The end of Bermondsey Street near London Bridge Underground/rail is a bit scruffy, but once you’re through the railway bridge you’re suddenly in a land of cool boutiques and arty happenings. Zandra Rhodes’ Fashion & Textile Museum is here, and the new square the hotel is on has restaurants and the art-house Shortwave Cinema. There’s a lovely churchyard park, too, with gorgeous pink blossom in springtime. It takes about 15 minutes to walk to the hotel from London Bridge, a bit less from Borough station.
The rooms have slightly awkward wet rooms with drench showers, but otherwise the design is good: standard doubles are neatly arranged on a slant to maximise the space available for work desk and bed, and Apple TVs have been installed that work with your laptop or iPod. If you’ve got a bit more to spend, the four Loft Suites on the 7th floor are spacious, with floor-to-ceiling windows, terrace space and views south over urban London; the prize Lucy Suite has an outdoor eight-person jacuzzi with cracking views north to the London Eye. If there’s an event in the function room on the first floor, lower-level rooms can be noisy.
Reception has a hanging, clear perspex bubble chair and colourful papier-mâché dog mascot Alfie, and I like the blue skies and fluffy clouds that brighten up the lift area.
Eating and drinking
Reception opens on the left into Alfie’s bar-restaurant, where Brit comfort food (ham and eggs, bubble ’n’ squeak) and cocktails are served. The hand-knitted tea cosies are a nice touch, having a ‘mustard sommelier’ is perhaps a joke too far. In the area, there are lots of other options: foodie favourite Borough Market is only a walk away, near London Bridge station, and has a cluster of good pubs and restaurants around it.
The hotel has no fitness facilities of its own, but does have a deal with a local gym.
Cheerful, enthusiastic and wearing rather natty geometric-patterned mod uniforms.
Who stays there
Mostly business guests during the week, but a good mix at weekends - generally at the younger end of the scale.
Rates include VAT but not breakfast.
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Families with teenagers
Pros & Cons
- Some good design ideas
- Interesting area of London
- Fun atmosphere
- A bit isolated for some