There are so many hotels to choose from when planning a London trip that it’s really difficult to hone it down to make that final selection. But if you’re looking for something that ticks a load of different boxes, you really could not do much better the Novotel London Blackfriars.
When we stayed here in April it was scoring points across the board. Good location; swimming pool and sauna; friendly breakfast and bar area; bright and modern rooms; well equipped gym; great value for money. Tick, tick, tick.
Taking location first, the hotel sits on Blackfriars Road, on the South side of the river close to Southwark tube station. It’s on the opposite bank of the Thames to Blackfriars station, just to avoid any confusion! You can take a relaxed, pleasant stroll along the river and get to Tate Modern in about 5 minutes. Walk a little further and you hit Shakespeare’s Globe and the Golden Hinde, and a little further and you’re at the artisan eateries of the evocative Borough Market area. Cross the river from the hotel to Blackfriars and you’re right in the City, close to St Paul’s Cathedral. Walk the other way down the river and you’ll hit Westminster reasonably quickly. You can pretty much get to all the central tourist spots using your feet and the river from here which is fabulous in good weather. Otherwise it’s 3a short minutes walk to Southwark tube station on the Jubilee Line which will have you in the West End and Soho in 10 minutes.
Facilities wise, it has to be said finding a hotel with a swimming pool in any big city usually comes at a much higher premium than you pay here. And it’s a lovely pool to boot. There’s underwater music streaming, and the connected Jacuzzi is great – although not as warm as most as it’s linked to the main pool. When we were there, the sauna was really hot although we have read reviews saying it was not hot enough, so maybe they’ve turned up the heat in response! The gym is well equipped too if you fancy a work out. Towels are provided, and changing rooms are lovely and clean.
The rooms are all spotlessly modern and comfortable, with some of the rooms on the higher floors having views of St. Paul’s and The Shard. Our family room for four was generous with one double and two smaller camp beds – very comfortable for two adults and two kids. The Jamboree Foodfest & Bar have a good selection of dishes, although we didn’t eat there during our stay. We did enjoy the breakfast, which was excellent covering both hot and cold buffets including a very exciting pancake machine! The breakfast area and bar are decorated in Novotel’s bright and modern style, complete with bunting and industrial style lighting.
Overall, we had a really pleasurable stay at the Novotel London Blackfriars. The friendly atmosphere and well designed facilities mean it’s going to be a hit pretty much all around.