More about Riverbank Park Plaza London
If you don't mind noise.
The hotel is new (April 2005). Everything was fine (breakfast, Plasma TV-DVD player, clean, relatively for London standards spacious room, luxurious atmosphere), however there was one thing for which I'd stay elsewhere next time. The walls are too thin, as a result, you could listen to (and wake up from) anything going on nearby (lifts, people next door or above you). Not to mention that the fire alarm went off twice (at 11pm and 7am), because somebody lit a cigarette in a non-smoking room! - Thin walls!
+ Large beds!
Experiencing the South Bank is a must-do in any London itinerary. Travellers will be visiting the cultural heart of London, an eclectic and creative area that is home to iconic attractions, stylish hotels and boutique shopping. For everything South Bank visit www.southbanklondon.com
Within easy walking distance from Covent Garden, Soho, Westminster and the City of London , the South Bank stretches along the Thames from Lambeth Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge. It’s the perfect location for a relaxing stroll and a spot of people watching- away from the bustle of the West End . You can take in beautiful views across to the Houses of Parliament and St Paul’s, especially early morning and at dusk, and the packed programme of theatre, exhibitions, music, film and free events means there is plenty of inspiring things to see and do for all ages.
If you are looking for choice, the South Bank has loads to do, day or night. Take in the views on a flight on the London Eye. For film buffs, the revamped BFI Southbank offers art-house and mainstream movies, plus the trendy Benugo bar & kitchen. The famous Old Vic theatre is under the artistic direction of Kevin Spacey, meaning big stars and big productions; the annual panto is a must! Just down the road, the Young Vic is leading the way in presenting fresh theatre from emerging talents, and has a buzzy, funky bar which is definitely worth seeking out.
For kids there’s the popular London Aquarium which runs themed days and family events. The monthly Film Fundays at the BFI IMAX & BFI Southbank mean activity-filled Sunday afternoons for families.
Take in some classical, world, jazz or pop at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, QEH & Purcell Rooms, which present a diverse programme of performing arts, music and reading events, and are home to the contemporary Meltdown Festival. Watch out for big name curators. The Hayward gallery is the largest public art space in the UK and the exhibitions showcase masters and young British and international artists, usually accompanied by outdoor installations that bring the area to life. A stroll along the riverside can take in art, street performers, skaters, the second hand book stall and al fresco dining.
Watch an award-winning play with famous names at the National Theatre which presents classics as well as new writing, and the free, interactive Watch this Space outdoor festival is a fun way to pass a summer’s afternoon (or lunchtime!).
In fact from June through to September, South Bank really comes into it's own with summer festivals and outdoor events. There's the Coin Street Festival, which has seen a Turkish Bazaar, a traditional English Fete and Pulse, which celebrated Central and Eastern European music. Festival series such as the London Literature Festival, Waterloo Carnival, Meltdown, Watch this Space and The Mayor's Thames Festival mean a diverse programme of arts events, theatre, circus, performance, food, debates, music and fun family-friendly days out.
There’s a great selection of cafes, bars and restaurants for all budgets, so make sure you take time to watch the world go by. Have a light lunch at the cool Concrete day/night bar in The Hayward, a try crepe in Gabriel’s Wharf, or treat yourself to cocktails-with-a-view at the upmarket Skylon or Oxo Tower Restaurant. There’s also ‘Japanese tapas’ at Bincho, dim sum at Ping Pong, contemporary English at Canteen, modern oriental at Ozu and Chino Latino, and a brasserie-style menu at Tamesa.
For shopping the South Bank is a design-led, boutique experience that offers something a bit different from Oxford Street . Go to Oxo Tower Wharf and Gabriel's Wharf to pick up unique gifts or splash out with a special commission. These shops are particularly good for jewellery, interiors and clothing.
Visitors to London many not immediately think of staying on the South Bank, but the hotel offering is expanding and the central location and proximity to attractions means it is an ideal choice. There’s the traditional Marriott County Hall Hotel with afternoon teas overlooking Big Ben, and the more modern Park Plaza Riverbank and Park Plaza County Hall are a stylish weekend base from which to explore.
Superhotel with a view
We stayed two nights at the Riverbank Plaza in London. Exellent rooms, exellent service, exellent view over the Thames and exellent food at ther rest. Chino Latino.
We will be back.
Stayed four nights in the Riverbank Plaza hotel, enjoyed it all the time.
Very good service from the staff. delicius food. A wonderful view over the River.
Beautiful rooms with dvd, internet, tv channels.
Will recommend it.
Clean and friendly luxury
10 of us stayed at this hotel for 1 night. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful and we were all on the same floor. The rooms are spotless, modern and have every amenity but may be just a little small. The bathrooms are spotless, large and luxurious. The beds are sooooo comfortable. We did not pay extra for the view but as we only slept in the room it didn't really matter. The breakfast selection (included) was excellent. We got the tube to Vauxhall and walked past MI6 to hotel.(10 mins). Next day we walked to Westminster, Eye etc. (10 mins in opposite direction). 4 of our party were upgraded as thier rooms were not ready when they arrived (there was no hesitation from the staff )and they had the use of the executive lounge which they thoroughly enjoyed. For a short stay I would thoroughly recommend this hotel. The only negative points I would note are that the very modern minamalist decor can appear cold and unfriendly and that the tube could be a bit closer! Overall, this was excellent value for money.
