsbury neighborhood of London. I chose to stay at this hotel when I was in town for the London Marathon. During my stay, I enjoyed many of the hotel’s amenities and benefitted from its central location.
In this post, I’ll share what it was like staying at The Montcalm Royal London House for three nights. I will review the amenities of the room and hotel, explain the club level experience and outline how the location of this specific hotel may impact your stay.
NOTE: This post is not sponsored, nor was my stay comped or discounted in any way.
The Basics: The Montcalm Royal London House
The Montcalm Royal London House is one of six hotels in Central London under the umbrella of The Montcalm Luxury Hotels. This particular hotel is located in the neighborhood of Finsbury. It is right on the north edge of City of London and not too far from the hip neighborhood of Shoreditch.
The Montcalm Royal London House has over 250 rooms, plus meeting spaces, a spa and fitness center, and a handful of restaurants, including a rooftop bar. There are a variety of rooms and suites that sleep up to four. In addition to the room selection, the hotel also offers a variety of packages you can book for each room type. These packages include perks that range from complimentary breakfast to champagne to spa services.
There are a few things that push The Montcalm Royal London House into the luxury hotel category. As you’d expect, the hotel is staffed with experienced professionals who provide top-tier customer service. The rooms are nice, and most notably include a pillow menu and custom aroma selection. They also offer a handful of premium services and amenities such as room service, laundry service, and Nespresso coffee makers, just to name a few.
The Montcalm Royal London House doesn’t have a particularly strong theme or aesthetic. The lobby and adjoining bar and cafe have a bit of a chic industrial vibe, with the exposed brick and pipes. The rooms themselves have modern features and amenities, but don’t themselves scream trendy or sleek. If anything, I’d argue they skew towards dated? (Mine did at least.)
Where The Montcalm Royal London House thrives is its location. It’s a bit further away from the typical luxury hotel areas (to the tunes of Mayfair and Piccadilly), so you can get a luxury hotel experience for a bit cheaper. However, the location is still amazing for both business travelers and tourists alike. Though, I’d argue that it’s not particularly family friendly, but more on that later.
Booking & Pricing
Of the properties under The Montcalm Luxury Hotels umbrella, The Montcalm Royal London House is usually the most expensive. Prices vary, but tend to start around £350/night in the high season and £200/night in the low season. These are just baseline prices, and the prices go up based on the specific room type and booking package.
You can book a stay at The Montcalm Royal London House direct, or through most booking websites, including Booking.com and Expedia. The prices across these sites are usually pretty similar, but the hotel will price match if you find a better deal elsewhere. Plus, if you book direct, you’ll get priority early check-in/late check-out and complimentary room upgrades, pending availability. All that to say, booking direct is generally advantageous.
I booked my stay directly though the hotel website about 3 months in advance. I booked a Club Double room at the “Exclusive rate” (which was the cheapest) for 3 nights. This room category includes access to the Club Lounge. The total cost with taxes and fees came to £794 or about $1,000 USD based on the current exchange rate.
NOTE: The Montcalm Royal London House is a part of The Montcalm Luxury Hotels chain, but is not otherwise connected to any major hotel brands. They have their own rewards program, but aren’t connected to any other major loyalty programs.
The Montcalm Royal London House is advertised as both City of London and Finsbury.
To the best of my knowledge (aka the boundary listed on Google Maps), The Montcalm Royal London House is not technically within the boundaries of City of London. It is about a block north of it. Finsbury is more accurate, as it is located within that neighborhood’s official boundaries. That said, Finsbury doesn’t quite have the same name recognition behind it. I understand why they stuck with City of London in the branding.
Regardless of what you call it, The Montcalm Royal London House has an interesting location. There isn’t a lot immediately nearby, but there’s a ton of stuff sort of nearby.
Personally, I found the immediate surrounding area to be a bit dull. It is largely a business district, so it tends to be a little dead outside of regular working hours. There also isn’t a heavy density of bars or restaurants in close proximity, and it’s not super close to any major parks.
