What We Love
- The onsite mezzanine library and cocktail lounge hybrid
- An inventive seafood-focused menu (sage-wrapped fried anchovies; Dorset crab) at the hotel restaurant
- A “water bar” (that includes a carbonated option) on each floor
- Vending machines stocked with pampering pick-me-ups like face masks and perfumes
What To Know
- Guest rooms are furnished with American-size queen beds, not typical of London
- There is a 24/7 gym in the basement
- The edgy interiors were designed by a former Hollywood-set creator
- For the best River Thames views, book Room 407
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Pet Friendly
- Room Service
A natty urban bolthole with atelier-like interiors and an active cultural calendar on London's South Bank
Dayna Lee, an ex-film set art director whose credits include Boogie Nights and Dances with Wolves, was tapped to dress this contemporary 161-room hotel, a striking glass building designed by award-winning architect Ian Simpson on London’s vibrant South Bank. Inspired by the area’s creative soul, Lee lined the Bankside’s moody interiors with commissions by local up-and-coming designers such as Malgorzata Bany and Laura Carlin, who illustrated a pair of wall murals depicting South Bank life. What results is a tasteful metropolitan hideout that’s as cozy as it is hip: for every cutting-edge tech accessory (remote-controlled blackout blinds; down-lit luggage stands), there is a homey touch such as a quilted wool throw or sweatshirt-fabric bathrobe. That charming, high-low aesthetic extends to the Art Yard, a versatile all-day space where you can kick off the morning with a full English, then sip on a hyper-local Bermondsey brew come sundown.
In the Area
You’re in the beating heart of London’s entertainment scene and within walking distance of what could be dubbed the city’s art and design trinity: Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, Tate Modern, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Lesser-known neighborhood attractions include the British Film Institute, where an IMAX Theater holds the UK’s largest cinema screen. The hotel itself is a hotbed of cultural activity and has recently hosted events like a neighborhood scavenger hunt (a great way to get acquainted with the area’s many pubs and restaurants), meet-and-greets with artists in residence, and behind-the-scenes access to city icons such as the Tower Bridge.
How to Get There
Which is a surprise as for a long time the "one of a kind" brand for me is associated with soul, chic and, old... Bankside lives up to the standard as a brand new hotel through its interior design, arts, and attention to detail. Service is great - the front desk staff was accommodating and made it obvious his/her priority is to create a happy customer. The gift shop even stocks Emergency Engagement Ring.
We stayed here for 5 nights a few weeks ago and had a great stay. We arrived early in the morning and were quickly greeted at the check-in desk. Our room wasn't ready yet so they stored our bags, and took extra care doing so after we told them one of the bags contained very fragile items. Instead of leaving them in the normal place they locked them up in the office so they wouldn't get moved around and potentially broken. Off to a great start! When we stopped by again that afternoon we were told our bags were already up in our room, so convenient! We had the most basic type of room with 1 king bed. It was very spacious for being the most basic room type, we had tons of room to have our luggage all spread out everywhere without being crowded and there was a ton of space on the far side of the room with a nice chair and table to sit at. The room itself was very modern and industrial feeling, yet cozy. I always judge hotels based on if they pass my "socks" test, if I feel comfortable enough and feel that the room is clean enough that I feel good walking around in my bare feet without socks on. Many hotels don't pass this for various reasons and this one passed with flying colors. Super clean, super modern and nice. I LOVED that there was a throw blanket draped over the bed, I love blankets and this is something you rarely see in a hotel. The bathroom was lovely, bit small but super clean and new looking with an awesome shower. My favorite part was the espresso machine that also dispensed hot water and the fancy teabags they provided...no Tetley here! I also got a kick out of the remote control blackout shade and the fact that everything is controlled from a tablet. The tablet has a function where you can request room service or anything you need to be brought up, which is so much more convenient than having to call down. One night we got cake and needed forks, so we entered a request and less than 5 minutes later we had forks. Another night I needed an extra shower cap, requested and minutes later there it was. I even saw an option for free milk and cookies that they'd bring up but sadly I was always too full from dinner to take advantage of this. Each floor has a water tap with still and sparkling water and ice, and there are pitchers there you can fill up and take back to your room. This was AMAZING. We were in London during the awful end of July heatwave (including the 2nd hottest day on record) and the cold, fresh water was such a welcome relief every time we came back, and it tasted way better than London tap water (not a fan, sorry). The hotel itself is in a fantastic location, just a few minutes down the road from the Southwark tube station (it's about a 5 minute walk). It's basically right on the river, and you can walk along the Southbank towards the London Eye or Tower Bridge, both are within walking distance and it's a really lovely walk along the river. Took about 10 mins to get to the Eye area and 10 to get to Borough Market, a few more for Tower Bridge. We walked down to the Eye area almost every night as there was a fun summer festival going on there and it was so lively and exciting. The specific street the hotel faces is very very quiet and you won't have to worry about traffic noise or anything as it sits back from the main street going over the bridge. I think the only complaint I have is with the bathroom in our room, and even then it wasn't a major issue. There is no makeup mirror or anything to get a closer view to put makeup on. The vanity is so wide that you're super far from the main bathroom mirror when standing at the sink and you can't get closer to it. There is a little handheld mirror on the dresser but the angle of it is bad for applying makeup and there's really nowhere to put it where it'd be at a good angle and you'd have good lighting. I ended up opening the closet door (there's a full length mirror inside) and sitting on the floor in front of it to do my makeup, which kind of sucked because the hall lighting is really bad and the dim closet light goes out every few seconds so you have to keep moving to keep it on. Not the most ideal situation but I made do and that's such a minor part of the stay that it didn't really have any effect on me. I also didn't love that the bathroom didn't have any plugs (minus the shaver outlet) for me to plug my hair tools in. I had to do my hair in front of the closet mirror as well. Overall this was a really fantastic stay. The room was great, bed was comfy, service was excellent, and the location can't be beat.
Very convenient and reasonably priced but excellent accommodations. The blackout shades and location on a side street make this a comfortable and quiet business option in London. Front desk check in was a little bit slow and concierge only marginally helpful, but all in a very good value and solid hard product for London. Much better than the older and more expensive properties in Mayfair.