Needs attention to detail.
OK, let's start by stating that this hotel had been open merely a month at the time I stayed (June 2009) and a few teething troubles are to be expected.
The hotel is in the Bermondsey area, formerly pretty rundown, but now becoming somewhat trendy. It is convenient for the City of London which would make it a good base for business travellers.
On arrival, I was delighted that I had been upgraded to a "club room" on the 6th floor. I presume this is due to the fact that they are so new. Always nice to be upgraded. The receptionist was friendly and polite and the foyer area, containing Alfie's restaurant and bar, looked very pleasant.
A first look at the room was very favourable, and it was obviously fully disabled access. No problem with that, and fair play to the Hotel for providing a reasonable number of disabled access rooms (6 in all I believe). Nice to see disabled travellers being considered.
A quick lie on the bed proved it to be possibly the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in (I had a great nights sleep).
However, it is only when you try to actually use the room that things start to go a little astray. Now, a lot of what I am going to say might seem like nit-picking, but put all together they show that a bit of a rethink might be in order.
The designers had selected a very atmoshpheric black and white print for one of the walls, and then proceeded to obscure most of it with the flat screen TV and a totally superfluous standard lamp. As for the TV, I am not a great one for technology but I just could not get the thing to work. When the very helpful man fro reception came up he admitted that he had to demonstrate the remote control to lots of people. If this is the case why not put a brief note in the hotel details leaflet along the lines of "press the input button top right of the remote to make your TV work?"
The bathroom also has difficulties. The washbasin is tiny, so tiny in fact you cannot fill the kettle without resorting to using a glass. I have tried to think of a possible advantage to this for a disabled person but cannot. There is a lovely full length mirror about three feet to the left of the basin, but no mirror above it. Makes shaving a bit of a hassle. Even if there had been a mirror the strip light didn't work so I went unshaved next morning. Also, there is absolutely nowhere for you to put toiletries or anything else.
My "favourite" of the design flaws, however, I have saved until last. Have a look at the fourth photo and answer the age-old question "what is wrong with this picture?" I'll tell you if you don't want to look at the photo. They built an open wardrobe, complete with hangers. Very nice. Then someone had the brilliant idea of building a desk into it. Why I have no idea, as there is already a table in the room. The end result is that there is about 3 feet clearance below the hangers. Possibly sufficient to hang up a bolero jacket for a 10 year old but not much else. When it was explained to the receptionist the next day, she was aghast. There genuinely is no wardrobe space in the room, which is ridiculous in a hotel of this standard.
OK, so those are the problems and I am sure they will be addressed soon. As I say, probably just teething troubles.
Certainly, it has the potential to be a very good hotel, the staff were uniformly good which goes a long way with me, and I had a very comfortable stay.
Unique Quality: None really, apart from some of the design absurdities.
Directions: If you cross Tower Bridge North to South, keep going for about 700 yards and the Hotel is on the left behind the Sainsbury's shop.