Don’t let that deter you though, because its central location is actually a huge asset. Central London is pretty spread out. If you’re in the heart of one area, you might be really far from another. This hotel’s location in Finsbury puts you in the middle of a lot of different areas, so it’s easy to get everywhere.
From The Montcalm Royal London House, it’s a 10-minute walk to Spitalfields Market, 15-minute walk to Brick Lane in the heart of Shoreditch and 30 minutes or less to walk to St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London or Sky Garden.
If you’re taking public transportation, it’s easy to get just about anywhere. The hotel is a 7-minute walk to Liverpool Street station, which serves the Elizabeth Line and Overground trains. It’s also a 6-minute walk to Mooregate station, which serves the Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Northern lines of the London Underground.
The best thing about this hotel’s location relative to these specific stations, is that you can get to most of London’s major neighborhoods on a single train, without connecting. You can get to Westminster (including Big Ben), Notting Hill, Canary Wharf and Camden Town, all in less than 30 minutes on one train. Plus, you’re off the Elizabeth Line, which makes it easy to get to and from London Heathrow airport.
This is why The Montcalm Royal London House is a great hotel for tourists in London. You can visit a different part of London each day and never have too long of a commute. This is also why I will scream from the rooftops that The Montcalm Royal London House is the best hotel if you’re running the London Marathon. The hotel is centrally located between the expo, starting line and finish line, making it easy to get everywhere over the course of the race weekend.
Hotel Amenities at The Montcalm Royal London House
The Montcalm Royal London House has a few on-site amenities and services designed to make your experience more relaxing and convenient. Here’s what you’ll find within the building, beyond your individual room.
First, let’s mention bars and restaurants. Just inside the entrance on the way to the lobby, there is a cafe/coffee shop on one side and a casual hotel bar on the other side. If you pass through the lobby to other side of the building, there’s another bar called Long Arm. Since this restaurant has it’s own street entrance, it feels more like a regular pub than a hotel bar.
The dining highlight at The Montcalm Royal London House is their rooftop ball called Aviary. This indoor/outdoor bar and restaurant offers stunning views over the London skyline. The only downside is that reservations for a specific time frame are required, even for guests. Unfortunately, the Aviary was closed for maintenance during my visit, so I didn’t have the chance to enjoy it first hand.
The hotel serves a full English Breakfast in Aviary daily until 10 AM. This is complimentary in some bookings, but not all. The cafe in the lobby has a limited breakfast selection for purchase, and of course coffee. The Club Lounge serves a light continental breakfast as well, which is complimentary for guests with Club Lounge access.
The hotel also offers room service, though it is not available 24/7.
The hotel also has a fitness center, pool and spa on property. However, these features should come with an asterisk. Children under 8 are not allowed in the pool at all. Children 8-15 are allowed in the pool, but only between the hours of 9 AM and 12 PM. And even during those times, reservations are required and are only available for 30 minutes. Adults have an easier time getting into these facilities, but they tend to get pretty negative feedback. (I personally didn’t visit this area.)
Room Review — Club Double at The Montcalm Royal London House
I booked the Club Double room category for my 3-night stay at The Montcalm Royal London House. This was the cheapest room category that included Club Lounge access. More on the Club Lounge in the next section, though.
Walking into the room, there was a bathroom and full-body mirror on one side and a closet on the other.
The bathroom was very clean and a decent size. The shower had a rainfall fixture, which was nice. There was also a handheld sprayer, but it was too low to be used as an alternate shower head. Mini Elemis soaps were provided, as opposed to the shared larger bottles with the pumps. My biggest compliant about the bathroom was that the toilet made a dripping sound for a long while after each flush. It also smelled weird.
The closet had two sides. One side was primarily for clothes, and was stocked with an iron and ironing board, hangers and drawers. The safe and hairdryer were also over here, along with a few amenities like slippers and a sewing kit. There was not a robe.
