Just behind the superb Tate Britain gallery (there’s an alley - the Art Street - from the riverside to the hotel), the Mint Hotel Westminster is set on a back street about 10 minutes’ walk from Pimlico Underground station. Apart from the gallery and the Thames, there isn’t much here, but Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey are an easy walk north.
Get a suite on the 12th or 13th floor if you can: the floor-to-ceiling windows give on to a bend of the Thames for stunning, almost perilous evening views. I thought the power shower was a bit feeble, but otherwise the rooms show good attention to all the necessary details – comfy bed, free broadband, tea- and coffee-making facilities, iMac, flatscreen TV with DVD and CD player, clear pricing policy (£4 tray charge to deliver meals up from restaurant, for example).
The adaptable modern design is given a bit of character by changing displays of works from the Chelsea College of Art, but the public areas still feel a little too functional to be entirely relaxing. You just know it can all be subdivided and reorganised when the next conference is in town.
Eating and drinking
When I first ate here, the City Café menu was full of rather outlandish combinations of ingredients: it seems to have now settled down into offering more sensible options. But there have always been good cocktails in the scarlet Millbank Lounge, which specialises in whiskies.
The gym (open 5am to midnight) has cardiovascular and resistance-training machines.
Business-like, but friendly and accommodating.
Who stays there
The hotel is set up for business, but good weekend prices draw savvy leisure travellers.
Definitely one to consider for that bargain weekend break: during the summer you can get a great room rate including breakfast and VAT.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Great views / scenery
Pros & Cons
- Great river views from the upper floors
- Well-organised, friendly service
- Good room amenities
- Tucked-away location
- Characterless building