Novotel London Tower Bridge – Hotel Review
Novotel London Tower Bridge
by Roger Crow
Simplicity is everything with hotels, no matter how expensive. The Novotel brand is clearly on point with most of its facilities, and like all good hotels is constructed from two basic principles: provide a great bed and a terrific shower, and chances are you’re onto a winner.
Having lugged a case from East Yorkshire, via the West End, my partner Rachel and I thankfully don’t have much hassle when we get through the Tube barriers at Tower Hill. Check-in is smooth, informal and efficient. Though a personalised video welcome message using photos from my social media feed feels a little weird (like being stalked by a hypothetical fan), its heart is in the right place. (If you’re going to Photoshop me onto anyone, I certainly don’t mind it being Bill Nighy in his Love Actually rock star incarnation).
“Staff are outstanding”
The bed is supremely comfortable; the WiFi is great, and the obligatory smart TV ensures there’s plenty to enjoy after a hard day traipsing round the shops or dashing from gallery to restaurant to theatre.
I like to visit the smoke every few months and indulge in assorted cultural events and restaurants, and don’t mind paying a few extra quid on hotels that I save on cut-price train tickets and half-price West End shows. If there’s a superb breakfast thrown into the hotel price, then I’m sold, and Novotel Tower Bridge certainly ticks that box. My full English is a delight thanks to the help-yourself buffet. The staff are outstanding, and great surroundings too.
Given the fact we’re staying at Tower Bridge, it’s a given that our room will overlook one of the world’s most famous landmarks. Despite a tree stealing half the view, it’s still a sight to behold.
Occasionally style gets in the way of logic. The almost one-way mirror effect of the shower cubicle provides some privacy, but not 100 per cent. If you’re sharing a room with a mate for example, you don’t really want to see them like some sort of lenticular Janet Leigh in Psycho, or Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.
This is equally a problem at a different brand hotel I stay at in Whitechapel a day later with a semi-transparent glass cubicle for the wet room/toilet. At least Novotel hits that privacy nail more squarely on the head.
There’s a posh coffee-maker which should appeal to any traveller who prefers their java-making experience to feel like they’re locking and loading their caffeine shots rather than just putting some powder in a cup.
“On to a winner”
However, when I try and fill the mini kettle using the stylish low tap, I run into problems. It’s a tiny issue, but easily solved. If a jug were provided to get round the matter, punters desperate for a cuppa would be sorted in no time.
They are the only niggles I can find with our hostelry for the night, so we’re definitely on to a winner.
I didn’t have much perception of the Novotel brand before staying at Tower Bridge, but it’s a splendid upmarket hostelry with superb staff. It’s not the cheapest hotel in London, but quality comes at a price, and though I’m spent up for another few months, the experience was certainly priceless.
Novotel London Tower Bridge, 10 Pepys Street, EC3N 2NR
203 rooms, 4-star hotel. Room rates from £115 per night. Includes fitness centre, sauna, hammam and public outdoor parking. Check in 2pm, check out 12pm.