Canary Wharf is often written off as an area of all work and no play – a world of corporate stiffs in suits and skyscraper offices – but if you dig beneath the surface, you’ll see that it actually has so much more to offer. Whether you’re in town for business or pleasure, you’ll find plenty to whet your appetite during a stay in this financial district. Here’s Culture Trip’s pick of the five best hotels in Canary Wharf.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Docklands Riverside
DoubleTree by Hilton London – Docklands Riverside lies inside an old factory building | Courtesy of DoubleTree by Hilton London – Docklands Riverside / Booking.com
The DoubleTree Docklands Riverside overlooks London’s 17th-century wharf, so there’s no shortage of dazzling views. Housed in an old factory building with exposed-brick walls, original windows and ceiling beams, it’s certainly not your average chain hotel. If you happen to be there in the summer, make the most of the free ferry shuttle service from the hotel into Canary Wharf and request a barbecue from the chefs at The Columbia Restaurant to enjoy on the terrace. The rooms are more tranquil than you’d expect, too. Plenty of natural light and space make them comfortable enough to relax in, and the amenities (think free Wi-Fi, desk space, flat-screen TVs and large bathtubs) are all designed to add comfort and convenience.
Housed in a Grade II-listed building, the Lansbury prides itself on being the only boutique hotel in Canary Wharf. The rooms are just as grand as the exterior, bringing together a mixture of Regency elegance and smart modern amenities befitting a luxury hotel. There are 25 individually designed rooms each boasting a fridge, flat-screen TV and modern bathroom with L’Occitane toiletries. Pop down the road to the Museum of London Docklands to learn all about the maritime traders who made the city what it is today, or head into Canary Wharf for some serious shopping. Want to stay indoors? The Lansbury Spa offers an extensive menu of treatments as well as a sauna and steam room to hunker down in.
Considering it only opened in 2017, the reputation that Canary Wharf’s Novotel has garnered for its sprawling views and excellent rooftop bar is impressive. It’s another chain hotel that feels anything but, and you’re just as likely to see revellers heading up to enjoy rooftop cocktails as you are digital nomads hunkering down to some work on a stylish swing seat. There are plenty of locally inspired decorative and design nods paying homage to the area’s dockland history, including hurricane lamps, copper fixtures and the use of wood.
Tranquillity is the name of the game at the Canary Riverside, where floor-to-ceiling windows flood the blue-and-white toned rooms with natural light. Its impressive exterior adds a sense of elegance to the otherwise functional industrialism of the area – it looks like it belongs on Broadway in New York, rather than the riverfront in Canary Wharf. In the summer months, dine al fresco on the terrace of the Quadrato Restaurant, Bar & Lounge, and in winter, ward off the breeze coming off the river with a cocktail under the heated lamps and blankets provided. Its biggest draw is undoubtedly the spa, where you can enjoy a dip in the pool, sauna or jacuzzi while overlooking the Thames.
The London Marriott Hotel Canary Wharf is a luxurious five-star property with stunning views of the Docklands, a fine-dining restaurant and a 24-hour gym with sauna. The hotel’s G&Tea bar offers a huge selection of gins, while Manhattan Grill serves steaks and New York-inspired side dishes. Also, there are plenty of options to dine out nearby including Japanese fare at Roka and Scottish cuisine at Boisdale. All 301 guest rooms come with Wi-Fi and an LCD flat-screen TV for unwinding at the end of a busy day.