Hilton’s newest London offering is in SE1, an area regenerating thanks to the culture draw of the South Bank. Drawing on influences from its history and surroundings, the hotel contains 292 rooms plus a swimming pool, gym, corporate facilities, a ballroom holding up to 700 guests, a rustic bar and an impressive restaurant. We spent an overnighter to see how it stands up to the Hilton brand, and also to eat a day’s worth of calories for breakfast.
While situated in the no man’s land that is Bankside, this Hilton is a stone’s throw away from the Tate Modern (we know, we tried). There’s nothing quite like working through a couple of floors of the Tate, heading back to your room for a little rest, and heading back out for the exhibitions. It’s also near Borough Market, the South Bank and Southwark, and walkable to the Old Vic, New Vic and the Shard.
The nearest stations, for those going further afield, is Southwark and Blackfriars.
General room vibe
It’s exactly what you think of when you think of Hilton’s standard. Stylish furnishings, giant comfy beds with cloud-like bedding, solid desk and executive bathroom (though the view is that of the large building directly opposite. Welcome to London!).
A lovely touch is that the non-alcoholic minibar is complimentary, meaning you can have a Coke, water or peanuts on a whim, like at home.
Stealability of toiletries
Hilton regulars will be familiar with ol’ Phillip Roth, the brand of toiletries in their rooms. There’s plenty of tiny bottles to use/steal, and they’re good quality too. While I’m loathed to use hotel conditioner on my mess of steel-wire hair, it smoothed it out rather well. I approved so much that I took a tiny bottle home.
Being primarily a business hotel, the wifi is decent enough that there’s no stalling on Netflix streaming. Full marks.
Wowee the shower was strong. One shower heads that make you feel less like you’re showering and more like you’re getting a Thai massage. Ideal if you’ve used their swimming pool/gym a little too strenuously.
Most definitely in the premier league of breakfasts, the buffet area was bigger than many restaurants. In addition to coffee machines, filter coffee brought to your table and so many types of teas you couldn’t forget you were in England, there was perfectly cubed tropical fruit, delicate bowls of pickled herring, a Willy Wonka amount of cererals, milks and toppings, plus the actual best pastry display I’ve seen, with fresh glazed galettes, freshly baked lemon and poppy seed muffins and incredible banana and walnut loaf.
And that’s before you hit the hot food. This contained delicious fried potato cubes, sausages, bacon, mushrooms, plus eggs made in front of you – though this meant that you had to queue and couldn’t just grab some scrambled egg if rushing. We were a little sad that despite being 30 minutes before the close of breakfast service, many of the items ran out and weren’t replaced. But that’s okay, because banana loaf.
There are still a couple of kinks to iron out but the style, quality and wonderful service leave a lasting impression.
Hilton London Bankside is located at 2-8 Suffolk Street. Rooms begin at £180 per night. For information/ reservations, visit Hilton London Bankside.