The other side of the closet was mainly for food and beverages. The hot beverage station included a Nespresso coffee maker with a handful of pods, Nespresso instant coffee packets, a small selection of teas, and an electric kettle. Both the coffee and tea came in regular or decaf varieties. There was also a couple of packaged biscuits (or cookies for my fellow Americans), plus all the mix-ins like real cream, sugars and sweeteners.
Inside the room, there was a small desk and chair, luggage rack, and lounge chair, with a TV mounted on the wall. There was an international-traveler-friendly charging space near the desk, which included outlets that fit a variety of inputs (including US and UK style plugs) and two USB ports. Free wifi was included, though I found it to be slow.
The other side of the room fit a double bed pretty snuggly. The bed was incredibly comfortable, erring on the plush side with a pillow top and four pillows. Speaking of pillows … the hotel has a pillow menu, and you can request which type of pillow you prefer. I submitted a request, though I’m honestly unsure if I actually got that pillow. What I can say was that there was at least three different styles of pillows on my bed. I’m not sure if that was accidental or intentional.
NOTE: You could also request a fragrance when you booked the room, but I didn’t notice this at all. I selected “caramel latte,” but my room just smelled like “hotel.”
There was a small nightstand on both sides of the bed, one with the phone and the other with an alarm clock. There was one outlet on each side of the bed, but this one only fit a UK style plug. Also on each side of the bed was a touchpad, which controlled all the lighting in the room.
Speaking of touchpads … I don’t like technology for the sake of technology, and that’s what this felt like. The touchpads by the bed worked fine, but there was another touch screen that didn’t work well at all. The main touchpad controlled the temperature, housekeeping light, bathroom lighting, and a few other things. The lights often took multiple tries and I never could get the temperature to change. I would prefer regular light switches and thermostats that worked, over unnecessarily complicated touchpads that don’t.
The final feature we need to address is the windows. The windows in the room were small, but that was fine because my room just looked out to an empty courtyard. (Some rooms do have better views, but I didn’t request/pay for/get one.)
The very best thing about this room — something that is hugely important for international travelers dealing with jet lag — is the black out curtains. These manual curtains were thick and heavy and absolutely perfect at blocking out the light. They covered the entire wall, floor-to-ceiling and were immensely helpful!
Overall, the room was comfortable and clean, but pretty basic and a bit small. The technology in the room was superfluous at best and at times frustrating. While a few things were dated and did not scream “luxury hotel,” the essential things like the shower, bed and lighting all made for a comfortable stay.
Club Lounge at The Montcalm Royal London House
When I booked my stay, the upgrade to the Club Double room with Club Lounge access was not substantially more expensive than the cheapest room without it. For example, if I look at a 1-night stay on a Friday night in June, a room with Club Lounge access costs £34 more than the cheapest room without it.
As I’ve mentioned, I was going to London solo to run the London Marathon. I liked the idea of having a food and drink option locked in at the hotel that didn’t require any extra steps to get to. And while I don’t mind going out for meals and drinks solo, I don’t always want to put in the effort to find and go out to a place when I’m by myself.
When I checked in at the front desk, they didn’t mention any details about the Club Lounge or that I had access to it. I had to proactively ask about where it was, and what was included. This wasn’t a big deal, but I thought a luxury hotel should be more proactive in explaining the amenities.
The lounge itself was a small room, adjacent to the lobby. Inside was a handful of tables and a few couches, with a TV playing the news on one end. It was comfortable, but not any nicer than the rest of the lobby or hotel bar.
The Club Lounge had two main service offerings during the day. Most notably was the cocktail hour, which was available nightly from 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM. During this time, beverages (including beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks) and lights snacks (including chips, nuts and olives) were complimentary. The official menu implied one beverage, but in my experience they did not enforce a limit.
In the mornings, the Club Lounge also served a light continental breakfast. This included things like cereal, fruit, breads and cold cuts, as well as coffee and juice. I really enjoyed this the morning after my race!
