Hilton London Bankside {GBR}

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Old May 11, 16, 11:54 am
  #121  
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Thanks everyone for the great reviews so far!
May I know has anyone had the experience of staying there as a party of 3?
Did they allow lounge access/breakfast for a family of three with the Diamond member booking?

Thanks a lot
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Old May 11, 16, 12:09 pm
  #122  
 
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Originally Posted by kikid View Post
Thanks everyone for the great reviews so far!
May I know has anyone had the experience of staying there as a party of 3?
Did they allow lounge access/breakfast for a family of three with the Diamond member booking?

Thanks a lot
I don't think they'd mind at all to be perfectly honest. I've taken 2 work colleagues in previously and never been challenged (only as it's extremely quiet and I'd like the company).

Also, it is a key card system and no one actually checks (although they greet inside).
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Old May 11, 16, 12:10 pm
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We stayed here with our 12 year old son last month without issue.
There was a sofa bed in room, our son was allowed in Executive lounge and was also extended a free breakfast booked as Diamond.
One of the managers whom I emailed for clarification ( Kim ) was extremely helpful and kind.
Great hotel
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Old May 11, 16, 4:47 pm
  #124  
 
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Originally Posted by ocprodigy View Post
Also, it is a key card system and no one actually checks (although they greet inside).
This is the essential bit... number in party might be relevant for restaurant access but nobody pays any attention to the number of people coming through the door (opened by 1 keycard) ... the lounge is so quiet most of the time none of the staff will care.

You'll hav a great time - and remember to order any items you'd like at breakfast time ... the staff will go next door to the restaurant to get eggs etc from the guy making them freshly in there.
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Old May 11, 16, 11:46 pm
  #125  
 
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Was anyone currently staying at this property handed a letter in terms of the one in this thread:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilto...programme.html

All good. I see that it was just a rogue hotel.

Last edited by Pierre48; May 12, 16 at 7:19 pm Reason: Answered in other thread
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Old May 12, 16, 9:16 am
  #126  
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Thank you everyone!

One more question: what is your recommended means to get to the Hotel from Heathrow? I am with 2 seniors and 1 kid. Is Uber readily available?

Thank you again!
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Old May 12, 16, 12:14 pm
  #127  
 
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Originally Posted by kikid View Post
Thank you everyone!

One more question: what is your recommended means to get to the Hotel from Heathrow? I am with 2 seniors and 1 kid. Is Uber readily available?

Thank you again!

yes, get an uber. it'll be about 45.

alternative is tube to hammersmith and then district line to blackfriars or tube to green park and then jubilee line to southwark. probably cost about 25-30

heathrow express will be more expensive than an uber and goes into the wrong part of central london
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Old May 12, 16, 12:34 pm
  #128  
 
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Originally Posted by kikid View Post
Thank you everyone!

One more question: what is your recommended means to get to the Hotel from Heathrow? I am with 2 seniors and 1 kid. Is Uber readily available?

Thank you again!
Plenty of Uber available.

If you fancy the underground (I wouldn't in your scenario), I'd take the Piccadilly line to Green Park and take the Jubilee to Southwark. It's around a 10 minute walk from there but it won't be the most convenient change and Southwark has (only some) stairs to the entrance.
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Old May 17, 16, 3:22 pm
  #129  
 
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Hilton London Bankside Review

Stay from March I've been meaning to post for ages.

Like most on here, I thought it was an excellent hotel. Such a contrast from Hilton Newcastle I visited at the weekend just there . Hilton Newcastle should send their staff here for a night to see how it is done!

Rate & Room Booked: King Guest Room - HHonors Reward 70,000 Points
Stayed As: HHonors Diamond | Stayed In: March 2016

The Hotel

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Hilton London Bankside is one of Hilton's latest additions to their London hotel portfolio. It is a new, purpose built building which doesn't look much from the outside during the day (but is very nicely lit at night).

When you walk inside, it is it a very different story. The decor is quite striking and a big departure from Hilton's normal bland design. Dark woods, distressed metals, sculptures, a mix of wall coverings, creative moody lighting and a slightly chaotic colour scheme all come together to create a relaxing atmosphere and a distinct feeling of luxury. This theme is carried out throughout most of the hotel, but is varied slightly in different areas. It's very trendy, but still feels sophisticated and classy. Some might not like it, I thought it looked great.

The service was fantastic from the moment you entered the property, with staff around the reception area to greet guests, as well as plenty of checkin agents and a few bellmen around offering assistance with baggage.

Location

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The hotel is located in the Bankside area of London, just a few minutes walk from The Tate Modern and 5 minutes walk from Blackfriars train station.

I'm not an expert on London geography, but as someone visiting for a couple of nights to do the touristy stuff I found it a reasonably good location.

We arrived from Gatwick Airport by train at Blackfriars station. It took only 5 minutes or so to find the hotel. We were catching one of the London Tour buses (as you do as a tourist ) and managed to pick it up from the other side of the river which was a 20 minute or so walk over Blackfriars Bridge. On our way back we picked up an Uber from around Piccadilly Circus which only took around 15 minutes and cost just over 10.

