What is now a massive financial centre, was in the nineteenth century, the world’s largest port – and between the great glass skyscrapers, old warehouses still stand, creating an absorbing architectural mix. The best hotels in Docklands enable you to explore an area stretching from St Katharine Docks and Tobacco Dock in the East End to beyond the Thames Barrier. The Museum of London Docklands will give some flavour of what this part of London was like, while more modern pursuits such as wakeboarding and stand-up paddleboarding are on offer with Wake Up Docklands by Royal Victoria. If you’re feeling extra brave, join a London Royal Docks Open Water Swimming session. The DLR will take you right to places like Greenwich and the City – nab a front seat and pretend you’re the driver. In the meantime, take a look our pick of the best hotels in Docklands.
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The best hotels in Docklands
There’s a shiny, curved mermaid-esque exterior to this sexy, not-corporate boutique hotel from the group behind the glitzy W chain. Rooms here (right by the ExCel Centre and Prince Regent DLR) have a minimal, masculine look. Handily, check-in is automated: swipe your credit card to receive a key card, which also lets you into the gym and swanky modern pool with sauna and steam room. Emerging artists also regularly play live at Aloft’s urban-looking W XYZ bar.
Offering a luxury-on-a-budget option in Canary Wharf, Tune Hotel offers comfy beds in compact, minimal rooms. If you can bring your own toiletries and towels (they charge extra for those), and learn to live without the kettle and minibar (absent from the rooms) – it’s a brilliant option for anyone who prefers to be out exploring but wants a comfortable crash pad without the frills. There’s also a jukebox in the 24-hour lobby.
A classic design and all the luxury touches you could need (concierge, turndown service, bathrobe). Rooms range from deluxe double, with floor-to-ceiling windows and plush beds, to fancy suites with free food (hors d’oeuvres, desserts and late-night snacks), separate living areas and executive lounge access. There’s a fitness centre with a sauna, plus Manhattan Grill and the G&Tea bar for dining and drinking.
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