When flouncing around London, you pass by many a hotel. There are a large variety to choose from ranging from the boutique to the flashy, the minimal to the chic, the floral to the metallic – you name it, you’re spoilt for hotel choice when in the Big Smoke. But how do you know which hotel is for you?
Accor Hotels is a multi-national hotel group (not just specific to London town) and it’s highly likely you’ve stayed in one of their pads when you’ve rested your weary head somewhere in the world – they have a wide span of hotels that range from budget to uber luxurious. Something that really caught our eye is that they recently announced they will plant vegetable gardens at many of their hotels and strive to source food locally as part of a plan to cut food waste by a third. Good to see some global companies doing something for the globe they dominate, eh?
Now, if only you could have a whirlwind whistle-stop tour of some of these great London hotels to steal a peek inside and get a taste of what they offer before committing and shelling out substantial cash for a night’s sleep (London ain’t cheap, people).
Well, your wish is my command! I headed over to the capital city the other week to take a peek inside numerous London Accor Hotels. This hotel inspection was crammed into one busy evening where I was able to sip, nibble and sleep my way round a few of their best to test out what was so special about them.
Perhaps one of these hotels will tick your boxes for your next London trip…
Taking a peek inside London Accor Hotels
First stop: Ibis London Euston St Pancras Hotel
Address: 3 Cardington Street, Kings Cross, London, NW1 2LW
Price: From £119 per night
- Swish, modern lobby with a fully-stocked bar manned by bartenders who really know their booze. They can talk about gin until the cows come home and know exactly where all their boutique craft beers come from.
- The craft beers are sourced from breweries within a 5 – 7 miles radius of the hotel. From exquisite porters to hoppy beers, the variety is ace for those with a palate for quality bevs.
Second stop: Pullman London St Pancras Hotel
Address: 100-110 Euston Road, Kings Cross, London, NW1 2AJ
Price: From £179 per night
- Well, as soon as the doorman tips his bowler hat and opens the large glass doors, you’ll know that this hotel knows how to make you feel special. The cavernous lobby has funky, fuzzy chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, leading you from the reception desks, down to the dining area and the bar.
- The interior decor is pretty cool – bowler hats are a theme and dangle from the ceiling as lights and pop up sporadically on table tops as lamps. The tables are set-up ready for your dining experience and barmen are on hand to shake you a perfect limoncello or berry cocktail.
- Cocktails not your thing? Head to the whisky bar for one of the city’s largest selections of whisky – time to smoulder with a tumbler of the golden nectar. Where’s my cigar?
- The restaurant is called the Golden Arrow – expect inventive flavours and quality meats. I tasted a 36-month aged ham (fed acorns FYI), chicken terrine with wild mushrooms, and a brilliant goats cheese and golden raisin salad.
- Work off a big feed by getting to their Fit Lounge – I’m always keen for a hotel with a gym as having a session before you check-out is a brill way to energise your morning, and this one gives you great views over Kings Cross as you curl those biceps.
- Every detail has been thought out. That fragrance I could smell? It turns out White Patchouli is this Pullman Hotel’s signature scent.
Third stop: Novotel London Brentford Hotel
Address: Great West Road, Brentford, TW8 0GP
Price: From £68 per night
- The cheapest out of the London Accor hotels on this inspection is slightly out of central London – it could take you an hour on public transport to get to somewhere as central as Oxford Circus. However, it is well-connected by rail services and is only a 20-minute drive from Heathrow airport. A hotel to take advantage of if you have a pesky early morning flight.
- Relaxed and informal, this was the most casual of the hotels. Families curled up on sofa booths watching films, couples sharing a glass of wine over dinner whilst their kid plays a video game in the neighbouring booth – a stress-free atmosphere!
- The interior touches of the dining room were brilliant – large scatterings of pebble-shaped cushions adorned a corner of the room, chairs hanging from the ceiling beckoned me to sit, and a dividing wall of cool geometric shapes sectioned our dining area in the corner.
- I dug into a dinner lovingly assembled by the hotel’s chefs – I tasted a corn-fed chicken and wild mushroom dish with a creamy sherry sauce. Presentation and taste could not be faulted, and thank god they brought out more of the sauce as I was hoovering it up. We couldn’t help but applaud the chef when he popped out to see us.
- Again, work off a decadent dinner with an early morning swim in their indoor pool – having a pool for this price is damn good, especially for London! When flying into Heathrow, pause for a rest and swim off any jetlag before your final leg home.
Fourth stop: Castle Hotel Windsor MGallery Collection
Address: 18 High St, Windsor, West Berkshire, SL4 1LJ
Price: From £139 per night
- The Castle Hotel Windsor is just outside of central London, but it sure commands a good location – especially as it’s literally a stone’s throw from Windsor castle. You can practically hear the queen stirring her tea from here and if you head outside of the elegant Georgian building, you can catch the Changing of the Guard ceremony from Monday to Saturday at 11am.
- Random fact of the day: It originally opened in 1525 as ‘The Mermaid Inn’! Who doesn’t love a mermaid??
- Here at Castle Hotel Windsor, I got to indulge in a variety of Marco Pierre White’s desserts that he specially created for the hotel, plus some refreshing cocktails to round up my eve of inspections. At every hotel that has a menu influenced by Marco, he places a special black and white chair within the hotel – his culinerary signature on the establishment. His simple dishes use only the best, well-sourced, seasonal ingredients to produce creative British food – my sweet crème brûlée and creamy Eton Mess were on point.
- If you want to dine on sweet nibbles, try an afternoon tea which is served at the hotel on a daily basis.
- The bedrooms are classy and elegant, refined yet contemporary. Lush beds that envelope you like a marshmallow will give you a solid night’s sleep – you can feel the thread count – and take your time in the gorgeous bathrooms under the rain head shower.
- Be sure to not rush your morning meal – this hotel is stacked full of all the breakfasts. Make your own bespoke Full English breakfast from the buffet, or order from the menu if you wish for a fluffy omelette.
- Explore the cobbled streets surrounding the hotel for sweet shops and boutiques – you’re pretty close to Slough train station, so you can pop back to the centre of London in a jiffy.
From large whisky collections to Michelin Star quality desserts, Accor has some real luxurious touches to their hotels. Whichever you decide to stay in, you’re guaranteed the warmest welcomes from staff who are also sometimes referred to as ‘happy mood makers’. One thing we’ve learned is that you can stay in the most tip-top, fancy-pants hotel, but if the staff do not look after you, then it can make for a pretty gutting experience.
From my evening inspecting the London Accor hotels, I can safely say that you’ll be looked after well, be fed to within an inch of your life on flawless foods, sip tip-top booze, and sleep long and comfortably. I’d definitely recommend London Accor hotels when you’re visiting Britain’s capital – there’s more to them than meets the eye.
Many thanks to Accor Hotels for having me and thanks for carting me all over London – all thoughts and opinions are of course my own.