Charing Cross railway station opened in 1864, taking its name from the Charing Cross road junction – the original heart of London. The junction marked the centre of the city, from which distances in London are still measured. The hotel first opened on 15 May 1865 with grand public rooms and balconies overlooking the main station concourse, which were extremely popular. At the turn of the last century, guests would often arrive with a large entourage. Their servants could be accommodated at the very reasonable price of 2p a night.