On the site of a 15th-century chapel, St. Ermin’s was constructed as private mansions in 1889. Later the buildings were connected, and the mansion got turned into a hotel. It became a hotel that has a very strategic position. It is between the center of all the wartime intelligence offices and close to the Houses of Parliament.
For strengthening the sources for World War II, the British government knew it needed a place to call home for wartime operations. Then very quickly, the hotel became the place for discussing the intelligence information. The hotel became the hub for the spies and officers. They would come to the secret hotel for exchanging information, training new agents, and also to conduct job interviews in the various rooms of the secret hotel.
A secret hub of agents
The British Secret Intelligence Service moved into the secret luxury hotel in London, and they took the top floors of this secret hotel. The service section department had demolition agents. These secret agents were planning to eat, drink in the bar of this hotel and then plot against Germany.
Spying writer and editor Mark Birdsall wrote that even the secret agents working in the secret world needed a place for their operations. Nothing could have been a better place to hide in plain sight than the iconic and elegant secret luxury hotel in London. He further writes that he cannot guess the number of secret agents connected to the secret hotel or the number of secret activities that took place or passed from the entrance of the hotel through the years.
Spy items at the secret hotel
As of now, the guests of the hotel can fully immerse themselves in the spy experience. There are many items on display from the spying years. The items include a silk scarf printed with radio codes necessary to send information back to the UK from ‘occupied France.’ The reason for using silk was because it was easy to burn, light, easily packed, if the information gets endangered.
The items further include an original hotel rug from the spy era that is found rarely in Istanbul. The items also include a Division Bell, which was supposed to be connected mainly to the Houses of Parliament.
The guests, along with the kids who visit the secret hotel, now get to see many incredible things to see and touch. The kids can get in the fun as they receive a top-secret spy packet just for them, with “ultra-secret code red” clearance. It takes the kids on a historical tour of a secret hotel and includes a trivia game.
Effectiveness of the secret luxury hotel in London
The guests occupying the top two floors of the hotel have something special in store for them. It is the acknowledgment that they are staying in the former official headquarters of MI6, or Military Intelligence, part of the British Secret Intelligence Service.
MI6 used these floors as their base during and after World War II. They used it to welcome senior personnel and infamous double agents—like Guy Burgess and Kim Philby. Both of them worked for the secret service but were also Russian spies.
Double agents & the secret hotel
Guy Burgess did most of his work in the Caxton Bar of the secret luxury hotel in London. He handled over top-secret government files to his Russian contacts there. Other intelligence and secret agents such as Ian Fleming and Noel Coward also often visited the place.