Step into Old World Charm in Modern London

Citadines Trafalgar Square beckons you into a class of its own

Issue: Feb 2011

Citadines Trafalgar Square
The beautiful facade that welcomes you into a residence fit for royalty

London is definitely one of the world’s most exciting cities with aplenty to see and do. In a stark contrast to the modern and chic bustling facade however, the timeless city has many buildings with a glorious past, and that includes the present site of Citadines Trafalgar Square London.

A sweeping glance down the quaint streets of Northumberland Avenue and the unmistakable grandeur of Citadines Trafalgar Square will be hard to escape one’s notice. Situated within a building steeped in culture and history, its stately ambience will draw you to discover more about the mark it made in history.

A Walk Down History Lane

Back in 1885, the building was a clubhouse for the Royal Colonial Society (RCS). The venue provided a meeting place for holding discussions and research on colonial subjects, as well as a museum for the collection and exhibition of colonial productions.

Smoking room and Royal Colonial Society Library
A sneak peek into the past - Smoking room (left) and the Royal Colonial Society Library (right)
Photo credit: The Royal Commonwealth Society

The RCS was so well-known and influential by the 1920s that a contemporary publication, ‘Men of the Day’ (1921) went as far as to say “It would be impossible to… {exaggerate}…the importance of the Institute and of its important influence in shaping colonial destinies”.

Further expansions early in the 20th century and again, following the First World War added accommodation, meeting halls and a dining area for members to the Clubhouse. The expanded and renovated premises were formally opened on November 12, 1936 by The Duke and Duchess of York, later to become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Surviving Times of War and Glory

Due to its central location, the Clubhouse was vulnerable during the bombing raids of the Second World War in 1941. It was severely damaged after being hit twice by high explosive bombs.

Exterior of the building
The exterior of the building after being hit by a 4,000 lb bomb on the night of April 16-17, 1941 (left) and a fireman stands next to the nose of the bomb (right)
Photo credit: The Royal Commonwealth Society

Full restoration was completed only in 1957 and thereafter, the Club was graced on numerous occasions with the presence of royalty such as Prince of Wales, Duke of Edinburgh, Duchess of Gloucester and Lord Boyd, to name a few. RCS is known as The Royal Commonwealth Society today and its Clubhouse – The Commonwealth Club, co-exists in the same building as Citadines Trafalgar Square.

Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh
Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh viewing the clock in the entrance hall during the celebration of the restoration of RCS HQ after WWII (left) whilst the Duchess of Gloucester seen leaving with Lord Boyd after unveiling a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II (right)
Photo credit: The Royal Commonwealth Society

Where Old Meets New

Beneath the deceptively old facade of Citadines Trafalgar Square, a modern and spacious reception set in lovely warm hues of mahogany welcomes you. It is the second largest Citadines property in London with 187 apartment units, from studio to two-bedroom apartments.

Citadines Trafalgar Square
Citadines Trafalgar Square offers a warm retreat away from the bustle of the city

Perfect Accommodation
A perfect accommodation with the best combination of comfort, convenience and a choice of service offerings

Offering the privacy and comfort of a home away from home, every apartment comes with amenities such as a fully-equipped kitchen area, complimentary Internet access and TV with satellite channels. The big difference lies in the convenience like that of a hotel, such as housekeeping and weekly changing of linen and towels. Residents will also appreciate the flexibility of adding on other service requests according to one’s lifestyle and budget.

Links to History and Culture

Staying in Citadines Trafalgar Square puts you minutes-walk away from historical and cultural gems of London. Take a leisure stroll to the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and the National Portrait Gallery which houses one of the greatest European art collections in the world.

In this area, busy streets are lined with shops leading down to popular shopping streets of Covent Garden and Oxford Street. Nearby, too, is St James' Park - a perfect place to take a break from the bustle of the city.

Overhaul for Olympics

Just as we give our homes a makeover every now and then, Citadines Trafalgar Square is set for an exciting refurbishment later in the year, in time for Olympics 2012!

Ben Adams, Residence Manager of Citadines Trafalgar Square gives INSIDE a scoop on what’s in the pipeline for the property.

“Apartments will be restyled to present a comfortable living space which meets the needs of guests. The public areas will be completely opened up to create a welcoming ambience synonymous with a homely living room,” says Adams.

Overall, Adams shares that the design concept will focus on style not fashion. Expect fresh colour schemes, natural materials and fabrics rich in texture and finish.

Adams adds in greater detail, “Modern chairs and sofas will be specially chosen to enhance the interior design; curtains and carpeting will be replaced with stylish high quality fabrics and bamboo flooring. The kitchen and bathroom fittings will also be renewed.”

To enhance the stylish and contemporary look, Adams says, “There will be decorative artefacts that echo the clean linear design concept and new artworks to reflect the property's central London location.”

Refurbishment works is expected to be completed by early 2012. This will make Citadines Trafalgar Square the third Citadines Prestige in London, after South Kensington and Holborn-Covent Garden which were refurbished in 2010. Its new look will welcome the guests coming for the Olympics, which will be held from July 2012.

This will be the third time London has hosted the Summer Olympics, with the previous two occasions being in 1908 and 1948. Once again, Citadines Trafalgar Square finds itself at history’s doorstep. Be sure to check into Citadines Trafalgar Square, if you are planning to be in London for the Summer Olympics, and store up precious experiences that you can treasure for a long time to come.

Stay with us in London at…

Citadines Trafalgar Square London
18/21 Northumberland Avenue
London WC2N 5EA
Great Britain
Tel: (44 20) 7 766 37 00
Fax: (44 20) 7 766 37 66

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