We have just returned after a weekend in London and stayed at the Riverbank as part of a prize. The hotel is fantastic, the service was great from start to finish and the concierge working over the weekend couldn't have been more helpful and recommended two restaurants that were not only reasonable priced but also served delicious food. Our room was a superior and was very spacious with a partial view of the Thames. The bed was lovely and soft and the bathroom again was large with a separate glass shower cubicle. Breafast in the morning was very comprehensive with a large choice including traditional cooked as well as a huge variety of cereals, seeds and nuts, cold cuts, croissant etc. For us, the location was fine, it only took 15 mins to walk across the bridge to westminster, or alternatively, Vauxhall tube station was only 10 mins walk. I would thoroughly recommend the hotel and if we stay in London again, will definitely stay here!
Very, very good!
A modern, stylish hotel, extremely friendly staff, good value for your money; more than one can usually expect in London.
I booked a executive room, but was upgraded to suite, which was situated in the 5 star wing (as opposed the "normal" 4 star wing). The suite was decorated in a strict contemporary style (so if you prefer "English style", this is not for you). The suite consists of a "living" room (a working space, sofa, armchair, a dining table for two) kitchenette (very well equipped), a bathroom in sand stone with separate bath tub and spacious shower cabin. There was two flat tv-sets and dvd-players, and a separate air conditioning for both rooms (but what's the point of having a duvet in the bed and then need to use air conditioning?). I am sure the suite serves well for a longer stay. One problem I had though: the windows are soundproofed, but as I sleep light, the railway behind the building kept waking me. This possible problem obviously does not exist in the rooms facing the atrium.
As I most probably will use a normal room, I asked to see one. It also was elengant and even quite spacious. (So yes, it fulfils my needs.)
There is also a executive lounge, which perhaps does not give very much added value: a lot of tables and chairs in quite limited space, something to drink, but not too much to eat. The hotel bar was clearly more cozy.
The location is perhaps not the best in London, but it still quite close to Westminster, and within a walking distance to Waterloo station. A taxi to Paddington station took 15-20 minutes.
As a conclusion: highly recommendable!
Stunning - just what London needs.
Stayed in a standard room the night before my wedding and a suite on the wedding night.
We loved this hotel. In contrast to other reviewers, I felt the standard room was actually quite big for a hotel in England. I've stayed in 4-5* hotels across the country and the Riverbank has amongst the biggest I've stayed in.
Rooms are clean, well equipped and have comfortable beds.
Hotel staff were enthusiastic, efficient and very polite.
The beautifully designed bar was a real focal point although it needed a few more customers to give it more of a buzz.
I was upgraded to an apartment suite for the Saturday night which had an amazing view. We had a delicious breakfast served in our living room with friends overlooking the Houses of Parliament.
All in all, I can't fault this hotel. The minimalist design skilfully avoided being tacky or soulless. Despite living only three miles away, I can't wait to stay there again!
Perfect and I hope it stays this way!
We booked this hotel on Priceline from Nov. 14 - Nov. 20 - and it exceeded all expectations. The check in was short and painless, the hotel staff very friendly, the concierge very knowledgeable and helpful, and the rooms were clean, well lighted, bright and the bathroom was excellent - large and a good shower with power!It is located over the Lambreth Bridge so you can catch the #3 bus that takes you up to the Westminster Tube Station, or continues on to Picadilly and Oxford Circus. It is a night bus too so that makes it convenient if you are staying out late.
We didn't eat in the restaurant or have the breakfast so I cannot comment on those venues. We did have coffee making facilities in the room which also worked out great!
The most amazing thing about this hotel is it has a US current plug in every room - that's right, your blow dryer, shaver, curling iron, straightener, all work in this hotel!!!
We certainly will go back to the hotel, although I expect that the rates will rise significantly. Don't be put off by the location over the bridge, the hotel certainly makes up for that!!!
