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Review: I try ‘work from hotel’ at the DoubleTree Tower of London hotel

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This is our review of the DoubleTree by Hilton Tower of London hotel.

After a month of working from the dining room table and getting on my housemates’ nerves, I was glad to be out and about again. I decided to review the DoubleTree hotel by the Tower of London to try out Hilton’s new ‘Workspaces’ and pick up 10,000 easy Hilton Honors points from their new ‘day rooms’ promotion.

Doubletree Tower of London exterior

Booking day rooms is easy with Hilton: all you have to do is select the same check in and check-out dates and you’ll automatically see the day rates.

We paid for our room directly and Hilton did not know we were reviewing the hotel.

Location

The DoubleTree by Hilton by the Tower of London is very well located both for tourists and work. It was originally part of the eight-strong Mint chain which Hilton acquired in 2011.

It is tucked in just behind the Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square, within spitting distance of the Tower itself as well as Tower Hill tube station.

Doubletree Tower of London Hilton hotel

On the other side it is one minute away from Fenchurch Street Station and firmly within the City of London, which will make getting to meetings (when they start happening in person!) a doddle.

Arriving at the DoubleTree Tower of London

The hotel was very quiet when I arrived ….. although, to be fair, this was the first day after the national lockdown.

The hotel was virtually dormant, with all the restaurants and cafes closed and a lot of lights turned off. It was very odd.

Despite that, the DoubleTree has an impressive glass atrium when you walk in:

Doubletree Tower of London atrium

Check in

Checking in as easy given the lack of other people about, although the hotel had clearly missed the memo that the national lockdown was over and we were back in tier 2. They made me sign a waiver saying I was travelling for work!

Doubletree Tower of London check in

I was given a standard queen room on the 9th floor, with views of the back of an office block:

Doubletree Tower of London view (3)

If you’re lucky and get a south-facing room, you might get this view of the Tower and Tower Bridge:

Doubletree Tower of London view (2)

Rooms at the DoubleTree Tower of London

Before you enter your room you see a sticky label declaring your room Covid-safe with the Hilton “CleanStay” promise, which I hadn’t encountered before:

Doubletree Tower of London CleanStay

The rooms look a bit dull and dated on the Hilton website, but in reality they aren’t as bad as they look. There was a part refurbishment in 2017, and things still look in fairly good nick.

Notably absent based on the website are the iMacs, which were a brand standard during the Mint days and still appear in the photos on the website. They appear to have gone during the refurbishment.

As you can (just) see, there is a faint imprint of the London Eye on the wall:

Doubletree Tower of London queen room 2

The hotel has gone slightly overboard with mirrors. There are four in the room, with another in the bathroom! There is a full length mirror as you walk in, a large one on the side of the bed:

Doubletree Tower of London bed

….. another above the desk:

Doubletree Tower of London desk

…. and one on the wardrobe.

The good news, for anyone who wants to work, is that the desk is an excellent size, with plenty of room to spread out.

A kettle and bits for making tea or (instant coffee) are also in one of the desk drawers:

Doubletree Tower of London tea coffee

As is an (empty) mini fridge. The wardrobe contains a safe, ironing board etc. There are no dressing gowns.

I want to mention the air conditioning / heating controls. At some hotels you need to be Stephen Hawking to work out how to get your room to a comfortable temperature. At the Doubletree Tower of London it is a lot simpler.

Instead of a digital panel, an inset switchboard with LEDs lets you select between a handful of options: very cold, cold, neutral, warm and hot!

There are no granular controls but and you cannot set a particular temperature but for what it lacks in precision it more than makes up for in simplicity. Sometimes, fewer options are better!

The bathroom

Here is the bathroom, which is pretty compact:

Doubletree Tower of London bathroom

The bad news is there is no bath, and the shower is a step up. The door is also quite narrow, although the shower is larger.

There was also no handsoap in my room – bizarre, given promises of a ‘CleanStay’ and encouragement to wash hands everywhere! I had to call down to reception to ask for some to be delivered.

