Hotels in London run the gamut -- from traditional and contemporary to historic -- catering to the leisurely tourist and business traveler. According to the Cranley Report, central London has more than 200 four- and five-star hotels with more hotels pending. Until recently, few of these hotels boasted a view of the River Thames. Progressively, waterside restaurants, boutiques and hotels have materialized along the waterfront of St. Katherine’s Docks, Chelsea Bridge and South Quay. Visitors may now glimpse 1,000 years of British history against the backdrop of the expansive River Thames from their hotel window.
Built in 1899, the historic Savoy five-star hotel retains its Edwardian-Art Deco stylishness after a record $550 million renovation. Conveniently located on the Strand, near the banks of the River Thames, the Savoy features 62 luxury suites with panoramic river views that once inspired artists like Whistler and Monet. Each suite, though singular in decor, retains original elements such as marble bathrooms with jet-black-and-white checkered floors and chrome faucets. As guests enter the hotel’s front hall, they encounter the Savoy’s elegance, from its gleaming black-and-white marble floors to its Murano glass chandeliers shimmering from the ceilings. Guests may take afternoon tea in the Thames Foyer, complete with Persian rugs and cozy yet elegant seating. A stained-glass, domed roof and crystal chandeliers set the mood against its winter garden gazebo with a piano player.
The stylish Rafayel on the Left Bank effortlessly blends luxury with eco-friendly. Located in Battersea, with views of the Thames, the Rafayel features 65 spacious rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows for picture-perfect river views. Atop the roof terrace, guests have an unobstructed 360-degree view of the London skyline over the Thames. The hotel’s state-of- the-art green technology minimizes its environmental impact without compromising guests' comfort. Eco-friendly highlights include energy-efficient LED lighting, a purified water system and low-energy consumption air-conditioning system. Furnishings include recycled leather and “hypnos” beds that are handcrafted and custom-made with a zero-carbon footprint process. Additionally, the hotel employs rainwater harvesting technology, recycles glass and paper and has a “no-plastic” policy. The hotel’s River Wellbeing Spa uses all organic and natural products. It features a water sanctuary and relaxation rooms with meditation beds.
Pamper yourself at the Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel and Spa located along the River Thames in London’s Chelsea Bridge Wharf. The Pestana Chelsea Bridge infuses contemporary elements within a comfortable setting. The hotel’s 216 spacious guest rooms and suites are suitable for business and leisure travelers. Guests who prefer a room with a river view must make the request at the time of booking. Limited rooms feature fitness cycles, while the full-service Spa and Lifestyle Centre offers a steam room, sauna and relaxation room, as well as spa body treatments. Guests may also take advantage of the indoor pool and fitness center. A brisk 20-minute walk takes guests to the fashionable shopping districts of Knightsbridge and Sloane Square and some of London’s most stylish boutiques.
Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the modern Tower Hotel caters to the suited executive and the leisurely, savvy traveler. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide a backdrop of the Thames, and guests have uninterrupted views of the Tower Bridge. The hotel boasts 801 contemporary guest rooms that include 18 suites and apartments. Amenities include Egyptian linens, complimentary cardiovascular gym access and the “Just Ask” room service for the most discriminating guest. On the ground floor, sit outside the hotel’s Brasserie restaurant for a more casual dining experience. The restaurant serves modern British cuisine and provides guests with a breathtaking view of St. Katherine’s Docks and the Tower Bridge. Savor specialties such as fillet of pork stuffed with Stilton cheese and grilled polenta with caramelized apples.
- Cranley: Hotels in London England
- Fairmont Hotels and Resorts: The Savoy Reopens and a New Era of Luxury Begins
- Savoy: Thames Foyer
- Rafayel on the Left Bank: Planet Care
- Daniela Gandolfo; Reservations Agent Pestana Hotels and Resorts; London
- London Net: London Shopping -- Knightsbridge to Sloane Square
- Thames - Tower Bridge image by Elzbieta Sekowska from Fotolia.com