Crave Magazine

The Gyle Hotel: where normal never happens anyway

Following a brief warming up prior to lockdown, The Gyle Hotel will officially open on July 4th.

Thanks to its quirky personality and residential feel, this London boutique hotel offers a refreshing break from the humdrum of current life and chain hotels. 

C-19 has taken many things away from us but has also shown the importance of appreciating what brings us together. Things we took for granted like humour, discovery, variety…

With all of life’s pleasures on hold and the challenges of multi-tasking at home more prevalent than ever, we might all need a break. The Gyle Hotel could help us doing this by taking a stance that might prove to be a glimpse into the future of hospitality. Here safety and sanitation are a given, but instead of being constantly reminded of the situation we are all in, the hotel moves beyond that status quo with the aim to intrigue and entertain those guests who look for more than a clean bed for the night. 

The kinks and character of this extraordinary townhouse seem to offer a timely break from the norms. Beneath a classic façade on Argyle Square, The Gyle is anything but conventional. Once inside, guests step into true British eccentricity, infused with playful detail and cultural references to an alternative reality version of London, Scotland and Nova Scotia.

The arrival experience starts with the weather, a favourite British conversation topic. Here, under a ceiling covered with moss buns, you are greeted by vintage barometer and snowshoes, ice lizards and whisky library to an intimate reception overlooking the open-sky patio planted with real trees and shrubs. A sculptural cloud over the desk, emits occasional rumbling thunder sounds and lightning strikes; reminding you to take one of the complimentary umbrellas. This truly, is an unforgettable welcome!

The Toast is the social lounge deep inside the hotel, a surreal topsy-turvy world homage to the likes of Lewis Carroll, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley and H.G. Wells. Visitors walk on an image of the cloudy sky reflected in Loch Fyne, while the ceiling is covered by a green lawn torn open through its entire length, from which occasional sounds and flashes seem to leak from the past. 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 Kings Cross-St Pancras area once covered by large coal furnaces and gasworks.

The fridge is 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. Sister hotel The Megaro can handle all your dining needs thanks to their Megaro to Go service, which is available to order and collect / be delivered direct to your room or The Toast – your choice.

The 33 rooms continue The Gyle’s individual mix of comfort, quality, convenience, and eccentricity. Guests will find in the room their own tablet to control the technology, fridge with complimentary water and large bottles of Scottish toiletries – sanitised, sustainable, and efficient, this really is a modern British Townhouse.

Each room includes bespoke furnishing that references its Argyle Square location, Scottish inspiration and London history. 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. Contributing to a natural, cocooning mood, the highly detailed interiors use a warm, sober palette of charcoal, anthracite, ash, flint, and pewter, with textiles in organic accents of moss, fir, and juniper greens. 

The Gyle’s unique interior design might be best described as “Alternative Reality Victorian London”, juxtaposing imaginary aesthetics from time travel back and forth between now and 1845.

The entire hotel, content and identity, have been conceptualised by British artist, writer and designer Henry Chebaane 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. 

A stay at The Gyle Hotel can offer a welcome break of safety, convenience and escapism without the risks and hassle currently associated with air travel to more exotic climes. 

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