I stayed here for three nights after four nights at the Apex City of London. Not exactly a fair comparison, as Apex is a bit more expensive, but that's what colored my lenses. Let's start with the good and move down...
Five stars: natural lighting. Huge windows to the London city sky (grey as it is). In-room lighting at night was very good as well, compared to the Apex.
Four stars: check-in experience. Very nice agents at the desk.
Three stars: location. It's next to Burough Market and right next to the Thames, which is great for weekend afternoon walks and evening runs along the river. It's a bit of a hike to Paddington Station, however, which is a necessary trek if you've got morning meetings in Reading. The distance to Paddington station, to give a tangible illustration, is far enough that you need to wake up at 5am to be ready to leave by 5:45 to get to the station by 6:45 for a meeting at 8...
Two stars: fitness center equipment and hours. The treadmill is supposedly only supposed to be used between 9am and 9pm. What on earth are you supposed to do if you need to work out before work? What if you need to go for a run when it's no longer safe to run outside after dark? Additionally, there is crap for equipment selection. Typical hotel gym I suppose, but it looked nicer in the pictures (and that was part of the reason I chose this hotel).
Two stars: wireless speed. So slow it's unusable unless you purchase the premium. That's roughly $18/day down the drain.
One star: room service hours and options. Read here:
The breakfast card instructs you to call if you need something before 6. I called to ask for breakfast at 5 (read above) and was told that muesli, yogurt, fruit salad and coffee would likely be available, as none require cooking. This seemed like a reasonable request (the Apex, as many other hotels I've visited, offers some sort of room service 24/7).
5am rolled around and a woman showed up at my door with a paper lunch bag containing three industrial pieces of fruit (i.e. cheap oranges and apples), yogurt, and a bunch of cheap mini-croissants. I guess this is their early "breakfast to-go" option. No muesli, no coffee, just cheap fruit and mini-croissants. Good luck if you don't eat gluten (or simply don't want cheap / unhealthy pastries as a stand-in for actual breakfast).
This would all be fine if there was a single coffee shop that opened by 6 within walking distance, but there isn't, as this is a non-business-oriented area and as such has limited early coffee options on weekdays.
To make a long story short, it'd be okay if you're on a budget, but don't stay here if you're in town for business.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Novotel London City South is an AA 4 star hotel ideal for a weekend or holiday in London. The Shard, Borough Market, London Eye, Tate Modern, Millennium Bridge, Shakespeares Globe Theatre, Vinopolis and St Pauls Cathedral are just minutes away, while a short tube ride will get you to the shopping, nightlife and theatres of the West End. Guests can enjoy our Elements Restaurant, Clinks Bar and rooftop leisure and fitness suite with gym, sauna and steam room. Free WiFi & internet, chargeable parking available. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Novotel London City South Hotel London
- Accor London City South
- London Novotel