Hilton Bankside – An Exceptional Hilton Hotel
March 7, 2018
The Hilton Bankside hotel has to be one of the most interesting hotels I’ve ever had the pleasure to stay at. In an enviable location for the London visitor, Hilton Bankside is within walking distance of all the art, culture and edge that the South Bank has to offer including the Tate Modern, Borough Market, the Shakespeare Globe, Tower Bridge, London Bridge and the Shard.
From the graffiti style artwork and floral monogram spelling the hotel’s name which greeted us at the entrance to the hotel, we knew we were in for a fabulous stay. Reception is quirky with a unconventionally cool central seating area and the overwhelming smell of the most gorgeous fresh flowers. Having once been a fragrance factory, it became clear straight away that Hilton Bankside has gone to a lot of trouble to reflect the area through its design, architecture and features which is truly captivating. Industrial but still feminine and attractive, the gold, brass and marble effects of the reception area along with funky lighting were evident this hotel has dared to be different.
Although our rooms on the fifth floor were a little dark (I do like a really bright room), the lighting in the spacious bathroom was impressive with a good magnifying mirror and a strong power shower. Peter Thomas Roth products are offered complimentary. What I did love was the streamlined feel of the room, the quality oak wood fixtures and fittings, the enormous and extremely comfortable double bed and the wall mounted flat screen TV.
The Distillery Bar on the same floor as reception is definitely a destination bar in its own right with stunning decor, leather chesterfields and a traditional, vintage yet modern feel. Having been the site of the old fragrance factory, The Distillery stays true to its heritage with its own craft beers and gin and some very fancy cocktails which are made using aromatics, infusions and bitters. Most of these cocktails take a little time to prepare but the theatre is absolutely worth it when they are brought to your table.
The snacks available throughout the day in the bar are delicious. We’d definitely recommend the crab and avocado tostadas with chilli oil (£8), the mini chorizo dulce served with a yummy garlic mayo (£7) and the chickpea and tahini hummus which comes with warm garlic bread (£6). All of our cocktails were delicious but our favourite was the Crystal Cloud made with Calvados, Zubrovka Vodka, Noilly Prat, Drambuie, moskovado sugar, aromatic bitter and smoked in Applewood (£11). You might not know what any of those things are, but they taste amazing together!
The Oxbo restaurant for dinner has a different vibe altogether. Dark and moody, stylish and modern, it’s a warm and inviting space with victorian tiled floors, plenty of wood panelling and the stunning ‘Ghost’ mural on the back wall. The house red – a pinotage was delicious for a cold winters evening and the accompanying food was also delicious. A sweetcorn soup starter was the surprising star of the evening, while mains of salmon with asparagus, and perfectly cooked Casterbridge rib-eye steaks made it obvious you don’t need to leave the hotel to find a decent meal. On Saturday’s Oxbo also offers a £42 bottomless brunch with four courses.
Even though Hilton Bankside has an exceptional pool area and fully equipped gym, bar and restaurant making it a brilliant place to stay in London, it’s definitely the small details that set it apart – like the foxes that if you look close enough, you’ll find dotted around the hotel (a tribute to the friendly fox who used to visit the construction site every night while the hotel was being built). You’ll also find a penny wall in The Distillery with no less than 16,800 pennies dating back as far at 1864. And the hotel even has its own beehive – you can enjoy the honey at breakfast along with a buffet feast. Most importantly, I’ve never known such fabulous staff – they went out of their way to make sure we were happy at all times. Upon asking what time check out was, the reply was ‘madam what time would you like it to be?!’ It really doesn’t get much better than that! The only disappointment is that I had to check out at all!
Click here for more info and to book your stay.
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Ashleigh Whitfield
(Photos courtesy of Jack Hardy)