NOTE: Some bookings, especially the nicer rooms that include Club Lounge access, include a complimentary full English Breakfast in the Aviary. If your booking includes a complimentary English Breakfast, you should definitely get that over breakfast at the Club Lounge.
Overall, the Club Lounge at The Montcalm Royal London House is good, not great. The space wasn’t particularly inviting, and it didn’t make me want to hang out in there longer than I had to. That said, I did enjoy my nightly wine and olive treat. If you were traveling with a partner and planned to get a few drinks and breakfast at the hotel everyday, it’s worth the £30 or so a night for the upgrade. Otherwise, I’d probably skip it and use that money to go to a pub instead.
Staying at The Montcalm Royal London House for the London Marathon
The Montcalm Royal London House was the perfect hotel for the London Marathon. If you’re traveling from out of town for the race, there are several reasons why you might choose this hotel.
First and foremost is the location. There are so many points you have to travel to and from for the marathon. One option is to choose a hotel that is really close to a specific point — like the starting line or the finish line — but that can make everything else really inconvenient. I loved The Montcalm Royal London House because it was a great central location and I could get just about everywhere with a single train.
First, the hotel is right off the Elizabeth line, so it’s easy to take a single train from London Heathrow. Next, you’ll need to get to the expo for packet pickup, which is just three stops the other way on the Elizabeth Line. Getting to the starting line is probably the toughest from most locations, but you can still get there in about 40 minutes via two trains (the London Underground and then the DLR or southeastern rail.) Lastly, you can get back to the hotel from the finish line in less than 30 minutes on the Circle Line.
The hotel also set me up for the best possible chance at sleep. This is important for the days leading up to any marathon, but especially if it’s one you’re traveling across time zones for. The bed was comfortable, the blackout curtains did their job and and the hallways were quiet. (Can we get a round of applause for hotel doors that don’t slam shut?)
As mediocre as the Club Lounge was, I loved having access to it. It was really nice to have a drink and snack without having to go anywhere special for it. And because it had a casual vibe, I didn’t feel bad going in leggings and my new London Marathon hoodie.
For a solo trip for such a big event, I was just really happy with how convenient and comfortable this hotel was. If you’re traveling for the marathon, this hotel is a great pick.
I would say this hotel walks a fine line between a 4-star and 5-star hotel. For that reason, it feels like a really good 4-star hotel or a not-so-good 5-star hotel. The differences are subtle, but important.
What sets a 5-star hotel apart is the service. I had to ask about the details for the Club Lounge. Despite noting on my reservation that I was in town for the marathon, they didn’t mention it when I checked in. They didn’t remember me when I went to the Club Lounge for the second time. None of these infractions are egregious, but they are just examples of how the service lacked the attention to detail that I would expect from a 5-star hotel.
Beyond the service, the hotel had a few faults. I didn’t like that most of the hotel’s amenities required reservations, including the restaurants and pool, even for guests. I really didn’t like that the pool didn’t allow children under 8, and I wasn’t even traveling with a child. The rooms were also a bit dated, some of the features didn’t quite work, and the pillow menu and scent selection wasn’t all it was advertised to be.
If it sounds like I’m nit picking, it’s because I am. The point of a luxury hotel is that there shouldn’t be nits to pick. So while I felt like the hotel fell flat on that metric, it by no means was a bad hotel.
As far as typical hotels go, The Montcalm Royal London House was amazing! The staff were friendly, the rooms were clean, and the beds were comfortable. The hotel’s location was perfect for this particular trip, and I liked that the hotel had a lounge at all. For the price point, though, I think it’s a bit high for what you’re actually getting.
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If you’re planning a trip to London, keep reading! Here are a few of our other guides that walk through all the details on some of the best things to do in the city.
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- Borough Market Visitor Guide
- Notting Hill Sample Itinerary
- How to Take Uber Boat in London
- How to Use the London Underground — A Beginner’s Guide to the Tube
- Stonehenge Visitor Guide + Inner Circle Tour Review