Look left from the hotel's front door and you'll see the tower of Southwark Cathedral; to the right the growing bulk of The Shard. Close by is the hectic terminus of London Bridge railway station, the foodie delights of Borough Market (Thursday to Saturday), the panoramic promenades of the River Thames and a gaggle of small museums devoted to everything from 19th-century surgery to fashion and textiles.
The hotel building dates from 1915 and has five floors. Its rooms are more welcoming than amazing, with plenty of cream and brown in evidence. All have a bath, iron and tea and coffee facilities. With so much construction going on in the vicinity, I'd pick a room at the back on the top floor, which also means you can wake up to a view over the rooftops. Most rooms are doubles with a king-size bed, but the hotel also has some singles, three large suites and ten rooms where guests are permitted to smoke. Families and friends should consider bagging one of three apartments, all sleeping six, housed in a nearby building with no lift.
Bright, spacious and stylishly furnished, the lobby includes a small bar and an abundance of newspapers and magazines.
Eating and drinking
The hotel's Londinium restaurant is relegated to a windowless lower ground floor - but this is not as bad as it sounds. Furnished with bright red chairs, dark wood flooring and crisp white table linen, it's a handy option if you're dining alone or want somewhere that's easy to talk in at leisure - and the food, with dishes ranging from pheasant salad to pan-fried turbot, is good. Breakfast is also served here - an above-average buffet that includes cooked dishes backed up by attentive service.
Guests have free use of the adjacent Fitness First gym, which is reached through a private entrance from the hotel (closed Sunday).
Dressed in smart grey uniforms, the staff are keen to help and include a concierge.
Who stays there
In general business travellers from Monday to Thursday, leisure guests at the weekends.
Room rates exclude VAT and the Full English breakfast buffet costs £14.95. If you stay here at the weekend, or share an apartment, this hotel can be good value given the prime location. WiFi is free.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Business travellers
- Families with teenagers
- Mature travellers
- Seasoned travellers
Pros & Cons
- Also has three apartments
- Rewarding area to explore
- Busy neighbourhood
- Construction work close by