The hotel is well situated for transport links, just along the road from the Old Vic Theatre and being only about a five minute walk from Waterloo rail & tube station and maybe 10 minutes from Southwark tube station. I mention Southwark as it is the nearest tube with disabled access, which is important to me, being an amputee and using a wheelchair. The area seems quite safe and we noticed that women didn't seem to worry about walking alone in the area during the later evening, although the hotel does advise that guests be careful when returning after dark - but it is a part of a big city, so that probably is not unusual. I would say that the hotel caters well for all types of customer from business use, families, singles and couples.
We spent five nights at the Hampton by Hilton after reading about the complete renovation of the hotel. It's been done very nicely too. The rooms are very clean and the fittings are of a good standard, with a decent TV, fast free wifi, comfy beds and sensible lighting. Posh, by my standards really. The shower room had modern facilities with a bath-size shower enclosure with wrap around glass screen and nicely styled toilet and sink - again all very clean and tidy, with ample shampoo, soaps and moisturisers.
The room itself was a fair size, though the 3 of us filled it and it could be booked to 4 people, which would make things a little tight I think. However, something has been forgotten in this major renovation...
We had booked a family room with disabled accessability, which meant I expected to be able to use all the facilities of the room and bathroom whilst being in my wheelchair, but on checking in, the receptionist dropped a problem on us. The hotel doesn't have family rooms with disabled access! They have family rooms OR disabled accessible rooms but not both together.
Now to me that seems like something that the hotel should pre-warn you about BEFORE you land on the welcome mat. After all, they had to take my contact details when I booked and actually sent an email "reminder" of my booking a few days before we arrived! But there we were, with two options - 1. Split our party (myself and my wife who would have to help me in the room) into a disabled room and a seperate room somewhere for our teenaged son, or 2. Take a family room where I couldn't use the wheelchair through lack of space. We took the family room on the 3rd floor and I had to crawl round the room for 5 nights, which is not ideal.
The breakfast, which is included in the price, is exceptionally well presented and caters for all tastes. Choices ranged from fresh fruit, yoghurt, cerials, breads, bagels and full English. It was an all-you-care-to-eat buffet style and the staff were quick to clean tables and make sure everyone was happy. The dining area is large, bright and airy. It has various seating styles including small booths, relaxed comfy chairs at coffee tables as well as the standard tables and chairs, so it suits all group sizes and tastes.
So, all-in-all, the hotel is a lovely place to stay, with great staff too. But why no family rooms with disabled access, given that the revamp was undertaken shortly after London had hosted such a well publicised and well run Paralymic Games?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated just a five minute walk from London Waterloo train station, the contemporary Hampton by Hilton London Waterloo hotel offers guests an elegant, yet affordable base in the heart of London; near corporate and government offices and exciting shopping, dining, nightlife and entertainment opportunities. Located south of the River Thames, near St. George’s Circus and Waterloo Bridge. ... more less
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