New 4*, currently flawed but with potential
I’ve just returned from my second overnight stay within a month at this hotel so now it’s time to log my comments. Firstly, this is a brand new hotel, opened about 6 months ago, so you would expect some teething problems. However I – and my colleague – have found more problems than we expected. My colleague arrived late – about 8 pm – but this should not present a problem as our bookings are made through our Company and its wholly-owned Travel Agency and are guaranteed for late arrival. However the hotel reception stated that they had no record of his booking! As he did not have a printed copy of the email confirmation he had to arrange to connect his laptop onto our Company email server, relocate that email and then print it out before they would believe him! Apparently this - together with the inevitable queues at reception - added another hour before he finally got to his room! On my first stay – 3 weeks ago – I had a free room upgrade to an ‘executive lounge’ on the 11th floor, the room is initially impressive but there were certain items missing which should have been present, i.e. hairdryer, iron, ironing board, room service menu. I eventually had take the lift down to reception to sort out these problems as the internal phone remained unanswered. My second stay took place this week and – sad to say – even in the ‘standard’ room I was allocated this time there were more items missing! This time it was the hairdryer again but there was also no list of internal phone contact numbers, these are not stated anywhere in the printed material available but should show as an overlay on the phone but it wasn’t there – the phone was bare! So with no list of numbers it meant another trek down to reception to get all this resolved. They responded quickly – after I queued of course – and within 15 minutes 2 people arrived, one with a replacement hair dryer and another with the missing card to slot on my phone to show all the internal contact numbers. Other problems include: on booking-in (after queuing of course) I handed over printed details of my booking – reasons, see above! - and they asked for my address and credit card details again, apparently no record had been retained from my previous visit. They also asked to keep my print-out of the confirmatory email booking, I’ve never before received such a request from any of the many hotels in which I’ve stayed, this also meant that I was now personally without printed confirmation of my booking agreement and conditions – so possible problems at check-out! Also you need to note that this hotel is built in a very noisy location – with a 4-lane road on one side and an 8-track railway (Waterloo main line) on the other. So the double glazed windows are barely adequate to keep the racket out, it should have been built with triple glazing or additional secondary glazing panels. I noticed that there were also acoustic deflectors on the front of the building (facing the road) but my room was at the rear (just metres from the railway) and none existed there. Trains pass every few minutes and you are so close you can feel some of them, not just hear them! However my ear plugs ensured that I got a passable night’s sleep. In the bathroom, there is no shaver point and the lack of a barrier between the shower cubicle and the rest of the bathroom means that water flows all over the bathroom floor even with the shower curtain fully drawn – it’s really a triumph of design over practicality! Also one of the bathroom lights stayed on all night (apparently by design) so this light showed through into the bedroom as there was a 1-inch gap under the connecting door. I blocked the gap with a towel! The digital TV signal on the rather awkward-to-use TV/Internet/Email/CD/DVD/MP3 console was prone to fading on certain channels (especially Five), this had the effect of freezing the picture or making the sound out-of-sync with the picture. This suggests a weak signal so I presume the TVs in all rooms are similarly affected. The bed pillows are too soft, I ended up using the cushions! My room service meal in the evening was perfectly OK if a little expensive as there is a mandatory 12.5% service charge added. My room service breakfast was again OK but lacking in some of the food items I’ve received elsewhere, e.g. jams/marmalade. However this breakfast works out ridiculously expensive as they add a £5.00 ‘tray charge’ and then another 12.5% service charge on top of this. To cap it all they then tried to charge for the breakfast twice – breakfast was included in my room booking – but on check-out I was told I was over my agreed limit which can be charged back directly back to the Agency, and they would want me to pay the extra on my own credit card! This was of course because the continental breakfast (at £13.00) had been included twice! They were also unable to print off a copy of my bill at check-out, yet this is something our Agency asks us to do and sign for before leaving the hotel. All in all this hotel has the potential to become the 4* attraction it claims to be but there is a whole lot more attention which must be paid to the details before I could recommend it for anything other than a 1-night stay. At the moment it’s at best 3* service masquerading as 4*. And the outside noise intrusion is really inexcusable in a newly-built hotel in that location and would be difficult to rectify.
The Admiralty Arch - London
High Voltage festival, East London, UK.
Painted houses on the Portobello Road
The tucked-in smartness (and baseball cap)
London Sightseeing Bus Route
I will be in London on the 11 - 14th May, staying at the Royal Courts Apartments with my 60+ year-old mum & dad.
As they are quite elderly, I was recommended to take the Hop On Hop Off Bus using the Yellow Route to go sightseeing in London. The routes cover Buckhingham Palace, Big Ben, The London Dungeon, St. Paul Cathedral, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, etc.
However, I feel that it is much cheaper to take the public bus using the Oyster Card to go to the same attractions as the Hop On Hop Off route and I was wondering if anyone can suggest me the public bus routes which I can take to cover these sights. I read that bus No. 11 goes to many of these sights stated above. Is there any other bus that I can take?
I appreciate all responses and I thank you in advance. Thank you very much :-)
Re: London Sightseeing Bus Route
You might find this map helpful, the no 11 bus goes by quite a few of the major sights, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul's. If they wanted to change buses at St. Paul's, they could get the no 15 bus that goes to the Tower of London or going the other way back into London there are a lot of options to see Piccadilly Circus or Oxford Street or Hyde Park or go to Harrod's...
Re: London Sightseeing Bus Route
The "Heritage Bus" route (busses n. 9 and 15) accept the Oyster cards and run along lots of the sights in London. Here is the leaflet with the transport options bus/underground for London and additional information.
I used it on my recent trip to figure out bus routes and it was very helpful.
Re: London Sightseeing Bus Route
www.tfl.gov.uk is the London transport website and has an excellent journey planner.