Another London Hotel review to add to the ever growing list of mine. You know the score by now. I like modern luxury with excellent facilities and looking at the website for this hotel, it appeared to fit the bill. The reason behind this hotel stay was that I had to attend an Awards Black Tie Dinner at this hotel, so it made sense to stay here that night too. Luckily work was paying as it was fairly expensive for Bed and Continental Breakfast (I didn't see why I had to pay extra to have the cooked breakfast-surely their mark up is high on food anyway?)
The main entrance seemed like a side entrance, unless I did enter via the side door? Check in was straightforward and the staff very efficient and friendly. I had a 7th floor room so headed up in the glass elevator feeling all 'Willy Wonka' (Well, didn't they have glass elevators in Charlie & Chocolate Factory too?)
The bedroom was spacious, with rather fantastic floor to ceiling windows… until I looked out of them. I had a rather unglamorous view of a row of houses below who's owners used their back yards as overspill for their rubbish bins and a dumping ground for broken children's toys and bikes. Curtains were SPLENDID though. Took that view right out when closed and luckily were blackout curtains too. The flat screen TV in the room could be angled which meant you could watch TV sat on the sofa near the window, or watch it lying in bed. Talking of the bed, it was large and incredibly comfortable, which is pretty rare in hotels nowadays. This meant I slept like a baby that night. There wasn't enough power sockets to use and there were none by the bed unfortunately, but the lighting was good in the room and you could select a more soothing light rather than just choose between 'burn your retinas out' or 'pitch black'. Unfortunately the full length mirror was not positioned in a well lit area, which doesn't help when a girl is trying to get ready for a Black Tie Dinner. The mini bar was well stocked at reasonably priced. Be warned, it's spring loaded so you buy what you remove from there!
The en suite bathroom was nicely appointed. There was a bath, a proper salon grade hairdryer and a pull out magnifying mirror in the brightly lit bathroom. There was also a separate shower cubicle which had a full length mirror in it, perfect for those people who enjoy gazing at themselves when soapy..which to be fair is usually me. However the shower had so many buttons and knobs that didn't offer any clues as to what they were for that it seemed far too complicated to risk using. Us girlies do not like a shower that makes us step into it before turning the water on. We like to know where you are squirting us from & that we can adjust the temperature before we step inside. We do not go a bundle on standing there and then being power washed from an over zealous shower head set on ice cold, so I opted for the bath instead.
I am guessing that the hotel catered for the Black Tie Event I attended? This, unfortunately, is what let the hotel down. It may have been a set menu chosen by our host, but this does not explain how bland and tasteless the food was. We decided against the main course of fish, as the moment they started to serve it 5 table away we could smell it. Never a good sign! Instead we had the risotto which turned out to be a heavy tasteless lump of rice in a dish. I left most of mine. I rarely leave food. The dessert I skipped completely. The after dinner coffee and chocolates wasnt to the standard one would expect. 1 chocolate per guest. Very mean. The waiting on staff did not bring me my after dinner pot of tea as I requested leaving me without anything to drink after my meal, then disappeared completely meaning we could not order and pay for additional bottles of wine. Very disappointing for such a large and modern hotel. Breakfast was equally as tasteless. I'm not sure why this is such a problem? Perhaps the larger the hotel, the less invested they are in making the food tasty?
I didn't get much time to use the facilities so I cannot comment on the spa and leisure side of the hotel. But the food let this hotel down greatly. The hotel also seemed to lack any character. The event was held at the hotel and the decor was poor. It seemed as if they hadn't bothered to put anything up other than the tables and chairs. I don't even think I saw a Christmas tree?
To conclude, this hotel is very overpriced for the characterless experience you receive. The food is awful so if you do stay here definitely ensure you eat out. The plus points are that it is clean, modern and spacious. My honest opinion is that there are much better hotels in London to stay at for the price, so this is why I only rate it as Average.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Launched in June 2011, the brand new Grange Tower Bridge Hotel redefines luxury accommodation and events facilities within the famous Tower Bridge district. Signature facilities include an expansive Conference and Events Centre, together with a luxurious Wellness Centre offering an extensive range of beauty and holistic treatments. The Grange Tower Bridge incorporates renewable solar and photovoltaic panels, and has an on-site borehole to reduce water consumption – making it one of the most energy-efficient hotels to open in recent years. ... more less
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