Hotels in train stations
We are in front of the computer to hunt and capture a hotel. The web allows us to narrow the search. One of the options is: "Near a train station." Do we select it? Of course not. The train stations may be practical and central, but the hotels we like are almost never nearby.
That is the subject: the adverb. Maybe we are looking for near when should we look in. Maybe we should change adverb by preposition. There are interesting hotels in or inside train stations. And there we have slept and we want to sleep. Let's look at the different typologies.
1) Rural hotels in old stations. In Spain they are easy to find. Today they are usually higher or lower category accommodation located in the countryside or villages that take advantage of abandoned stations. What do we like? Because we like railway architecture. That simple can be life. Good examples of these hotels are the Old House Station (Huelva), the Benifallet Station (Tarragona), the Hotel Parada del Compte (Teruel) or the Hotel L´Estació. In England they are also easy to find. There we can sleep in this bed and breakfast called (without excessive imagination either) Old Railway Station. The same experience can be had in Scotland: the St andrews It is a family hotel located in an old Victorian station.
A rural hotel located in an old station © Hotel L'Estació Bocairent
2) Urban hotels in old stations. La Maison Moschino is in Milan, a short walk from Brera and its neoclassical building built in 1840 functioned as the station of the Milan-Monza line. But the idea of a station, with its clocks and counters, is much more appreciated in American station hotels. There, they are masters in staging at all levels. The most beautiful example is the St Louis Union Station, in St Louis-Missouri. This station, which was the largest in the United States, was built at the end of the 19th century. Its architecture remains sumptuous and the hotel, a delight, takes advantage of it.
The hall of the St Louis Union Station Hotel © St Louis Union Station
3) Hotels embedded in stations in use. This is the broadest typology. Also the most confusing, because here fit completely forgettable and other unforgettable hotels. The latter are our favorites.
In London they just opened the St Pancras Renaissance London. Or to reopen, because this hotel exists since 1873, when Sir George Gilbert Scott built it to accommodate travelers coming and going to St. Pancras station. Now, the hotel has been resurrected with the enormous advantage of the Victorian building in which it is. It is an emblematic project so it has the consolidation of a station and an area of the city. Fans of railway hotels: there are tours around the hotel.
A 19th-century Victorian building with 'railway' tours © St Pancras Renaissance London
4) Japan train stations hotels. The country deserves its own category. Japan is that place where you never know if you are at ground level, in a basement or on a fifth floor. Those who have been understand those feelings of bewilderment that is lived inside. This leads to paroxysm at train stations, fascinating monsters that include shopping centers, offices and, of course, hotel. An exemplary example of this type of maze is the Kyoto granvia. You enter the mall to buy, for example, notebooks, but, at the first clue it ends at the edge of the platform. This hotel is a delight for those who prefer cement to grass. The same happens in the Tokyo Station Hotel, embedded in the Central Station, a brick building built in the Meiji period by Kingo Tatsuno and an example of how to achieve peace in the midst of chaos. These Japanese must be loved very strongly.
Embedded in Central Station: peace in chaos © Tokyo Station Hotel
There is another line of hotels that are not in stations, but that they are on trains that no longer run, As the The Aberporth Express, in Wales. This is to take the idea of the railway hotel to the limit. And much more to the limit is sleeping on running trains, but we leave that for another day.
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The London hotel-station © St Pancras Renaissance London