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Nestled right in the heart of London’s historic Westminster district, the Conrad London St. James hotel is a place that exudes luxury and sophistication. During a recent stay, I enjoyed the hotel’s prime location near London’s most famous landmarks, and delighted in returning to a thoughtfully designed and wheelchair accessible hotel room after a long day.
Named for Hilton founder Conrad Hilton, the Conrad hotels brand sits squarely in the luxury category and is positioned to compete with brands such as JW Marriott, Sofitel, and Loews Hotels — it is not quite on the level of a St. Regis, Ritz-Carlton, or Park Hyatt. For my one-night trip to Westminster Palace and the House of Commons, the Conrad London was a perfect choice — walking distance to where I needed to be, and a hotel room that met and exceeded my expectations for accessibility.
Room Rates and Reservations
The cost of a hotel room at the Conrad London St. James hotel varies considerably, with typical room rates ranging from approximately £300 to more than £600 GBP per night over the next year, inclusive of taxes. The highest rates occur in the summer months, with the most affordable appearing in the winter.
During my recent stay, rates for a standard wheelchair accessible room were about £400 GBP per night, however I made the one-night reservation for 80,000 Hilton Honors points.
Room reservations for wheelchair accessible hotel rooms can be made via the Conrad London St. James hotel website.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Room at Conrad London St. James
My “King Accessible Superior Room” was a standard room type, but it felt anything but standard! Spacious and with lovely design touches, my third-floor guest room (number 350) was a true retreat from the hustle and bustle of London.
The king size bed was lowered and accessible to my wheelchair on both sides, with a height of 19 inches measured from the floor to the top of the mattress, and 4 inches of clearance underneath. Removing the bed frame would lower the height to 15 inches.
I found the bed soft and extremely comfortable, though the pillows could have been a bit more firm. After a night cap in the hotel’s restaurant, sleep came easily and I most definitely did not want to rise in the morning.
A flat screen television sat opposite the bed and was encased behind a glass panel. It was a nice touch, though it was important to dim the lights when watching the telly to ward off the glass reflections.
Next to the bed were a series of light switches which controlled all of the lights in the guest room with the exception of the bathroom.
A nearby power outlet allowed me to charge my wheelchair and other electronics. Note that electricity in the United Kingdom is delivered at 230 volts. Travelers from the U.S. and North America may need to use a step-down power transformer to charge wheelchairs that use the 120V standard. Please see the guide to charging a power wheelchair abroad for more information and tips. My wheelchair has a dual-voltage charger, so I plugged right into the wall (with a universal plug adapter) and charged without issue.
A desk, set against the room’s window, measured 29 inches tall, with 25 inches of clearance below the tabletop. The natural light that entered through the large window filtered into the room nicely.
Some additional features are worth noting: the room’s mini-bar featured snacks and drinks, but the items in the fridge were not attached to electronic triggers, making it possible to store some of your own items in there as well. There was a nice coffee and tea set-up in the room.
A closet cabinet featured a number of shelves, as well as a rod with hangers that could be lowered to wheelchair height with the pull of a handle.
Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom with Roll-in Shower at Conrad London St. James Hotel
The beautifully appointed bathroom is really where this hotel stood out, with all of the accessibility features that I needed to feel safe and secure.
The roll-under sink had a countertop that was 33 inches high, with 24 inches of clearance below. This allowed me to roll my wheelchair right up to the bathroom sink and use it as intended.
The roll-in shower featured a wall-mounted folding shower seat (22 inches above the floor) that measured 18 inches wide and 17 inches deep. The shower’s wall-mounted grab bar was 28.5 inches above the floor, while a second folding grab bar was 31.5 inches high. The handheld shower spray unit and water controls were within reach.
Soap, shampoo and conditioner bottles were affixed to the wall in a spot that was easy for me to reach from the shower seat, though could be a bit too far for those with shorter arms. The long shower curtain touched the floor and prevented most water from escaping the shower, though there was still some runoff due to the shape of the floor.
The toilet measured 20 inches from the floor to the top of the toilet seat, and it was surrounded by grab bars on the adjacent side walls (27.5 inches tall). There was more than enough space to park my large power wheelchair next to the toilet, allowing for safe lateral transfers.
Restaurants & Dining at Conrad London St. James Hotel
In addition to a lobby bar (The Hedgerow) and a spot for afternoon tea (The Orchard Room), the Conrad London St. James is home to two true restaurants — Blue Boar Pub and The Pem, the latter of which was temporarily closed during my stay.
I dined twice at the Blue Boar, once for dinner where I enjoyed a cheeseburger, fries and a local IPA beer, and also for a quick breakfast where I had a simple omelette with juice and a double espresso. The food and service was excellent, and I look forward to returning in the future after The Pem reopens, which promises to offer traditional British fare with seasonal ingredients.
Location & Transportation
The Conrad London St. James is located directly across the street from the St. James’ Park station on the London Underground, which is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible. All hope is not lost, however, as the hotel is within walking distance of several accessible tube stations (distance and the lines that stop there are provided below):
- Westminster, 0.4 miles — Circle, District, Jubilee lines
- Victoria, 0.6 miles — Circle, District, Victoria lines
- Green Park, 0.8 miles — Jubilee, Piccadilly, Victoria lines
The hotel’s location is tough to beat — it’s surrounded by pubs and restaurants and within walking distance of top attractions including Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster (UK Parliament), the London Eye, Churchill War Rooms museum, St. James’ Park and Westminster Abbey, just to name a few.
The Conrad London St. James is a historic hotel offering guests an elevated experience at the heart of London. Whether you are traveling for business as I was, or enjoying a vacation, you are sure to enjoy the Conrad’s comfortable and accessible guest rooms. No doubt, this has become one of my favorite wheelchair accessible hotels in London, and I hope you enjoy it too!