Hilton London Bankside Hotel Review
Hilton London Bankside is one of Hilton’s latest additions to their London hotel portfolio. It is a new, purpose built building which doesn’t look much from the outside during the day (but is very nicely lit at night).
When you walk inside, it is it a very different story. The decor is quite striking and a big departure from Hilton’s normal bland design. Dark woods, distressed metals, sculptures, a mix of wall coverings, creative moody lighting and a slightly chaotic colour scheme all come together to create a relaxing atmosphere and a distinct feeling of luxury. This theme is carried out throughout most of the hotel, but is varied slightly in different areas. It’s very trendy, but still feels sophisticated and classy. Some might not like it, I thought it looked great.
The service was fantastic from the moment you entered the property, with staff around the reception area to greet guests, as well as plenty of checkin agents and a few bellmen around offering assistance with baggage.
I’m not an expert on London geography, but as someone visiting for a couple of nights to do the touristy stuff I found it a reasonably good location.
We arrived from Gatwick Airport by train at Blackfriars station. It took only 5 minutes or so to find the hotel. We were catching one of the London Tour buses (as you do as a tourist 😉 ) and managed to pick it up from the other side of the river which was a 20 minute or so walk over Blackfriars Bridge. On our way back we picked up an Uber from around Piccadilly Circus which only took around 15 minutes and cost just over £10.
The next day we took a longer walk into town, walking down the south bank and crossing over at the Waterloo Bridge. A pleasant and easy walk which took us eventually into town where we popped into The Waldorf Hilton for some fizz.
There were lovely floral displays everywhere, including a few Easter themed ones at the front door (we were visiting on Easter weekend).
We arrived at around 1pm. Despite it being quite busy, we were seen to promptly and checked in by a lovely agent who advised us our rooms weren’t quite ready. Without prompting, the concierge offered to take our bags and have them put up in our rooms once ready.
Our Deluxe room was on the 6th floor, just next to the lifts (but far enough away you could not hear them). The room had two windows which offered nice views towards the Shard and the immediate local area, but not much else.
Waiting for us in the room was a lovely chocolate easter egg filled with a chocolate mousse. What a lovely touch on Easter weekend. Our bags had also been brought up to our room by the concierge.
As you would expect with the hotel being brand new, everything was immaculate and working well.
The room was a good size, with massive king bed as well as a desk and sofa. There were ample plugs around the room, including next to the bed. The room came with the usual amenities including a 42″ TV mounted into the wall (which had a new menu system different to the normal Hilton one), air conditioning (which was quite and worked well), tea & coffee making facilities, mini bar, safe and ironing board.
There was a note included in the room to inform us the contents of the mini bar were included free of charge, which is a nice gesture. There were a few bottles of coke, some fresh orange and nuts/gummy bears to choose from.
A turndown service was also offered with a mat and slippers laid next to the bed for you arriving back at night.
The bathroom was a good size but there was no bath, only a shower. The shower had a rain shower fitted to the roof as well as a normal shower head. There was a lovely big mirror in the bathroom which was heated in the middle to stop steam buildup.
The toiletries on offer were the usual Hilton Peter Thomas Roth offerings. As well as the normal fairly small bottles at the sink, there was also a larger sized shower gel and shampoo on a shelf in the shower itself which was a welcome surprise, I wish every Hilton had this extra set!
The bathroom is also very nicely decorated and felt quite luxurious. I loved the solid stone shower tray, it looked fantastic.
The bathroom has a built in (Bose) speaker which is linked to the TV and is controllable with a switch located next to the sink.
We were offered breakfast in the lounge, as well as the full breakfast in OXBO Bankside restaurant which was located to the right of reception. We choose to eat in the OXBO restaurant and weren’t disappointed.
We gave our room number on entering and were taken to a table near the buffet. The buffet area was very open with plenty of space and nicely laid out. The buffet selection was fairly extensive with the usual Hilton Breakfast hot and continental options. All of the food looked lovely and was kept fresh and well stocked by the 4 or 5 strong team behind the kitchen. You are able order fresh american style pancakes, waffles, eggs benedict and eggs from the kitchen, all of which is cooked in front of you by the chefs. I don’t recall seeing a menu for any of this stuff, I think you just need to know to order. All of the food was of high quality, it felt better quality than Hilton breakfasts generally are. I had freshly made pancakes, dusted with icing sugar and served with some bacon and scrambled egg – lovely!
The OXBO restaurant decor is again quite interesting and slightly chaotic, with animal heads mounted to the walls. I thought it looked great, but other might not like it as much.
Bars & Restaurants
We didn’t eat in the hotel on this occasion, outside of breakfast. We did have a night cap on the way back from dinner in The Distillery bar. It very much specialises in gins, but we really fancied a cocktail. We had a look through the menu, which had an odd but wide selection but all we really wanted was a classic margarita. When the waiter came over we asked if they could do a margarita, it wasn’t a problem. Our margaritas turned up a few minutes later and were very tasty!
You can view the menus for the hotels restaurant, OXBO Bankside on the hotel’s website: www.hilton.com
We flew into Gatwick Airport from Edinburgh, and caught the train from Gatwick Airport to London Blackfriars, so didn’t have a car to park.
There is valet parking offered by the hotel at £40.00, I notice self parking is not an option.
On this trip we were booked on my partners Diamond card. The hotel were good at offering the standard Diamond benefits, but also went above and beyond offering lounge access, breakfast and a room upgrade to our 2nd room.
- 1,000 bonus points.
- Free full breakfast for both rooms.
- Executive lounge access for both rooms.
- Both of our rooms were given a 1 category room upgrade from Standard room to Deluxe room.
- Free WiFi which was fast, reliable and easy to access.
- We were offered a newspaper delivered free of charge, but declined.
- Only notable thing we didn’t receive was 2 x bottles of water in the room, they weren’t in the mini bar either. I’m sure if we asked this would have been resolved but it wasn’t a big issue on this stay.
Hilton Bankside Executive Lounge
The lounge is open from 6am-10pm each day. The lounge is quite large and feels airy despite having no windows because of the skylight and well done lighting. There was ample comfortable seating and like the rest of the hotel was nicely decorated. Loved the vapor fireplaces! The lounge also has toilets with shower facilities and computer bank with printing for guest use.
Hilton Bankside Executive Lounge Opening Times
- Breakfast: 6.30am-11am
- Afternoon Tea: 3pm-5pm
- Evening Drinks: 5.30pm-8.00pm
- Evening Snack: 5.30pm-7.70pm
We ate breakfast in the restaurant and weren’t about for afternoon tea in the lounge, but did make it in latterly for their evening drinks and snacks service.
There was a good selection alcoholic drinks including red & white wine, fizz and a number of spirits including gin, vodka, whisky and one or two other spirits. The wine and some of the spirits on offer were higher quality than the selection served in many Hilton lounges. The wine had with a few choices for the red and white, none of which was the horrid Ayrum stuff they serve in many UK lounges.
The section of food was not bad, but not great either. They had a selection of fish canapes which looked nice (but I’m not a fish lover so never tried them) and cheese board and some cold cuts and other small stuff like peanuts. There was also small chicken nugget like things in the hot section which were tasty. It was all nice enough but there wasn’t a massive amount of it and it wasn’t always kept stocked.
The staff offered table service should you want it and kept our fizz topped up for us. There are a few staff up at the bar area offering to help as well, which felt overbearing at points but was generally appreciated.
Hilton London Bankside Hotel Images
Hilton London Bankside Contact Information
Hilton London Bankside Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hilton London Bankside Phone Number: 020 3667 5601
Hilton London Bankside Address: 2-8 Great Suffolk Street