They did, however, leave some hand sanitising wipes.

What about the SkyLounge rooftop bar?

A major selling point of the DoubleTree Tower of London is its rooftop bar. Unfortunately, this was shut like all the other restaurants and cafes in the hotel. Here is what it looks like in the summer:

Doubletree Tower of London SkyLounge rooftop bar

The hotel also has a gym.

Conclusion

The DoubleTree by Hilton Tower of London clearly appeals to both tourists and those travelling for business alike, and it manages to balance the needs of both quite well.

For those working, rooms come with a desk that is only slightly smaller than the one I have in our WeWork office.

For those who are staying for pleasure, the proximity to Tower Hill tube station as well as the SkyLounge are a big plus.

Overnight rates range between £90 and £150 depending on season, but we paid £65 for the day-rate. This combines nicely with the on-going American Express cashback offer (if you have it) and the 10,000 points bonus for your first Workspaces booking.

You can book or find out more on the hotel website here.


How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (August 2022)

There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.

You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (50)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • JamesH says:

    The iMacs were the worst thing about Doubletrees for me! Too small to double up as a TV, so glad they’ve shipped them off and

    • MKB says:

      +1

      The quality of the tv picture through them was dire.

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      Nothing to do with doubletree though, it was a Mint hotel brand standard, so if you had an iMac you knew the hotel used to be a Mint hotel. Others included Manchester Piccadilly, Amsterdam and Leeds.

      It was certainly a gimmick but had some use when the hotels were first opened, I remember reading about the chain in a few airline magazines (bmi and KLM) because of this ‘innovation’ so it helped a new chain get publicity. Also when they were first installed fewer people had laptops and tablets didn’t exist so having an internet enabled computer was quite handy.

      Problem was they were instead of the TVs rather than in addition to them and they weren’t very good as TVs, also at the time Apple were improving designs at a rapid pace so they soon looked dated.

  • Nck says:

    A generally good hotel I’ve stayed at many times over the past few years, not too far from the centre of London, but, as a result, has resulting reasonable rates, especially for suites. You can get a small view of the Thames if you can get one of the corner suites at the back. It’s a shame that they closed the Executive Lounge at the end of 2018 as this was always good to avoid the usual breakfast rush at weekends.

    • C says:

      I stayed there on business a number of times about 6 years ago. It was definitely a good option, with reasonable value for money taking into account the proximity to the city. It’s not luxurious by any means, but it hit the mark for being comfortable and efficient. Rooms are a bit cramped if one has a lot of luggage, however.

  • Flying Misfit says:

    Looks like 901! Not sure if you have any status (e.g. via Amex Plat) but if so, was it recognised at all?

    • Rhys says:

      906! Wasn’t mentioned at check in, although did have water in the room, but not sure if that’s because it was a Workstay rate.

  • _nate says:

    I make certain I have a space to work when I stay in a hotel in case I need it and I do appreciate the quiet. But if you are comparing this deal to just staying home, it seems a little questionable in terms of value. Granted, if you needed to collaborate but…

    • Rob says:

      I agree. £30-£40 is a sweet spot, especially with double elite nights.

      15 x £30 days would be under £250 if you can write it off for tax plus you get Diamond until March 2023 and all the stay points.

  • Jessiefan says:

    You fail to mention it has an Executive Lounge which is a major selling point for me, although it will be closed right now. Also the ‘rooftop bar’ is not owned by the hotel, Savage Garden is a really cool spot with great views and I think residents do get some sort of discount.
    Great hotel when rates are decent.

    • avstar says:

      the exec lounge is quite small though, and of all the times i stayed here was always 90% full, with regular scrambles when food/drink was replenished. The rooftop bar is great though.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        It always makes me laugh that executive lounges are meant to be full of, er, “executives” and yet are actually full of people so cheap they’ll scrum it out for a few free lukewarm nibbles and bad house wine. As I am so vastly wealthy that I can afford to pay for a pint of beer AND a packet of crisps I don’t often bother with them even for free.

