When I was offered an overnight stay at the new Novotel London Canary Wharf Hotel in the heart of London’s financial hub I simply couldn’t refuse.
From my initial research I discovered that the hotel pays homage to the area’s significant history featuring industrial materials, including steel and wood, throughout its interior design. Now this sounded like my cup of tea – and I couldn’t wait to take a sip!
As I could choose to take a guest, I decided to take my daughter, nine-year old Nadja (aka Girlwrighter!). I knew she’d get a huge kick from being at the hotel and, as she later proved, went on Twitter Live to showcase our plush Executive Suite to whoever would be watching. It later turned out that her video attracted over 900 viewers on Periscope alone, so ‘the girl done good’ as they say.
I also went live on Instagram for the first time; I couldn’t get over the views from our room on the 33rd floor. You had to see them to believe it – views as far as the eyes could see across London. It was stunning and we felt so privileged to experience it.
The hotel actually has 39 floors. Well, 40 if you take into account the herb/vegetable garden on the 40th level that houses the bar staff and chef’s ‘home-grown’ produce – just one of many quirky facts about the hotel.
And it’s these small nods to sustainability along with the hotel’s stunning interiors that offer guests a glimpse into the Dockland’s heritage.
Take for example each of the hotel’s meeting rooms; all I can say is that I’d love to have a meeting of my own in one of them.
From rum rooms to silk rooms and everything in between, the nine individually designed spaces feature bespoke interiors and facilities for all kinds of get-togethers.
The (Luxury) Life of Riley
My immediate impression of the hotel was that it offered a relaxed, comfortable vibe. I could have stayed in reception a while to admire its delightful interiors; tables hanging from ropes; hidden wooden cupboards and an interesting mix of materials used to capture an industrial vibe feel.
This was my sort of space and I couldn’t stop taking pictures; this was to be my inspiration for my own home decorating projects, so I made the most of it by getting trigger happy with my camera.
Check-in was done via tablets (VERY 21st century!) and we were offered an energiser drink on arrival, which was a welcome touch.
I discovered that the majority of visitors during the week tended to be corporate guests, while weekends attracted the leisure market and families.
In fact, I also discovered that the hotel regularly offers special weekend deals, so keep your eyes peeled for special discounts on offer.
Families are also well catered for with special family rooms, plus free stays (and breakfast) are offered for up to two kids under 16 when staying in a family room.
Girlwrighter and I were staying in an Executive Suite (which was one of 26) and as I’ve already mentioned, the views were stunning.
The suite itself offered all the mod cons you’d expect – and more. There was a living space (complete with a large TV, Bose speakers and a large floor to ceiling window); a separate bathroom off the living space; a drinks station with a Nespresso machine and mini bar; the main bedroom (also offering a panoramic window) and an ensuite bathroom complete with a rainshower and Nuxe toiletries.
After we’d had a good old nose around the suite, we decided to test out the indoor swimming pool. It was lovely and warm and we enjoyed playing around with our new toy too – a GoPro, which was a lot of fun!
A gastronomical delight
Swimming had certainly built up an appetite and, as part of our stay, we were privy to a delicious meal at the hotel’s restaurant, BOKAN, which offers views to impress on the 37th floor.
Food offered a fusion of European flavours (with main courses from £9) and kids were also well catered for with a kids’ menu. Girlwrighter and I went for a main and a dessert and it didn’t disappoint.
The only thing I would say is that the staff fussed around us quite a bit at the start of our meal (when we were trying to get the perfect Instagram shot!), but after our food arrived, service settled down a bit which made dining a bit more peaceful – I guess they were just trying their best to deliver good service…
We stayed in an Executive Suite, which costs £400 a night. It includes Le Club lounge access with free drinks and canapés every night between 18:00 and 20:00.
The hotel actually offers six room categories, with prices leading in at a more affordable £125 per night (Friday to Sundays) and £235 (Monday to Thursdays). Suites start from £250.
What was particular impressive about the hotel is that every view and every room is unique; you could stay there on four separate occasions and have four totally different views across London.
Other amenities at the Novotel London Canary Wharf included a bar, roof terrace, café, free Wi-Fi and a gym.
If I had the option to stay there again I’d jump at the chance. The hotel offers a great base to access a range of attractions, yet its distance from London means that the higher you climb, the more impressive the views across the Big Smoke.
I like the fact that the hotel is family friendly and offers different priced rooms to suit different budgets, plus the swimming pool and free Wi-Fi were nice touches.
Considering the hotel only opened in May, it already seems well established. You’re made to feel at home from the moment you walk in and the hotel has made every effort to distinguish itself as a unique space in which to work, play and relax.
Have you stayed at any hotels your can recommend for being unique and great places to stay – at home or abroad?
*Novotel London Canary Wharf invited me to stay at the hotel with a guest in return for an honest review.
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