Whilst there is not a huge choice of hotels in the area, the range of accommodation is varied. From, upscale establishments to charming pubs with rooms, there’s something for everyone.
Luxury South of the River
Staying in the coveted spot opposite Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament comes at a price: only a few prestigious hotels benefit from this strategic South Bank location behind Waterloo station. From here, many of London’s top attractions are within walking distance, including the London Eye, the Thames river, Buckingham Palace and Westminster.
The London Marriott Hotel County Hall(around £300) is one of London’s most illustrious hotels. Located in a historic building overlooking the Thames and Big Ben, its five-star credentials include an indoor pool, a spa and a gourmet restaurant. The bedding, described as perfect by those who have snuggled into it, has also made many happy customers.
Located just behind the Marriott County Hall but with an altogether different style is the brand new Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London (around £180). A thoroughly modern hotel offering a comprehensive range of facilities, the pages of positive reviews compliment the unique design, the thoughtful staff and the central location. The nearby Park Plaza County Hall (from £125) is recommended for similar reasons.
Next to the Tate Modern
The Tate Modern is a spectacular example of rehabilitation. Located in a former electricity plant, the country’s leading museum of contemporary art is a culture magnet that has helped transform the surrounding area from a glum grey-spot on the map into a vibrant arts district. In the vicinity, the Mercure London City Bankside (around £120), scores well for the friendly welcome and the quality of its facilities (including a car park and fitness centre). Recently renovated, the hotel has made a real effort with the décor, offering a high level of quality at a reasonable price and consistently meeting the expectations of its guests. In the same style, Novotel and Ibis Blackfriars (opened in October 2012) also offer bedrooms fitted with all the mod cons, plus excellent restaurants and highly professional service. The Novotel has the added perk of an indoor pool. While these two establishments may belong to standard hotel chains, the services and general quality of the facilities are far beyond average. From £100.
Even closer to the Tate and the riverbanks, The Mad Hatter Hotel (from £110) is set above a traditional British pub. The décor is on the elegant side of no-frills, but the real advantage is the ground-floor pub, a cosy den serving cask ales and typical pub fare.
A relatively recent addition to the area, the citizenM London Bankside is a fun, colourful hotel with a light-hearted, contemporary design concept. With the Tate Modern just around the corner, this hotel pitches itself to a young and trendy clientele and will no doubt go from strength to strength, the unique décor and reasonable prices (from £110) making it hot property.
Bankside, the area surrounding the Tower of London, is a buzzing pocket of life that attracts locals and tourists with its numerous riverside restaurants and the Borough food market. Despite its location in the heart of the hubbub, the Ibis Styles London Southwark (from £120) is appreciated by guests for its calm atmosphere. The décor pleases a design-conscious crowd, and the fitness centre and car park are added bonuses.
A stone’s throw from the riverbank, the Premier Inn London Southwark (around £110) offers rooms above a traditional pub where a hearty breakfast is served, as are other meals and a selection of brews throughout the day.