My stay at the Park Plaza Riverbank in London can best be described as entirely reasonable. I did arrive with some trepidation as the reviews on Trip Advisor seem to be all over the board.
Typical for an American arriving in London, my flight arrived early in the morning (in my case at 5:30 am local time). Several reviewers mentioned difficulty in checking in early. So, I decided to wait out the morning hours in the Terminal 1 Arrivals Lounge. Eventually, I worked my way to the hotel around 1 pm. Unfortunately, I was told my requested room was not yet available. I did email the hotel and specifically request a "quiet" room as several reviewers mentioned ongoing construction surrounding the hotel. The hotel offered to hold my bag and asked me to return at 2 pm. So, I decided to take a stroll up the embankment returning at the indicated time. Well, my room still was not ready. At that point, I was more than happy to take any room that vaguely would conform to my request. So, they went ahead and got me into a room on the 10th floor facing the inner courtyard, presumably a quiet location.
The room itself was functional and as expected. It did require the key card to be placed in a slot before power was available. This, of course, meant the room itself was a bit toasty and stuffy as no air was circulating. I really wish there was some option to override that function for guests before arrival. Regardless, the room size was typical by American standards which also meant that it was larger than usual for London. The bathroom was particularly nice with a separate shower and bathtub as well as a magnifying vanity mirror and telephone on the wall. The toiletries were Dead Sea brand manufactured in Italy. A small sewing kit, shower cap, and shoe shine cloth were also provided. The main room included two closely placed twin beds. I did originally request a double bed, but my desire to get into my room trumped my concern for bed choice. Opposite the bed was a dresser with ample storage space and a minibar with sensor activated charging. I thought there would be a second small refrigerator based on prior reviews, but there was not. One drawer did include a pot to warm water as well as tea, coffee, and hot chocolate supplies. A small cookie snack was also there for a makeshift afternoon tea. All the items were routinely resupplied during the week I was there. A relatively large television sat on top of the dresser. There were around 40-50 channels, however, only 15 seemed to be in English. So, the selections are rather limited. In addition, the channel selection system has a delay feel, so it is hard to zip around to find something to watch.
The hotel does provide free internet access. I found that terribly useful as I could watch Netflix on my US account even though I was in the UK. Its location is reasonable on the Albert Embankment directly south from the County Hall area of Westminster. The closest tube station is Vauxhall on the Victoria line. From the tube station, it took me six minutes to reach the hotel at a brisk walking clip. If one wanted to get to the Westminster tube and its three available lines, the walk would be around 15 minutes. A small grocery is literally less than 100 feet from the hotel and open until 11 pm. A Tesco Express is a little south of the Vauxhall metro and around eight minutes from the hotel.
Is there room for improvement? Well, sure there is. There were a series of minor annoyances that did not distract from the overall stay, but certainly should be mentioned. For example, the magnifying vanity mirror would not sit in place (tipping upward no matter what I tried) basically making it nonfunctional. Melted ice (yes, water) was left in the ice bucket on every day of the room cleaning except for one. One day, the hot chocolate was not replenished. The room itself showed many scuffs and scratches as well as several small holes in the curtains. The bed is super firm to the point of being hard to sleep on. Oh, "upgrades" which are usually free in the US (i.e. a nice view when the hotel is not crowded) are pushed aggressively for sale. Again, nothing even close to ruining a vacation, but simply room for improvement.
So, my bottom line is that the Park Plaza Riverbank in a solid hotel in London and would be a reasonable choice for a future trip to London.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Overlooking Millbank and the Houses of Parliament in the heart of the city, Park Plaza London Riverbank offers stunning four-star deluxe accommodation for corporate and leisure travellers. The hotel is within easy reach of both London Waterloo and Vauxhall railway stations as well as Westminster Underground. Following a spectacular renovation, Park Plaza London Riverbank now offers 489 sumptuous guest rooms, including Superior Rooms, Executive Rooms and Suites, some with stunning river views. The modern fitness suite is open 24 hours a day and features a range of cardio and weight equipment. Located on the first floor, Chino Latino(R) Restaurant & Bar, the Lounge and a fresh new Sushi Bar offer tantalising cuisine with beautiful 180-degree panoramic views of the River Thames and the Houses of Parliament. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Park Plaza Riverbank London Hotel London
- Park Plaza London
- London Park Plaza
- Riverbank Park Plaza London