The location is very central in the City - as good for sightseeing as for business, not far from the Bank of England, the Guildhall and the Barbican arts centre - but a little nondescript, down a quiet alley. Copthall Avenue runs directly off London Wall, where the hotel is among dull office blocks. It is neighbour to one rather grand professional institute, though. The nearest Underground station is five minutes’ walk: Moorgate, on several well-connected lines.
Noise shouldn’t be a problem anywhere in the hotel, since Copthall Avenue is off the main drag. Good-sized flatscreen TVs (with DVD), free internet and local calls are standard, and there are kettles and irons so you can deal with your own necessities. In the modern, high-spec bathrooms I liked the swish standalone tubs that are in many of the rooms (it wasn’t easy getting the water up to temperature in the morning, though).
The lobby is small but bright, while the restaurant and bar area – decked out in dark, serious colours – is comfortable for lounging and has flatscreen TVs. But it does feels like a hotel lounge rather than somewhere you’d choose to spend a lot of time.
Eating and drinking
The restaurant-bar seemed high-priced for patchy quality. If you have the time, I’d be more inclined to explore the nearby Clerkenwell/Smithfield area which has some of the best restaurants in London. Breakfast is served in the narrow room on the north side of the hotel – well lit and looking on to the side of the most impressive building in this area, but not especially enlivening.
The gym has a decent range of machines (cross trainer, rowing machine and so on) in a small room with a flatscreen TV to distract you from your pain.
Pleasant, smart and in control of the details.
Who stays there
The usual pattern of business trade during the week, with more leisure custom at the weekends - when city break customers can make the most of cheap deals. For business-focused hotels, the Apex chain do well with families.
You can get some great room rates during the weekend or by booking in advance. Breakfast is extra, but many room services (such as internet access and local phone calls) are free.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Families with teenagers
Pros & Cons
- Central business location
- Free room amenities (Wi-Fi, snacks)
- Well kitted-out rooms with good bathrooms
- Institutional feel to public areas
- Restaurant underpowered for the price