The best hotels near Tower Bridge
After a day of Thames-side sightseeing, watch the sun set over the City’s skyscrapers from your own private terrace – the Chamberlain has some of the most reasonably priced in London. This is a proper pub, but an elegant one, and the decor and specs are better than you might expect: even standard doubles include robes and flat screen TV, and a little more buys an iPod dock and Nespresso machine. Treat yourself: the superior rooms aren’t all that much more expensive.
The DoubleTree is a shiny wedge of modernity slotted into the historic City’s eastern edge, but unlike the identikit office blocks nearby, its attractive architecture enhances the area; in fact, it’s distinctly stylish all round. The lobby has a dizzyingly high ‘living wall’ and the bar a ribbed glass atrium; rooms all offer iMacs for tech and TV; and you’ll have to fight with regular Londoners for a seat at the chic rooftop bar, with views well worth toasting.
The most striking thing about this hotel is the eye-catching modern building. It does a roaring trade in business events and accordingly the decor is safe upscale-modern – think beige and big headboards. There’s a well-thought-out spa and pool, commodious common areas and someone in the kitchen who likes to add special-occasion touches to your dessert. It’s a ten minute walk from Tower Bridge, and some rooms offer views including the Shard and the City.
The Indigo might be part of the InterContinental group, but it has bags of individuality. It ain’t much to look at from the outside – it resembles an undistinguished office building – but the room decor is all comfortable chic, with a handsome four-poster bed, hardwood floors and exposed-brick walls anchoring a trad-modern feel. Nice amenities, too: Aveda toiletries, Nespresso machines, robes and laptops to loan. Some rooms are on the small side, so grab a corner room if you can.
Some might call the Tower’s imposing concrete exterior a modernist classic; others might call it a rather dated blot on the landscape. Either way, if you’re in it, it won’t impede fabulous close-up views of Tower Bridge and pretty St Katherine Docks, which you can soak up from the pricier rooms and from the bar, which in summer decamps prettily to the lawn outside. Be sure to check on bridge opening times when you plan your trip.
Ignore the silly name – Wombat’s is a distinctly superior hostel with the vibe of a hipster hotel (albeit one that asks you to put the sheets on the bed). There’s lots of salvaged wood, louche lighting and a vaulted bar, and though it was originally a Victorian seaman’s hostel, facilities are thoroughly modern – every bunk has its own USB and every dorm (max eight beds) is en suite. It’s a little far out but handy for Spitalfields and the east.
The deal at the hub is very twenty-first century: less space, high tech, smaller bills. The rooms are sprucely white and distinctly bijou in size, with under-bed storage and a pull-out desk to save on space. The tech shtick is the custom app, which allows you to control the heat, lighting and the 40-inch TV from your phone, and even offers augmented reality, bringing a wall-map to life with area guides on your phone or tablet. The westerly location is great for the City and Borough as well as the Tower area.
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