For the latter two nights of my four-night London visit, I stayed at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge. I made this reservation months and months beforehand using award points. I chose this hotel because of its proximity to the finish area of the London Marathon, as I had hoped at the time I made the reservation that I would be accepted into the marathon via the ballot (which we call a lottery in the United States). Well I didn’t get into the marathon, but I went anyway and stayed at the Park Plaza and enjoyed spectating the marathon (see, The Next Best Thing to Running the London Marathon is Watching it).
The location of the hotel – right across the Westminster Bridge and very close to the London Eye, Big Ben, House of Parliament and Westminster Abby, to name a few – is great, but we really, really loved the Covent Garden location and the boutique and personalized atmosphere of the Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street hotel property where we had stayed the first two nights (See HOTEL REVIEW). The Park Plaza, on the other hand, is a very large, modern hotel, and with the large size you naturally lose some of the intimacy.
There was a line for check-in, but it moved fairly quickly. The lobby was expansive:
The hotel room was divided into two areas: a sitting area and a bedroom area. This was considered an upgrade but not a suite. The sitting room was comfortable, with a white leather couch and a television, among other things.
The bedroom area was quite nice as well. There was a desk area and two beds and more than sufficient space.
There closet had an iron and a safe.
The view was nice, primarily another Club Carlson hotel across the street, but still nice nonetheless.
The bathroom was clean and modern. The configuration of the bathtub was a bit odd, but I used the shower which was good. The toiletries were all by Elemis – the same toiletries furnished at British Airline lounges. I really like Elemis products!
There were a lot of special, cool touches to the hotel decor. I loved, loved, loved the carpet! The poem is by John Keats:
ASLEEP! O sleep a little while, white pearl!
And let me kneel, and let me pray to thee,
And let me call Heaven’s blessing on thine eyes,
And let me breathe into the happy air,
That doth enfold and touch thee all about,
Vows of my slavery, my giving up,
My sudden adoration, my great love!
The room had a microwave, and a sink outside the bathroom as well as a hot water pot for tea or instant coffee. I know this will sound snobby, but I really like the Nespresso espresso coffee machines I’ve always had at international Club Carlson hotels. To my disappointment, this room had only a hot water pot. I asked the hotel if I might have a Nespresso machine, but they let me know that, as a Gold member, I wasn’t eligible for one – only those in better rooms were eligible. I was a little annoyed – I didn’t want free breakfast – I just wanted that great Nespresso machine I had at the Mercer Street Radisson Blu and the Radisson Blu Hotels I’d been to in Capetown, Prague and Lima – to name a few! To appease me, the hotel offered one free breakfast, which was a really, really nice consolation (see below).
From the elevator bank, I had the best view of the Thames, Big Ben and House of Parliament.
What’s even cooler, is this image with the mirror next to the window – showed up as a wonderful reflection! Look closely – this is really cool!
I also loved these chairs on the lobby level.
Breakfast was fabulous! There was a wide assortment of food offered – both typical British and European cuisine- and all of it was delicious.
And the espresso was very, very good too!
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