There are many things to consider when booking a family mini-break in London, and choosing the right hotel should be at the top of your list. I took my tribe for a one-night stay at Hilton London Bankside this weekend to check out its family-friendly credentials.
Situated just behind the Tate Modern in central London on a quiet street close to the South Bank, Hilton London Bankside offers easy access to a great part of town. It’s just a few minutes walk to Southwark tube and a 20-minute stroll along the river to London Waterloo. Location is key when you’ve got small children in tow, especially if you want to leave the buggy at home, so it’s important to figure out exactly how much walking is involved. Bear in mind you’ll want to spare some steps for the adventures you’ll have planned around town after check-in… If you can prise the kids away from the novelty of their accommodation!
Hilton London Bankside is close to some of London’s most sought-after family attractions. Besides daily South Bank fun, you’ll find Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Borough Market, the London Eye, the SEA LIFE London Aquarium, Shrek’s Adventure, London’s theatreland and much more all within easy reach.
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Family-friendly London hotel
We arrived at the hotel after 2 pm to a friendly welcome. A complimentary glass of Prosecco for us adults and a soft fox teddy for the kids. Off to a great start! We checked in and took the lift to our family room.
Two little goody bags were waiting for the kids in their room, with crayons, a colouring-in kit and mini kid-friendly shampoo and body wash. The children’s single beds were made with fox cushions, teddies and blankets, which received a cheery stamp of approval. Our spacious and chic adjoining room overlooked the front of the hotel – great for people-watching. I wondered whether our room’s location would bring noise from traffic and passersby, but we didn’t hear a peep from the outside world, from the street below or the hotel’s corridor.
A London hotel with an indoor swimming pool
There aren’t many hotels in London with decent indoor swimming pools, but the Hilton London Bankside has this box firmly checked. And, yep, it’s heated, and we found it empty. There was plenty of room to do laps, sit in the pool’s jacuzzi and watch on the sidelines from a pool lounger. There are no set times for kids to swim, so you can take a dip whenever it suits you.
Dinner at The Distillery
We had a family dinner at 6 pm in The Distillery, the hotel’s chic bar/restaurant. We all enjoyed steak and fries for our main course, chocolate and orange cake for dessert, washed down with lemonade for the kids, wine for me, and beer for the husband. Coumba, our waitress, was both attentive and kind – especially when my three-year-old knocked over his lemonade all over the leather sofa. Oops. We can also vouch for the bar’s cocktails. A Cosmo and a White Russian were just as they should be. Delicious!
Breakfast at OXBO
After a safe and sound night of sleeping all round (full marks for the soft pillows) breakfast was waiting in OXBO, the hotel’s official restaurant. All four of us agreed; it was pretty epic. In fact, the buffet-style breakfast was almost overwhelming. From platters of cured meats, fruits, muffins and pastries to cereals, cooked breakfasts, waffles, pancakes and yoghurts… We could have stayed and feasted there all day!
To find out more about Hilton London Bankside and to book your very own family mini-break in London, click here.
OXBO Bankside’s new bottomless dining experience offers guests the ultimate Sunday dinner, featuring unlimited helpings of decadent starter and dessert plates, with a classic roast as the main event. The best bit? Kids under 12 eat free.
Now available every Sunday, the new brunch offering includes a traditional roast dinner with the diner’s choice of roast beef, roast chicken or a veggie roast, served with a flavoursome Jus, fresh vegetables, fluffy potatoes & giant Yorkshire puddings to share. Also included are unlimited plates of savoury starters and sweet dessert treats from a buffet-style selection of dishes from the Chef’s overflowing Traders Tables, so you can fill up your plate to your heart’s content.
To book your bottomless brunch now, click here.