Imagine waking up in a London hotel room looking out across the Thames with fabulous views of Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and being so close to the EDF London Eye that you feel you could easily reach out and step on board! This is no d ream, it’s the reality of the views from the river facing rooms at the Marriott Hotel, County Hall!
HISTORY & ELEGANCE
I recently stayed at this luxury hotel located on the South Bank. County Hall was of course a local government building, home to London County Council and later the GLC which was subsequently abolished in 1986. Today County Hall is home to attractions including the London Eye, the Sealife Aquarium, and the new London Dungeon, opening in March 2013.
Historic London hotels don’t come any better than this. Wonderfully restored to showcase its beautiful architecture, here I found traditionally elegant accommodation with all mod cons like individual climate control, dedicated work areas, internet access and luxury bedding in each room. The Marriott County Hall has the added advantage of location for sightseeing and popular tourist attractions. Theatre packages are also on offer to make the most of your stay and details can be found on their website.
Spread across 6 floors the hotel has 186 rooms and 14 suites and from the moment you step into the grand lobby you feel you have arrived in style! There’s an on-site Spa, indoor swimming pool and a superb restaurant and bar. With quite a choice of room types to choose from perhaps the Four Poster room may appeal? An elegant room with four poster bed, ensuite bathroom, dedicated seating area and views of Big Ben. Again there are more pictures and details of other guest rooms on the hotel’s website such as the King Big Ben room.
THE CLUB AND SPA AT COUNTY HALL
It’s all here … sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and an array of treatments from scrubs and wraps, to massages and facials designed to help you relax and unwind. Whilst my partner enjoyed a luxurious manicure I enjoyed a dip in the 25 metre swimming pool, and being situated on the top floor this benefits from natural daylight unlike a lot of city hotel pools. The fitness gym, with studio, enables you to enjoy a great workout using the extensive equipment on offer.
Quintessentially English. Afternoon tea in the Library wasn’t to be missed! The spectacular Library Lounge was the Members Library years ago. Bookcases are made of oak on which the busts of Milton, Shakespeare, Agrippa, Plato and other classical figures sit. A choice of several varieties of tea, finely cut sandwiches, scones and a range of delicate homemade cakes are combined to make an unforgettable afternoon. I did of course add a glass of champagne to complement the tradition!
Afternoon tea is between 2.30 and 4.30, is open to non-residents and due to its popularity booking in advance is strongly recommended. Gift vouchers are available and this could be a unique gift idea?
THE LEADER’S BAR
Intimate, relaxed and refined, the Leader’s Bar is every inch a private members retreat. The walls are adorned with photographs of historic political dignitaries and is a wonderful setting to enjoy pre-dinner cocktails and evening drinks.
GILLRAY’S STEAKHOUSE AND BAR
I had heard excellent reports about this restaurant and was looking forward to dinner here. The location of the bar and restaurant was excellent and this was a great English dining experience. Sumptuous interior features, oak table tops, a 9 metre long Chesterfield sofa and crystal chandeliers.
Gillray’s opened here in late Spring and has already won two AA Rosettes. Executive chef Gareth Bowen who accepted the award on behalf of the whole team put the win down to impeccable sourcing of ingredients, especially the English steaks, elegant cooking and concentrating on excellent and consistent service
From the moment I entered Gillray’s I was impressed with the wide selection of drinks and cocktails in the bar. Ready to dine I was shown to my table by the staff. The theme of the restaurant is based on the late James Gillray, a famous English caricaturist, and key pieces of his artwork are displayed. My meal comprised starters, a fine Aberdeen Angus steak followed by a signature dessert. A choice of fine wine is also served by the glass or bottle. The food was superb and the service first class. I wouldn’t hesitate to return.
BE PART OF HISTORY
This is an impressive, luxury 5 star hotel with a wealth of original period features. I loved it. A quiet oasis yet so near to the hustle and bustle of life in the city. Views are sensational, elegant guest rooms, superb cuisine and a first class attentive service by all the staff I came into contact with.
An excellent, luxurious, well managed hotel with stunning views and a friendly welcome!
For more information and to check out the latest hotel offers visit their website.