“ Address: 7 Pepys Street / London / EC3N 4AF „
I recently had to travel to London for a video shoot and due to unsuitable flight times, I needed to travel down the day before and stay in a hotel. London isn't a city that I know well to be honest but I did look at hotels which would be close to the tube stations I needed to travel from and settled on the DoubleTree by Hilton. This hotel was booked by Ciao through www.lastminute.com but can also be booked through the website www.doubletree3.hilton.com.
~DoubleTree by Hilton - Location and Essential Information~
7 Pepys Street
0207 709 1000
There are many Hilton hotels in London but my review discusses the Tower of London hotel. This hotel is a 4 star hotel and is located in the heart of London. It is a short walk from Tower Bridge. I arrived from City Airport and needed to change trains twice but the journey was pretty straightforward. Tower Hill station is nearby as is the underground and I used both of these stations during my visit. The hotel itself is neatly tucked away down a street which is also home to a Novotel. I did get lost twice trying to find it.
Check in is from 1500hrs and check out is 1200hrs. There is self parking nearby which is £30.00 and the hotel is non smoking (except for the roof bar). This hotel is set across 12 floors. The entrance floor houses the reception, a spacious atrium area with snacks available, a lobby bar and a restaurant. The hotel is attractive inside with modern and comfortable furnishings and is completely immaculate. The atrium has a glass roof which is visible from some bedrooms.
This hotel offers banqueting and conference facilities. There is a 24hour fitness centre on the first floor and the 12th floor is home to the Skylounge bar which is open to the public and offers views of the city from the open air terrace. The entire hotel is well maintained and clean throughout. The toilet on the ground floor were spotless and well stocked with essentials. I loved the layout of the hotel and found it very easy to navigate. There are four lifts at the back of the hotel which take you to most floors with only two allowing access to the Skyline lounge. The hotel is flat throughout to allow sufficient access for wheelchair users and those with prams.
A quick website search confirms that rooms on a Friday night start at around £169.99. The price is based on price per room per night.
~Check In/Check Out~
I arrived at this hotel around 7pm as I had been delayed at the airport. The check in process was quick and I found the reception staff to be very friendly and helpful. I handed over my printed confirmation and provided a debit card which is simply on file should you wish to charge anything to it. I was firstly given a warm and absolutely gooey chocolate cookie which I believe to be common practice at any DoubleTree hotel - it was scrummy and well received after a rather stressful journey. I was also given the option to book breakfast which I opted to do. I signed a form and was on my way with the essential information I needed and a keycard. Check out was just as simple as I only had to hand my keycard back in. I was pleased with this service.
~The Hotel and My Room~
The lobby areas in the hotel were perfectly clean and bright as well as being neutrally decorated. I loved the views from the lobby area and found it easy to find my room. This hotel offers various room types including standard guest rooms, suites, disabled access rooms (with wide doorframes, accessible toilets, roll in power showers, low floor beds and suitable handrails- ADA compliant) and executive rooms. I was booked into a 'Queen Deluxe' guest room which cost £199.99 for a Friday night stay.
My room was 823 on the 8th floor. It was the furthest from the lift but i didn't mind walking as it was good exercise! I was very pleased with the facilities on offer in my room. On opening the room door, I found it to be spacious and perfectly suitable for my needs. My room overlooked some offices and the Gherkin building and whilst I was a tad disappointed at not having a room at the other side (with views of the Tower Bridge), I figured I wouldn't be spending too much time looking out the window anyway. The room had floor to ceiling windows and one corner window opened slightly which was very much welcome as it was incredibly hot when I arrived. Thick curtains blocked out any light and I found it to be fairly quiet during the night despite there being some bars outside.
Most of the rooms in this hotel have standard facilities which include effective air-conditioning and heating which I personally found easy to adapt to my needs. The rooms are soundproof (I slept fine and didn't notice any noise from the next door or nearby rooms) and ironing, hair dryer facilities. Each room has an iMAC and complimentary internet access and also certain Freeview and news channels. I found the iMAC to be very simple to use and the internet was very quick whilst I checked tube times for the next day.
My room had extra treats including three bottles of water, a fridge, mini cakes and a fresh apple. I always had two fluffy bath robes and some slippers which were very much appreciated. The room had a sufficient amount of lighting and plug sockets. The decor was pleasant and the room appeared airy with cream walls, a fold away mirror, full length mirror and a lovely picture above the bed. There was a desk, unit and a spacious wardrobe as well as two bedside cabinets - more than sufficient space for two people. There was also a pull out drawer with kettle, drinks and treats. My room also had a safe inside the wardrobe but I didn't use it. There was also a table and chair in the room but I do feel this wasn't needed and it could be removed to allow for extra space to move around.
The bed in my room was amazing! A high, queen sized better with a really deep and comfortable mattress, crisp white sheets, a thin duvet and four amazing pillows were well appreciated through the evening. I slept like a baby and was pleased to notice a plug socket at the side of the bed for charging my phone. In general, I found my room to be extremely comfortable and immaculately clean. I cannot fault it. The fridge was a welcome addition and could be used free of charge of you could request a mini bar at an additional cost. There was a phone in the room but I daren't use it through fear of running up a bill! Room service is available but is expensive - £14.50 for a burger and a £5.00 tray charge.
