Superbly situated on the ever-popular South Bank in the back of County Hall, the grand building that once housed London’s government and is now home to the Sea Life London Aquarium and London Film Museum. You can’t stay closer than here to the London Eye - or much closer to the fabulous promenade along the South Bank, past the Southbank Centre’s restaurants and on to Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe. Big Ben is just across Westminster Bridge from here, and Waterloo tube/rail station is a short walk.
Chain reliable but also chain boring: from the uniform lilac headboard and fabric strip across the duvet that lets you know you’ve been branded to the vouchers for Wi-Fi there’s little to get excited about. Still, you do get the necessities: kettle for tea and coffee, freeview TV and all rooms en suite. Because the hotel’s in the back of County Hall, there are no river views: rooms look along the bank at the Southbank Centre, rather than out across the Thames towards the Houses of Parliament. You do get tantalising glimpses of the London Eye, however - really big and close.
Chaotic with people milling about when I was last in. Nowhere that I’d choose to linger.
Eating and drinking
The bar-restaurant on the Southbank Centre side of the hotel serves breakfast (a £7.95 ‘all you can eat’ buffet), lunch and dinner. But I’d rather walk five minutes to the cluster of good-quality chain restaurants under the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall (Giraffe or Wagamama if you’ve got kids, Canteen for something a bit more grown-up).
Pleasant, but - during my last visit - undermanned.
Who stays there
Tourists, often families attracted by the combination of good prices and great location.
There are some terrific value deals for the location, but they're generally only available at least three weeks in advance and with a two-night minimum stay Thursday to Monday (single nights are OK for just Sunday). At busy times, however, prices can rise sharply, and I’d be looking to stay at the [node:121372] down the road.
- Culture vultures
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
Pros & Cons
- Prime South Bank location
- Good prices, especially in advance
- Chaotic public areas
- Chain hotel feel