        • Mr(s) Entitled says:

          It is possible to both an executive and cheap (I prefer the term ‘value’).

      • Nick says:

        It was my understanding that the Executive Lounge closed (permanently) at the end of 2018. Did it open again? If that’s the case then it definitely adds value, IMHO. as it avoided the breakfast rush at weekends.

  • pauline says:

    I booked a workspace day in edinburgh on 17th November but points have not yet posted. Receipt history states 0 points at the moment. Did your points post immediately?

    • David says:

      I did a workspaces last Thursday. All points including the 10k bonus posted 2 days later

    • Matthew says:

      Did you book via the website or direct with hotel? If the latter they prob didn’t use the workspaces rate. Mine didn’t post after the day as it actually showed as a night stay that I checked out early on!! But if a battle getting the points but the hotel sorted the 10,000 bonus for me and Hilton direct sorted the base points/elite night credit. But if a faff though.

      As Rob says, it easy if you can book online but only a few hotels let you book a workspaces rate online and the rest you have to contact direct and insist on the workspaces rate.

    • Axel says:

      Most likely the reception staff cancelled your booking after you checked out, so they could close off the same day booking. They keep doing it to me annoyingly.

      Email your receipt to guestassistance.international

      A quirk of the 10k bonus seems to be it credits at each hotel you workspsce at…. …

      • Rob says:

        It is more random than that. I got it again last week at a place I have used a few times since it started.

    • Rhys says:

      No, points didn’t post for me. For some reason, the stay shows as cancelled at the last minute in the Hilton system so now I’m in the process of talking to customer service to get those credited.

    • Allan says:

      Edinburgh Hampton did this – the same day checkout made it show as late notice cancellation. CS sorted it after sending them the receipt.

  • tony says:

    I stayed at this hotel a couple of months back. The fact everything was closed (not even room service) offered something of a reality check in terms of what you’re actually paying for in a hotel. I paid about £90, so probably around £150-£200 lower than a normal week night in September, but even that didn’t seem like a bargain. The surrounding area was deserted, too.

  • Freddy says:

    I would have stayed at home and saved the £65. Surely such a rate will significantly eat into your daily wage unless Rob is paying mega bucks. I just can’t see this catching on…

    • WLX says:

      Not everyone is paid a day rate. I worked at a Hilton last week when some unavoidable home noise and internet congestion would have disrupted important meetings. I charged the room to my employer, for whom the performance at the meetings was more important than cost saving. The meeting having gone successfully could result in the company earning many times the £40 spent on the room in the long run.

    • Rhys says:

      We’ve been using the day rates as a way of reviewing a number of London hotels!

    • Rob says:

      I make a profit on mine because they are triggering Hilton milestone bonuses and I have a £30 negotiated rate which nets to around £14 after tax shield.

      • Toby says:

        Where have you managed to negotiate a £30 rate?

      • Mike says:

        Off topic but on tax shield – I’m employed by a company so I don’t file my taxes manually. Is it easy to claim this ‘tax shield’ back, if possible at all?

        • Rob says:

          You can, via a self assessment tax return, claim for expenses you incurred whilst doing your job which your company did not reimburse. (This excludes stuff which is strictly disallowed, eg travel to and from work.) If there were reasons why you could not work from home and so had to pay for a hotel day room this would appear to be a valid reclaim. You’d get 20/40/45% of the cost back depending on your tax rate. Self employed save more as there is the National Insurance saving on top.

          This is how, for example, people who wash their uniforms at home get reimbursed for the cost of energy, detergent etc. It is also the route via which anyone forced to WFH this year can claim back the costs of heating, lighting etc for doing so.

          We had a long discussion on HfP a while ago about whether you could pay for upgrades at hotels or flights from your own pocket and reclaim it via this route. There is still no definitive answer here.

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