Wall art featuring Central St. Martin's students adds an alternative touch to this chain hotel
Italian restaurant with Michelin-starred chef
Some rooms do not have windows that open
In order to access free Wi-Fi in the lobby lounge you have to buy at least one drink
With its corporate identity and awkward placement in London's financial district, the upscale London Crowne Plaza is a good fit for business travelers. But its chic modern rooms, proximity to popular sites, and unique perks -- such as a special "sleep packet" curated by a New York doctor to aid in a good-night's sleep -- make for a good value stay for leisure travelers, too.
An odd mix of modern and traditional style elements seemingly meant to attract both tourists and business travelers
This moderate-size chain hotel is a slightly confusing mix of traditional and edgy. It caters mostly to business guests on account of its location, and the glassy, sky-high central elevator halls in the main lobby evokes financial institutions worldwide. But a rebranding scheme seems to aim at attracting a younger, more hip tourist crowd, made evident by the stylish contemporary decor, the jumbo, geometric ceiling lantern fixtures, a generous supply of the left-of-center newspaper The Independent, and in-house residencies from artists at the esteemed Central St. Martins University. It's well suited to stylish business travelers as well as tourists who don't mind the corporate locale.
Just opposite Blackfriars station, on the west border of London's financial district where everything is closed during nights and weekends, but within easy reach of all major tourist attractions and local scenes
A casual stroll down New Bridge Street will tell you all you need to know about the area -- London’s financial district (dubbed "the City" by Londoners) caters almost strictly to businessmen and businesswomen, which means that, rather unfortunately, the immediate area doesn't host the greatest dining scene or nightlife. Within a short walk, however, you're right on the lovely river Thames and within easy reach of many of London's best cultural and art hubs, including the Tate Modern, the South Bank, and the British Film Institute.
The Blackfairs tube rail station across the street reopened after several months of construction, making commutes back to the hotel much easier. The Plaza is also within walking distance of several other stations.
37-minute drive to Heathrow Airport
2-minute walk to the river Thames
10-minute walk to St. Paul’s cathedral
10-minute walk to the Tate Modern
15-minute walk to the South Bank
15-minute walk to the West end theatre district
15-minute tube ride to London Bridge
15-minute tube ride to Westminster Abbey and Big Ben
Moderately sized with individualistic touches deviating from chain standards
Room decor features a distinctive touch, with quilted leather headboards, a youthful color scheme, and conceptual wall pieces by Central St. Martins' star students -- although some feature dull views and windows that don't open. Bathrooms are modern and upscale, but perhaps a bit bland in comparison.
One notable perk: All rooms come with a special "sleep package" curated by a New York doctor to help guarantee guests the best night's sleep, which includes a special application fluid to clear sinus pressure, and a miniature pressure-point massage aid.