The next day we took a longer walk into town, walking down the south bank and crossing over at the Waterloo Bridge. A pleasant and easy walk which took us eventually into town where we popped into The Waldorf Hilton for some fizz.

Checkin

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Reception greets you as you enter the hotel. The decor is quite striking and as noted above quite a departure from the usual Hilton look.

There were lovely floral displays everywhere, including a few Easter themed ones at the front door (we were visiting on Easter weekend).

We arrived at around 1pm. Despite it being quite busy, we were seen to promptly and checked in by a lovely agent who advised us our rooms weren't quite ready. Without prompting, the concierge offered to take our bags and have them put up in our rooms once ready.

Room

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Our Deluxe room was on the 6th floor, just next to the lifts (but far enough away you could not hear them). The room had two windows which offered nice views towards the Shard and the immediate local area, but not much else.

Waiting for us in the room was a lovely chocolate easter egg filled with a chocolate mousse. What a lovely touch on Easter weekend. Our bags had also been brought up to our room by the concierge.

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As you would expect with the hotel being brand new, everything was immaculate and working well.

The room was a good size, with massive king bed as well as a desk and sofa. There were ample plugs around the room, including next to the bed. The room came with the usual amenities including a 42" TV mounted into the wall (which had a new menu system different to the normal Hilton one), air conditioning (which was quite and worked well), tea & coffee making facilities, mini bar, safe and ironing board.

As with the rest of the hotel, the decor was lovely and created a nice relaxing atmosphere.

There was a note included in the room to inform us the contents of the mini bar were included free of charge, which is a nice gesture. There were a few bottles of coke, some fresh orange and nuts/gummy bears to choose from.

A turndown service was also offered with a mat and slippers laid next to the bed for you arriving back at night.

Bathroom

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The bathroom was a good size but there was no bath, only a shower. The shower had a rain shower fitted to the roof as well as a normal shower head. There was a lovely big mirror in the bathroom which was heated in the middle to stop steam buildup.

The toiletries on offer were the usual Hilton Peter Thomas Roth offerings. As well as the normal fairly small bottles at the sink, there was also a larger sized shower gel and shampoo on a shelf in the shower itself which was a welcome surprise, I wish every Hilton had this extra set!

The bathroom is also very nicely decorated and felt quite luxurious. I loved the solid stone shower tray, it looked fantastic.

The bathroom has a built in (Bose) speaker which is linked to the TV and is controllable with a switch located next to the sink.

Breakfast

We were offered breakfast in the lounge, as well as the full breakfast in OXBO Bankside restaurant which was located to the right of reception. We choose to eat in the OXBO restaurant and weren't disappointed.

We gave our room number on entering and were taken to a table near the buffet. The buffet area was very open with plenty of space and nicely laid out. The buffet selection was fairly extensive with the usual Hilton Breakfast hot and continental options. All of the food looked lovely and was kept fresh and well stocked by the 4 or 5 strong team behind the kitchen. You are able order fresh american style pancakes, waffles, eggs benedict and eggs from the kitchen, all of which is cooked in front of you by the chefs. I don't recall seeing a menu for any of this stuff, I think you just need to know to order. All of the food was of high quality, it felt better quality than Hilton breakfasts generally are. I had freshly made pancakes, dusted with icing sugar and served with some bacon and scrambled egg - lovely!

The OXBO restaurant decor is again quite interesting and slightly chaotic, with animal heads mounted to the walls. I thought it looked great, but other might not like it as much.

Bars & Restaurants

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We didn't eat in the hotel on this occasion, outside of breakfast. We did have a night cap on the way back from dinner in The Distillery bar. It very much specialises in gins, but we really fancied a cocktail. We had a look through the menu, which had an odd but wide selection but all we really wanted was a classic margarita. When the waiter came over we asked if they could do a margarita, it wasn't a problem. Our margaritas turned up a few minutes later and were very tasty!

Parking

We flew into Gatwick Airport from Edinburgh, and caught the train from Gatwick Airport to London Blackfriars, so didn't have a car to park.

There is valet parking offered by the hotel at 40.00, I notice self parking is not an option.

HHonors Benefits

On this trip we were booked on my partners Diamond card. The hotel were good at offering the standard Diamond benefits, but also went above and beyond offering lounge access, breakfast and a room upgrade to our 2nd room.

  • 1,000 bonus points.
  • Free full breakfast for both rooms.
  • Executive lounge access for both rooms.
  • Both of our rooms were given a 1 category room upgrade from Standard room to Deluxe room.
  • Free WiFi which was fast, reliable and easy to access.
  • We were offered a newspaper delivered free of charge, but declined.
  • Only notable thing we didn't receive was 2 x bottles of water in the room, they weren't in the mini bar either. I'm sure if we asked this would have been resolved but it wasn't a big issue on this stay.

