Tuesday, May 19, 2009

London - Park Plaza County Hall

Park Plaza County Hall Hotel
1 Addington Street
London SE1 7RY
United Kingdom

Hotel Review and Trip Report -  Park Plaza County Hall

This is a great business hotel for those who don't need to stay in really-central London. The hotel is located right next to the Waterloo Train station (the Waterloo Tube station main entrance is also close by). County Hall is across the Thames from Central London, but is located right next to the London Eye and its a short and nice walk across the river to Big Ben and other major locations.

The hotel has 398 guestrooms including Superior and Studio rooms, Junior Suites and Penthouses. I was given a free "upgrade" to a Studio from a Superior room. The Studio was nice with a long room that had two basic areas: bedroom and sofa/desk area. The room is on the slightly large size for typical London hotel rooms.

The Hotel is well maintained -- the room was very clean and the bathroom was basically spotless. The room seemed remodeled and still very fresh -- again unlike many "historic" typical London hotels.

The hallway between the bedroom and the sofa area had a nice bar set-up with sink and plenty of storage. There was even a microwave, but the small fridge had no extra space since it was full of sensors and pay-for drinks and food.

There was a large window in the sofa room, which featured a nice desk, chair and LCD TV with about 30 channels. There were plenty of outlets -- plus a wired internet plug. Oddly, the hotel provides FREE wireless connections, you just need to ask at the desk for a code. They said it only worked in the public areas, but it worked in my room 513.

My room had a nice view of the Waterloo Train station, but it was very quiet -- the window was probably triple paned. It was really quiet.

The hotel bar is pretty nice with a wall of windows looking out on the street. I didnt try the restaurant, but it looked nice. There is a Starbucks located just a block away toward the County Hall building.

Great hotel for a very reasonable rate (I paid 85 GBP per night) for those who dont mind staying across the Thames. With the nearby Waterloo station, its easy to get into central london and the sights. You can get from Heathrow to this hotel by taking the Heathrow Express (or the much cheaper Heathrow Connect train) to Paddington, then transfer to the Bakerloo line (Southbound) to the Waterloo station.

From the hotel you can walk to the London Eye and across Westminster Bridge to Big Ben.

Other great options for sightseeing in London:

The Original London Sightseeing Tour: Hop-on Hop-off
Experience the essential introduction to London aboard the original hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour. You'll see all the magical sights of London in a comfortable and secure environment, with full commentary provided.Your ticket also includes a FREE Hop-on Hop-off Thames River cruise as well as three FREE walking tours: a Changing of the Guard walk and a Cool Britannia walk exploring the hidden treasures of Trafalgar Square and central London and a Jack the Ripper walk

The London Pass
Discover more of London with the London Pass. With a choice of 1, 2, 3 or 6 consecutive days, the London Pass offers great value and convenience with free entry to over 50 top attractions including the Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral, London Zoo, Windsor Castle plus discounts for shopping and popular London restaurants.

A nice off-the-beaten-path spot is the London Garden Museum, which is located a short distance from the hotel along the river walkway.

This is a great hotel with nice, updated and big rooms for London, plus free wi-fi and helpful staff.

Park Plaza is building the new Westminster Bridge Hotel right next door to this hotel, looks like it will open in 2010.