The hotel is on the south side of Chelsea Bridge in a still developing area known as Nine Elms. Look west through the towering piles of luxury flats and you spy the leafy world of Battersea Park, one of the capital's most enjoyable green lungs. Look east and there is the iconic hulk of Battersea Power Station with the River Thames and central London beyond. Be prepared for a 15-minute walk to find pubs and shops, and you'll need to take a bus or taxi across the bridge to reach Victoria or Sloane Square Underground stations.
Being freshly built, the hotel has welcoming modern bedrooms that are trim, quiet and larger than usual - over 30 square metres. Decorated in an airy style with wood flooring, white leather furniture, firm beds, and separate bath and shower facilities, they would be an inviting place to relax after a hard day on the conference floor. I prefer the side of the hotel with views to Battersea Power Station, with its entwined railway lines and riverside scenes. The three uppermost floors offer the best panoramas and have Club facilities with an executive lounge, plus 12 suites with balconies.
A large, glossy lobby multitasks as a reception, lounge and bar serving drinks and snacks - at night the lights crossfade their way through a rainbow of colours to create a more relaxed atmosphere.
Eating and drinking
The hotel's menu and wine list reflects the Pestana's Portugese roots - here's your chance to try some salt cod fishcakes or a glass of red from the Douro. Dinner is served in the dark and rather hard-edged Atlántico restaurant - if you've had a tough day and just want to dine in the hotel it does the job, but the London food scene is so exciting you should really get out and about.
The basement level Très Spa is an attractive and useful place to grab some downtime. There's a low-lit 13 metre pool, sauna and steam room, plus a comprehensive menu of treatments including facials, massages and pampering rituals. Or just go for a walk/jog in Battersea Park...
Could be better. English is clearly not the first language of many staff which can lead to an unfortunate reticence or brusqueness when dealing with guests.
Who stays there
Business travel is the core market, but the Pestana also offers attractive leisure packages tied in with nearby events in the area, such as the Chelsea Flower Show, as well as shopping, spa and romance experiences.
For a good deal, look out for promotional offers - there are usually several to choose from. Leisure rates include VAT but not breakfast, which costs £12.50 (Continental), £16.95 (Full English). As there is nowhere else nearby to have it, consider asking for this to be included in the rate which should save a few pounds.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Great views / scenery
Pros & Cons
- Next to a splendid park
- Large, relaxing bedrooms
- Service could be better
- Not that central