There is something to be said about staying in a well-situated London hotel. The centre of London stretches out much further than some other European cities and we’ve made the most of almost every area. The city itself still remains rather quiet at the weekend but utilising our river and dotting it with luxury hotels and restaurants has meant for such an exciting stretch of places to visit. Head west and you’ll find destination dining and lush green parks. To the north you’ll find big and vast modern restaurants, south of the river is more relaxed with all-day casual eating and to the east the hippest of hipsters with converted warehouse hotels.
But this isn’t about any of those areas. This is about a hotel located in the centre of it all, close to some of the most iconic tourist attractions, a stunning Thames location and with just about everything on its doorstep. The hotel of course is the one and only Marriot County Hall Hotel. We approached the grand entrance from the Westminster Bridge before stepping through its historic doors.
As soon as you enter the building you’re greeted by the most fabulous bar known as the Noes Champagne Lobby Bar. Very glamorous, decadent and pristinely presented. Sadly we weren’t quite staying her for long enough to enjoy it first hand – but it’s on our list for next time. Just as lovely was the reception lobby. No doubt very cosy during the Winter months once that fireplace is lit. After a swift check-in later we were whisked away to our room.
We were staying in one of the Big Ben View rooms which really was as iconic as a room could be. As you enter the door you’re greeted by a rather large entrance area which spreads out over a whopping 484 sqft. I loved the London scene wallpaper which adorns the walls into the bedroom and the very spacious desk which was perfect for catching up on the blog whilst enjoying the views from our room.
If writing isn’t quite your thing then take a seat on the armchair and watch the world go by. Big Ben quite literally takes centre stage from the window (currently under construction) , as does the River Thames and Westminster Bridge. It’s the little touches which make this hotel so attractive for me, from the complimentary petit fours, hand written welcome note and of course the many amenities such as the Nespresso machine and mini bar hidden away in the gorgeous TV unit.
The bathroom was lovely and modern too. Sadly there was no bath (something I always ensure I have when booking a room), but the extra-large shower made up for that shortfall. More of the London scene wallpaper was creeping its way onto the upper walls and the floor tastefully tiled in similar hues. Quality spa products from Floris were on offer to add a touch of luxury to the overnight experience.
Lucky enough to have arrived on such a glorious day we couldn’t resist exploring the bustling Southbank with the London Eye being quite literally on the hotel doorstep. Big Ben & Westminster Abbey are located just across the Westminster Bridge. Plentiful restaurants and bars are within just a short stroll and attractions for families such as the London Aquarium are located below the hotel. For those seeking a little culture the Hayward Gallery and Tate Modern are also just a short walk. The hotel also boasts a swimming pool, spa and gym on the top floor of the hotel – the only part which could perhaps benefit from a facelift but it does offer extra relaxation.
Sat down for dinner in the hotels restaurant Gillray’s, we tucked into a mammoth T-bone steak and a gargantuan sherry trifle made for two to share. The latter was the best example I’ve ever eaten and the steaks were excellent. Rich, meaty and perfectly cooked. Service was absolutely flawless too and I wish I’d took note of our waitress name because she really made our evening. Read my full review of Gillray’s Restaurant HERE, as well as a fabulous afternoon tea offering in The Library Lounge which I visited a few weeks back.
The next morning we popped back down to Gillray’s for our breakfast. A la carte options are available but we stuck with the excellent buffet service. Pastries, cereals, charcuterie, fresh fruits and a hot station. There really was everything you could want on offer and actually the hot food in particular was the best quality I’ve had from a buffet selection. It felt more like it was fresh off the pans from the kitchen and not served myself.
Staying in such an iconic part of London was something which had never really crossed my mind living in London myself, but being that extra bit closer to all of the action made for a very memorable stay. If you’re on the hunt for good food, a hotel full of history and a bedroom with a view, Marriot County Hall Hotel may well be what you’ve always been looking for.
NB: My stay was complimentary. All views are as always, my own. My views are not influenced by anyone other than my own palate and slightly poor eyesight.