We have stayed at many great Hilton hotels across the UK including the fantastic Hilton St George’s Park and the Hilton Ageas Bowl but the 5* Hilton London Bankside will ensure that you will experience a Hilton hotel on a totally different level.
It is by far the most impressive Hilton hotel we have stayed at and this is why we would recommend you definitely look at booking a stay here during your next visit to London.
What caught our attention as we arrived outside the hotel was the giant flower filled letters that spell out the hotel’s name ‘Bankside’.
A friendly top hat and tailed valet welcomed us to the hotel and whisked our bags away. After taking photos of the Instagrammable flower signage, we entered the hotel.
The exterior of a typical modern Hilton hotel certainly belies its interior. Apart from the delightful smell and an abundance of impressive floral displays, what I was most surprised at was just how impressive the lobby of the hotel was.
With stylish yellow and grey seating, complete with brightly coloured cushions, steel clad hanging light bulbs and contemporary art on the walls – it felt more of a design-led hotel rather than your typical Hilton. The Hilton Bankside represents one of the next generation Hilton hotels and I really like it.
The beautiful scent could have been a subtle reference to Stevenson & Howell’s Standard Works (a coincidence as my grandparents family names were Stevenson & Howell!), a renowned essence factory in 1800s the site where the hotel now stands.
It was not just the décor, scent and ambience of the luxurious lobby that was impressive – the staff were so friendly and a credit to the Hilton brand . By the time we had reached the check-in desk, we had been greeted by several of the hotel’s staff, already creating a great first impression.
As we checked-in the staff warmly chatted away with the girls setting them the challenge of a special treasure hunt. On each of their maps they would have to find hidden foxes around the hotel, marking each one down on their activity sheet and upon completion of the task, they would get a special gift.
They went on to tell the girls that the fox trail and the numerous miniature fox sculptures dotted around the hotel were to honour a fox who would regularly be seen on the construction site when the hotel was being built.
Check-in was welcoming, fast and efficient and although check-in was from 3pm our interconnecting family room was ready on arrival just after lunch.
Family rooms at the Hilton Bankside
Stepping out of the lifts, the girls excitedly rushed off to locate their room whilst on the lookout for any hidden foxes.
Having an interconnecting room was perfect for us. The girls had their own space and full control of their own TV which was a bonus for us as we didn’t have to go to bed at the same time as they did ( which typically is what happens when we have to share one hotel room).
Our rooms at the Hilton Bankside were really impressive, beautifully decorated with tasteful wooden panelling, gorgeous filament bedside lamps, olive green and orange colour scheme which created a contemporary industrial inspired ambience.
On each of the girls’ beds there was a child size white fluffy bathrobe, slippers (and more importantly for the girls) a goody bag full of treats! Also we had a hand written note from the hotel’s management, welcoming us to the hotel. It’s these little extra touches that really make the Hilton Bankside stand out as such a family friendly hotel.
The desks in our rooms boasted a stylish element, with concealed plug/USB panels in one of many sockets in the room to ensure that all of our gadgets could get charged. I loved the mini torch reading lights by each bed – such a clever design addition.
The chaise lounge chairs and floor to ceiling windows create such a relaxing environment you find you have to coax yourself to leave the room to explore London.
The girls in particular were more than happy to relax in their room watching their favourite children’s programmes on their huge wall mounted tv whilst taking advantage of the free high speed WiFi for their iPads.
The children had free soft drinks from the minibar – another lovely touch! They had everything a child would need to keep them happy for their hotel stay.
For us another sign of a quality hotel is the turndown service. It was so welcoming to return to our rooms each evening with a mat, slippers and water by our beds, along with relaxing music playing in the background.
Were the huge new Hilton Serenity beds as comfortable as they looked? Yep! The gorgeous soft white snuggly duvet and super soft bed linen ensured that we all had a great night’s sleep so we were refreshed and ready to explore London for a second day.
Another surprise at the Hilton Bankside was when we returned from a busy day exploring London to find that the hotel had left delicious little treats for the girls in their room and a selection of cakes for my husband and I to enjoy – yum!
The bathrooms in our rooms were spacious and so stylish in keeping with the trend of the hotel. One of our rooms had a walk-in rainfall shower so big I think that we all could have easily fitted in there whilst the other room had a deep bath with shower.
If I could have taken the bathroom out of the hotel and dropped it into our home I would, it was so stylish! From the concrete shower floor to the large illuminated demisting mirror, the bathroom just oozed a contemporary industrial chic.
Breakfast at OXBO the hotel’s restaurant the next morning was delightful. We were greeted upon arrival and a beautiful buffet selection awaited us in the open plan restaurant, complete with quirky animal heads adorning the walls.
Far from a standard breakfast buffet, the offering at the Hilton Bankside is really special with a wide range of options on offer from hot cooked breakfasts to small pastries, yogurts, fruit and cereals. Hot tea and coffee are served to your table.
Highlights included freshly made to order Mickey Mouse inspired pancakes for the girls. This was another example of the great service that runs through the hotel, nothing was too much trouble for the hotel’s team of chefs who cook in front of guests in the open kitchen concept.
What makes this hotel so attractive to families is the fact that it has a fabulous 17m pool. The girls loved changing into their robes and taking the lift down to the basement to the really impressive pool.
My children like most kids spend the majority of their time swimming underwater resulting in stinging eyes, but not at the Hilton Bankside however. They have an ionizing purification system in place so no stinging, red eyes and a much more comfortable swim – how cool is that!
The swimming pool area was a relaxing place to unwind after busy days in London and quickly became one of our favourite things to do during our stay.
Not forgetting of course completing the fox treasure hunt. After locating all of the foxes they were rewarded with freshly made cookies, beautifully presented in a OXBO themed bakery box.
There were beautiful communal spaces to relax in, including the atmospheric Distillery Bar off the lobby with lots of comfortable seating including stylish chesterfield style sofas.
With a well-stocked bar including an impressive choice of over 50 hand-picked gins, it was a popular area of the hotel for guests to relax in.
As attractive as the bar was, we spent the most of our time at the fabulous child-friendly executive lounge at the hotel (you have access if you are staying in an Executive Room or have status with Hilton Honours.)
A favourite of ours was the afternoon tea served between 3pm and 5pm in the lounge. It was lovely to return to the hotel and enjoy tea and a selection of freshly made sandwiches, petit fours cakes and scones and jam.
The girls really loved it here, as did my husband and I, as it was a welcome respite from the hectic city.
In the evening 5pm -7.30pm a selection of canapes and drinks were available, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and it was a great place to start our evening with pre-dinner drinks.
It was our first time staying in the Bankside area of London and we were not disappointed.
The hotel is in a great location for exploring the city. The Tate Modern, the Globe Theatre and the Shard were all nearby and St Paul’s Cathedral was a pleasant stroll across the Millennium Bridge.
We visited Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and Madame Tussaud’s during our weekend in London all of which were easily accessible by tube from Southwark station which was 5 minutes stroll away.
Overall and is it family friendly?
Definitely, the Hilton Bankside is an excellent family friendly hotel and is highly recommended – it was the perfect location for us to enjoy London.
The level of service received during our stay was exceptional and this high level of customer service is a credit to the hotel management because it really does make a difference to your hotel experience.
Highlights for the kids were the swimming pool, the fox hunt and the surprise in-room treats – they keep asking us when can we return! You can’t ask for a better endorsement of a hotel than that!
Prices at the Hilton Bankside start from a very reasonable £311 for a family interconnecting deluxe room when booking direct at www.hilton.com as part of the Hilton Honours Advance Discount Purchase rate.