Tucked away next to the Thames, St Katharine Docks blends the past, present and future of London – as do the hotels that surround this relaxed riverside locale. What’s more, they’re all bookable with Culture Trip.
A maze of bridges, boats and businesses housed in trendy converted warehouses, St Katharine Docks is a little island of tranquillity in the centre of London. Starting life as a commercial dock in 1828 before being turned into a marina, it’s now packed with bars, restaurants and offices serving a steady flow of Londoners and tourists. There is a sense of old meeting new here, a vibe that bleeds into the surrounding hotel scene.
A location right on the Thames means those who stay at the Tower Hotel get a great view no matter which room they are in. Face the river and there’s Tower Bridge and The Shard. Turn the other way and there are the bobbing boats and hustle and bustle of St Katharine Docks. For history buffs, the Tower of London is, of course, on their doorstep, while the HMS Belfast, the most significant surviving WWII battleship, is within easy walking distance.
Sitting on top of Tower Hill Tube Station, citizenM is all about taking you above the thronging masses of London for some quiet contemplation. The best place to do that is at the seventh-floor cloudM bar, where the rooftop terrace offers the perfect vantage point to watch the world go by. Or sink into one of the super comfortable sofas next to some Queen Elizabeth II wallpaper and have creative cocktails with London’s young movers and shakers.
Given its location right on the Thames opposite the HMS Belfast, it’s only natural that the Cheval Three Quays would have a water theme running throughout the hotel. A chandelier posing as a waterfall and bubbling water features greet you in the lobby, while the walls are covered in black-and-white images of the river. For the real deal, the luxury all-apartments, where you can stay one night or more than one year, have fantastic views of the Thames.
Modern amenities meet London’s storied past at the Leonardo Royal London hotel. Meals at the restaurant and bar come with views of the Roman Wall, while the Bank of England Museum, with its 40,000 items that span over 1,500 years of history, is nearby. Return to the hotel for something more up-to-date including a fully equipped gym, indoor swimming pool, steam room and virtual golf.
Once the headquarters of the Port of London Authority, Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square is housed in an impressive 1920s building fronted by four huge columns. If the Grade II listed Art Deco building seems indestructible, that’s because it pretty much is, having survived being bombed in 1940. The damage caused to the ground floor led to a refurbishment including the rotunda, which is home to the hotel’s most striking interior feature – a dome that looks like a pink, glowing jumbo jet engine.
Though it’s a stylish and contemporary hotel, the Clayton takes its inspiration from Victorian textile warehouses – a nice homage to the dockside activities of the past. The hotel’s proximity to the Tobacco Dock (which has a number of spaces for hire), the O2 Arena and the ExCel Centre mean it’s popular with those in town for events. Be sure to enjoy the afternoon tea and prosecco deal at the restaurant.
The larger-than-life Ned used to be a bank though there’s more fun to be had here these days, especially around the members-only rooftop pool, which has eye-popping views of St Paul’s Cathedral. The hipster vibe is enhanced by retro bathrooms and phones, Pilates studios and a barbershop that specialises in beard shaping.
The former head office of the Royal Mail, Montcalm Royal London House marks the point where London’s business and creative sides meet. To the south, you’ll see the towers of the city and to the north is Shoreditch, one of the biggest hipster hangouts in town with galleries, cool bars and an ever-changing display of street art. The hotel retains its 1950s style while adding some 21st-century tech throughout.
If any hotel represents the mixture of history and creativity you find on London’s Southbank, this is it. Located in the old Tower Bridge Magistrates Court dating back to 1905, The Dixon (named after its Edwardian architect, John Dixon Butler) taps into the area’s vibrant art scene with its decor – which includes surrealist interpretations of famous locals, like Charlie Chaplin and Ernest Shackleton, and mugshots of former convicts.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.