London Hideaway at the Crowne Plaza – The City

At the weekend, the Crowne Plaza – The City could be London’s best-kept secret. Predominately a business hotel, this luxury accommodation enjoys a bustling atmosphere on weekdays as suits hold causal meetings in the hotel’s popular champagne and cigar bar.

On Saturdays however, with many of the rooms vacant before the Monday morning rush, a relaxed ambiance little found in central London descends on the hotel. While the bar and restaurants still attract enough of a crowd to feel lively, there are moments when I felt as if I had the entire hotel to myself.

With less guests checked-in, the excellent service goes into hyper-drive. The staff are attentive, friendly and always on hand. Despite the exceedingly comfortable rooms, eye-pleasing décor and one of the best Italian meals I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating, it remains the sublime service that truly made my stay at the Crowne Plaza – The City so memorable.

crown plaza lobby 2

No request is too big or small for the hotel’s concierge service. Keen to spend as much time as possible enjoying the facilities, my only need was recommendations on what tourist sight not to miss in the area (the answer: St Paul’s Cathedral). However, from booking theatre tickets to sharing insider tips on the city, the Crowne Plaza’s concierge service are the indispensable ingredient to your perfect London vacation.

If your stay in London is time-limited, you’ll certainly appreciate the hotel’s unbeatable, central location beside the Themes. Many major landmarks are just a short walk away, including Fleet Street, the London Eye and the Tate Modern. Just across the road is the gleaming, new Blackfriers tube and rail station, which will quickly take you to any destination in the city or beyond.

Just like Blackfriers, the hotel has recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment to provide guests with everything you’d expect from one of London’s top hotels. Unlike most business hotels, however, the Crowne Plaza – The City is full of character. From the unique artwork of London’s famous landmarks to creative cuisine served in the two on-site restaurants, the establishment often feels like a boutique hotel with service above its 4-star rating.

Upon arrival, I was swiftly checked in and my luggage whisked off to my room. Of course, a hotel of this caliber should offer nothing less, but the Crowne Plaza – The City is refreshingly free from any hint of stuffiness. The service felt natural, friendly, and driven by a genuine desire to help guests get the most from their stay.

crown plaza bedroom

Each of the 205 rooms and suites are stylish and luxuriously comfortable. Considering I had work to do, perhaps immediately reclining on the queen-sized bed was an unwise move. Whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, the Crowne Plaza knows how important sleep is for a productive day. The Crowne Plaza Sleep Advantage® program ensures a restful night with ultra-comfortable mattresses, luxurious bedding and sleep-inducing aromatherapy products.

Once I’d reluctantly hauled myself from the bed, the view from the floor-to-ceiling windows proved to be the next distraction. Looking out towards the Thames, the top floor room offered the perfect vantage point for people watching on London’s busy streets, especially with a comfortable armchair and complimentary hot chocolate available in-room.

If you have work to do or sightseeing to plan, you’ll appreciate the smartly designed workspace, complete with multiple power points for charging all your devices – one of the extra perks of staying in a business-focused hotel.

The Crowne Plaza – The City also offers numerous ways to unwind. After hitting the well-equipped gym and sauna, I made a beeline for the Club Room for a pre-dinner drink. The Club Room, exclusive to Club Floor guests, serves complimentary drinks and canapés throughout the day and a complimentary continental breakfast between 7am and 11am.

London is renowned for its outstanding restaurants; however, I was thrilled to discover one of city’s best Italian restaurants located right inside the hotel. Without a shadow of a doubt, my dinner at Diciannove was one of the most delicious Italian meals I’ve had outside of Italy.

Diciannove Crowne Plaza

Head chef, Alessandro Bay’s, authentic menu coupled with the exceptional service from the front of house team proved to be a winning combination. Following a complimentary glass of Procesco, I tucked into a plate of tender scallops in creamy broccoli puree.

halibut

 

The delicately cooked halibut that followed flaked under the fork alongside buttery potatoes. I topped off the meal in the only way you should in an Italian restaurant: with a slice of rich Tiramisu and a glass of fragrant grappa.

Voltaire bar on the hotel’s ground floor enjoys the reputation as being one of London’s best champagne and cigar bars. It’s also a great destination for an expertly mixed cocktail too. This part of the Crowne Plaza – The City’s Grade II listed building was once a jail. Prisoners were kept in vaults beneath the road, which have been transformed into private alcoves where guests can enjoy a fine cigar.

Voltaire cigar

My companion and I took up temporary residence in one of these alcoves. With a cocktail in one hand, cigar in the other, and the taste of an exceptional dinner lingering on the tongue, we sat back, content in the knowledge that we’d found one of London’s most luxurious weekend hideaways.

Charlotte Claxton

Charlie is a freelance writer who specialises in travel, luxury and food. Having earned her chops as a staff writer for international travel brands and digital marketing companies, she now writes for freelance clients and runs her own travel blog. Charlie grew up in London and has since lived in Canada and Australia. She currently writes from various cafés, hammocks and beaches as she travels the world, bringing LuxeInACity readers first-hand insight into the best luxury experiences worldwide. Get to know Charlie better at www.charlieclaxtonwrites.com