Search for cheapest prices: Plaza on the River Hotel
Having a bijou, riverside pied a terre is the dream of many a Londoner, but a flat along the banks of the River Thames will cost you a small fortune and it's out the reach of everyone but the exceedingly wealthy. Luckily, Plaza on the River offers some very chic apartment units In Lambeth, just across the river from the Tate Britain Gallery. The five-star apart-hotel sits on a quiet stretch of the river in a modern building close to many of London's best-loved sights.
The Plaza on the River's apartments are available as Open Plan Studios, One Bedroom, Two Bedroom and Three Bedroom suites. The apartments are spacious, contemporary and stylish, with neutral colour schemes, flashes of bright colour, hardwood flooring, marbled en-suite bathrooms with walk in showers, heated towel rails and anti-mist mirrors. All apartments come complete with fully fitted kitchens, including dishwashers and washer/dryers; floor to ceiling windows; Plasma TVs; CD and DVD players; Broadband and Wi-Fi internet access; and international power sockets. Many apartments also have stunning views of the Thames and local sights, and some have balconies.
The benefit of staying in an apart-hotel means that you have the privacy and flexibility of a self-contained unit, but the services of a hotel at your fingertips. Plaza on the River also offers a twice daily maid service, laundry and dry cleaning if needed, a DVD library, an in-room spa menu of beauty treatments, business services, limousine rental and even a personal shopper to help you spend your money in the exclusive shops nearby.
The apart-hotel also includes a very trendy restaurant and bar, Chino Latino, which offers dishes, which expertly blend Asian and European flavours. After dinner you can enjoy a cocktail under the coloured spotlights of the bar. The staff are very accommodating, offering gluten free options for guests with allergies, sharing their knowledge of the city and decorating an apartment for a surprise birthday party, nothing is too much trouble.
It may be tempting to become very attached to your new home from home and not go outside, but the hotel is in a fantastic location with so much to see and do close by. The Tate Britain Gallery is the more traditional of the two London Tates, with a fantastic collection of Turner's paintings and pre-Raphealite works. The Tate Modern is a 25-minute walk along the embankment, so it is possible to see both in a day. Twenty minutes from the hotel you can see Westminster Cathedral, the ornate neo-Byzantine building where the Catholic Church has its seat in London, with a magnificent 274-foot campanile. London's Theatreland district is also close by, with the Victoria Palace Theatre, Apollo Victoria, White Bear Theatre and the Old and Young Vics all within a twenty-minute walk or short bus ride away, for dramas, comedies and mega musicals. The apartments are very convenient for the sights of Westminster, where you can find the Palace of Westminster, which is where the British Parliament meets; the iconic Big Ben clock tower; Westminster Abbey, the site of coronations and royal weddings, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had their nuptials.
For something a bit more active, you can take a boat tour down the Thames; from dinner cruises to speedboats it gives you a whole new perspective on London. The London Eye is also located on the river for panoramic views of the city and the exhibition centres of the South Bank, where you can see theatre, art house cinema and concerts of all styles of music. The South Bank also has some quirky independent boutiques located in the side streets away from the river and the rather expensive shops of Mayfair are just a short tube ride away. Fortnum and Mason is a must see, where the Queen gets her groceries.
The nearest tube station to the hotel is Vauxhall, where you can also catch overground services to the London suburbs. Vauxhall tube station services the Victoria line, from which you can arrive in central London in five minutes. The line stops at Victoria Station where you can catch the Gatwick Express Train and King's Cross St Pancras, where the Eurostar terminus is located.
The apartments at Plaza on the River have proved very popular with previous guests, as have the super staff service and superb location. The apartments may be a bit pricier than other London hotels, but nowhere near as expensive as actually splashing out on a riverside flat, so why not treat yourself. If staying here, it is essential to request a river view room, as atrium-facing rooms can be dark, and why wouldn't you want to gaze out on Big Ben. A balcony does make the stay extra special as well. One minor annoyance, which previous guests have mentioned is that the air conditioning isn't always reliable and the room can get noisy with windows open, but otherwise the hotel lives up to all expectations.