The bathroom wasn't massive but wasn't tiny either. It was well lit and extremely clean - I checked every corner! There was a sufficient amount of towels in the bathroom include a fluffy bath towel. These can be replaced when required but as I only stayed one night, I didn't need them replaced. The toilet and sink were perfectly fine and the shower was walk in with a beautifully powerful shower head which could be taken off the holder. I enjoyed both my evening and morning shower and appreciated the dispenser on the wall which offered Crabtree and Evelyn shower gel. The hand wash, shampoo and other included items were also from this brand. The bathroom featured a mist-free mirror which worked a treat and a small bin - everything that you need really.
I found the amenities in my room and bathroom to be excellent and great for a short stay. I was very comfortable in the room and the furnishings were of a high standard and there was good amount of storage space and space for clothes which is something I always appreciate even if staying for just the one night.
I chose to dine at the City Café Restaurant for dinner.
This restaurant is quite expensive as you would expect and there is quite a limited menu choice. It opens for breakfast at 0630hrs (0700hrs at the weekend) and closes at 2230hrs (2200hrs on a Sunday) each day but is closed for lunch. There is a standard a la Carte menu including soup, prawn cocktail and mussels to start followed by mainly meat based selections of burgers, fish and chips and steaks. Vegetarians may not appreciate the options on offer. Desserts are also available and change often. They offer wine, soft drinks, coffees and spirits here.
I received a complimentary basket of fresh and tasty bread to munch on. I opted for the steak which was an 8oz rib eye served with watercress, chips and oven dried tomatoes. I did have to send it back to be cooked more as it was still quite pink inside despite requesting it to be cooked medium to well done - I cannot stomach the pinkness of beef! This wasn't an issue though and I received an apology and a perfectly cooked steak in return. The chips were delicious too as were the sides but I don't think I would have paid the £18.75 price had I been in Scotland to be honest but it was tasty. It was the most expensive menu option at the time.
The desserts were priced at around £6.00 and were mainly nut or coffee based options. I opted for the only one which I thought I would like - plum, apple and rhubarb crumble with creme anglaise. I was pleased with the portion size and presentation of my dish. The crumble was delicious and served piping hot. I ordered a vodka with mixer and my bill came to over £35.00. The restaurant was nice enough and the service good but very expensive.
As I said earlier, I decided to book breakfast as I knew I wouldn't have time to go elsewhere so early. Breakfast is served in the City Cafe Restaurant from 0700hrs until 0900hrs at the weekend and costs £15.00. The breakfast area is well set out and includes fruit juices, water, pastries and muffins, cereals and lots of cooked items as well as fresh fruit. I decided to order some runny fried eggs, some sausages and tomatoes. The waiter was more than happy to put my order through and actually went to collect the rest of my breakfast himself as I didn't realise at first that the other items were self service - how very kind! I enjoyed my breakfast and especially the sausages which were perfectly meaty. There was plenty for vegetarians too and food was replenished quickly and kept piping hot. I also had some juice, a small and tasty pastry swirl and some fresh fruit which I enjoyed.
I was looking forward to going up. It is open to the public and you need to go past a mini reception before entering. They can ask you to wait if there are too many people in the bar or outside areas but I didn't need to wait. I wished I had visited here when I arrived as the views are said to be amazing during the day but they are great at night too. The Skylounge is open from 1000hrs until 0200hrs with the exception of a Sunday (1100hrs until 0100hrs).
Food is served in the Skylounge - mainly platters, salads and desserts including churros. I didn't eat here. They offer a huge selection of drinks including spirits, beers and ciders, wine and cocktails. Everything is expensive as you would expect - £6.00 for Corona, £300.00 for cetain champagnes and from £11.50 for cocktails. I decided to have just one cocktail and had to wait a while to be served as people were jumping the queue. My cocktail of choice was a 'Jeni French' - vanilla vodka, chambord, pineapple, apple juice and vanilla sugar at £12.50. It was professionally prepared and served. I chose this as I love sweet drinks but this was incredibly sweet and foamy. I did enjoy it but it lasted me a while as it was very strongly flavoured.
I loved the layout of the Skylounge as there is the main bar and then two terraces. The views are over the Thames, the Tower Bridge and other surrounding buildings. The terraces were decorated with fairy lights and I could imagine having a lovely wedding here as it looked spectacular. I was tired and didn't fancy drinking on my own so went back to my room after my cocktail. I would visit here again just for the Skylounge alone as the views are immense! The ambience was great too with people from all walks of life enjoying a drink.
This hotel is very expensive to stay in but if you can afford to stay here than I can highly recommend it. I was pleased with the service, the hotel facilities and my room in general. I was shocked by the high prices of everything but London, as I am told, is generally more expensive than Glasgow! The hotel is well located for various attractions and is a very comfortable, stylish and modern hotel. I feel that breakfast should be included as standard given the high cost of the rooms.
I didn't make use of the fitness facilities due to lack of time nor did I get to see the maids in the morning but given how clean my room was on arrival, I doubt there would be any issues there. The little touches are what make me think even higher of this hotel - the warm cookie, the little cakes in my room etc. I didn't notice any children here during my stay but it did seem popular with business travellers and couples. I would like to go back here to stay with my fiancé in the near future and can recommend it. It is definitely different to the type of hotel I usually stay in but very much worth a visit.
Thanks for reading :)