Hilton Bankside Executive Lounge

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The Hilton London Bankside Executive Lounge is located to the right of reception through a keycard controlled door.

The lounge is open from 6am-10pm each day. The lounge is quite large and feels airy despite having no windows because of the skylight and well done lighting. There was ample comfortable seating and like the rest of the hotel was nicely decorated. Loved the vapor fireplaces! The lounge also has toilets with shower facilities and computer bank with printing for guest use.

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Hilton Bankside Executive Lounge Opening Times

Note these times were correct at time of this visit, but may change in the future.

Breakfast: 6.30am-11am
Afternoon Tea: 3pm-5pm
Evening Drinks: 5.30pm-8.00pm
Evening Snack: 5.30pm-7.70pm

We ate breakfast in the restaurant and weren't about for afternoon tea in the lounge, but did make it in latterly for their evening drinks and snacks service.

There was a good selection alcoholic drinks including red & white wine, fizz and a number of spirits including gin, vodka, whisky and one or two other spirits. The wine and some of the spirits on offer were higher quality than the selection served in many Hilton lounges. The wine had with a few choices for the red and white, none of which was the horrid Ayrum stuff they serve in many UK lounges.

The section of food was not bad, but not great either. They had a selection of fish canapes which looked nice (but I'm not a fish lover so never tried them) and cheese board and some cold cuts and other small stuff like peanuts. There was also small chicken nugget like things in the hot section which were tasty. It was all nice enough but there wasn't a massive amount of it and it wasn't always kept stocked.

The staff offered table service should you want it and kept our fizz topped up for us. There are a few staff up at the bar area offering to help as well, which felt overbearing at points but was generally appreciated.

Conclusion

This hotel is one of the best, if not the best Hilton's I've been to recently. It's brand new, the decor is excellent, good location, they treat HHonors guests well and have attentive and well trained staff. What's not to like? What a stark contrast to a few other Hilton stays where the rooms are in desperate need of a refurb and service is distant at best (I'm looking at you Hilton Newcastle & Hilton Glasgow).

Prices can creep up, but I think for 200 or less this is a great choice for London. I hope we can visit it again soon.

Last edited by lifetimeblue; May 18, 16 at 10:54 am
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Old May 18, 16, 7:31 am
  #130  
 
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Gotta say mate, that is a very impressive review !......I'm there bank holiday Sunday, looking forward to it now.
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Old May 18, 16, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by wizla View Post
Gotta say mate, that is a very impressive review !......I'm there bank holiday Sunday, looking forward to it now.
Thanks wizla ...you'll enjoy it! Hope I can get back soon too.
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Old May 18, 16, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by wizla View Post
Gotta say mate, that is a very impressive review !......I'm there bank holiday Sunday, looking forward to it now.
Indeed an impressive review - got to love FT !
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Old May 18, 16, 1:33 pm
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@lifetimeblue


Wow, I was there the same weekend, we probably met at the pool or at the exec lounge :P Were you the one with the other two guys? :P
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Old May 18, 16, 2:09 pm
  #134  
 
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Originally Posted by DrHalxx View Post
@lifetimeblue


Wow, I was there the same weekend, we probably met at the pool or at the exec lounge :P Were you the one with the other two guys? :P
Ha that's funny. Def not in the pool as I didn't get a chance to use it.
It could have been an impromptu FT meetup
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Old May 19, 16, 7:13 am
  #135  
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Gernerally I echo previous reviewer's positive take on this property. So I won't reiterate, just adding datapoints from my 3 stays here so far.

All were one night weekend stays at very attractive rates, always booked Standard double.

Stay 1 - January 2016: Upgrade to One King Bedroom Suite. Welcome: Three apples. Free minibar (alcohol excluded).
Stay 2 - February 2016: Upgrade to large Executive Room. Welcome: Three mandarins. Free minibar inclusive of alcohol(!).
Stay 3 - April 2016: Upgrade to Deluxe. Without enquiring upgrades to higher categories were offered for upsell. Penthouse for 155 (or so) - that is the only room/suite where you can open the windows, due to outside terrace - have seen the terrace and it looks not very exclusive to me. The allocated room had some very obvious cleaning issues. New room given upon return to reception, with a "great view" (according to CKI-agent) - it was smaller than the previous Deluxe room and the view was of I am not sure exactly what. Free minibar (alcohol excluded), but the Red Bulls, Tonic Water, Cranberry Juice, Fanta, Sprite all had disappeared, compared to Stay 1 and 2.

Overall trend for me: Started of great, declining into very good with first service issues and I did not like the pushy upsell attempt at CKI. Also, there appeared to be no longer an on-duty pool guard, so towels weren't replaced and (bottled) water ran out one evening, next morning still not replenished. Also, water in pool was noticeably more milky on third stay, crystal clear for previous stays.

Hoping that this is not a trend in lowering standards, and certainly not one to continue please.
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