This is an unusually located luxury hotel, being on the south side of the River Thames, away from the West End, the City of London and even Canary Wharf – of which it has great views across the water.
It is adjacent to the O2 conference and concert venue with its own covered walkway into the site. Also nearby are a number of food and retail outlets and the London Cable Car (newly renamed from Emirates Air Line following the withdrawal of sponsorship by the airline).
Public transport links are limited with North Greenwich tube station and North Greenwich pier for TfL riverboat services being the nearest options. The tube station is about half-a-kilometre away and there is no shuttle bus.
So, after all that, why would you want to stay here? Well, considering its five-star status the hotel is often significantly discounted, even when booked directly with parent company IHG. And, if you are an Intercontinental Ambassador member (US$200 per year) then room upgrades can make it even more of a bargain.
The hotel is owned by the Arora Group, part of billionaire Surinder Arora’s empire, and is operated as a franchise under the InterContinental brand. As you would expect from IHG’s luxury brand, the reception and other public areas are well-appointed. The hotel entrance is high-ceilinged and well appointed.
For this visit, I booked a one-bed Junior Suite and, thanks to my InterContinental Ambassador membership, was upgraded to a High Floor One Bedroom Suite.
This features fantastic views across the River Thames towards the Isle of Dogs and the Canary Wharf district. The room has a spacious living area with two sofas, a six-seater table, work desk and a widescreen television. There is a well-appointed bathroom with bath and shower, plus an additional separate toilet. The bedroom has its own door and provides additional views to the west. Overall, the size of the room is similar to a well-proportioned one-bedroom apartment. Two people could easily stay in this room without getting in each other’s way.
There are four drinking and dining venues within the hotel – the Market Brasserie, a high-end restaurant, the Clipper Bar, a large bar with a maritime theme, the Meridian Lounge, a venue for hot beverages and afternoon tea, and the Eighteen Sky Bar, on the hotel’s top floor with great all-round views (the Sky Bar is currently only available for private bookings).
Overall, this is a great hotel and often has rooms at rates somewhat lower than similar hotels in the West End. If you don’t mind being 20 minutes from central London by tube, then this is a great venue for a value-for-money luxury stay.