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Review: we visit Hilton’s new Canopy London City hotel

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This is our review of Canopy London City, a new hotel by Hilton.

It is the first hotel to open in the UK under the ‘Canopy’ brand, which Hilton describes thus:

Located in the most desirable neighbourhoods around the world, Canopy by Hilton is a vibrant boutique lifestyle brand that embodies the neighbourhood so that guests and locals have a positively local stay. Each hotel is designed as a natural extension of its neighbourhood and provides a place to relax and recharge with simple, guest-directed service, comfortable spaces, an energizing atmosphere and thoughtfully local choices.

Canopy is still a fairly small brand, with around 30 properties currently open. Another 30 or so are in the pipeline so you are likely to see more of them in the coming years.

The hotel website is here.

Canopy London City exterior

We first visited the hotel back in November for a media event, and on the back of that were offered a free stay to try it out.

Where is Canopy London City?

Canopy London City is in the eastern fringe of the City of London:

Canopy London City location

Just round the corner are Aldgate and Aldgate East tube stations, from which you can catch the Circle, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and District lines which will quickly get you into the more touristy parts of London.

The Tower of London and Tower Bridge are within 10 minutes walk, as is Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane. It is located amongst a cluster of hotels, including the Hotel Indigo.

Inside the Canopy London City hotel

The Canopy London City is a brand new building with a ribbon-like facade. Inside is a warm, light-wood lobby and cafe:

Canopy London City lobby

and:

Canopy London City lobby (2)

Also on the ground floor is a quieter lounge area with a fireplace off the main lobby:

Canopy London City quiet lobby area

The reception staff are extremely friendly – verging on American levels! – and recognised my Hilton Gold status.

Canopy London City reception

I was given a king room on the sixth floor (there are twelve in total). Corridors are grey:

Canopy London City corridor

…. punctuated with a portrait every so often:

Canopy London City corridor art

I’m not sure if these portraits really fit into the rest of the hotel – my sense is they will age much faster than the rest of the decor and I’m not entirely certain what the point of them is.

Rooms at the Canopy London City hotel

My room was generously sized. As you enter you have an open wardrobe and luggage rack on your left:

Canopy London City room

…. followed by a safe, mini fridge and a tea and coffee making facilities.

Canopy London City open wardrobe

Nespresso machines are standard in all the rooms:

Canopy London City tea coffee

Canopy doesn’t provide bottled water – instead you get a reusable glass bottle that you can fill up in the bathroom and take to your bedside etc which gets a thumbs up from me.

Opposite the open wardrobe is the bathroom in white subway tiles:

Canopy London City bathroom

I was pleased to see that there is a towel rail along the shower enclosure so that you always have a hand towel to hand. It’s amazing how many hotels don’t have a convenient rail.

As you can see there is no bath tub, although the shower isn’t exactly small. There is a dual shower head.

I did notice that the towels seemed especially fluffy – some of the nicest towels I have used recently.

Amenities are these colourful Apivita Greek honey-based products:

Canopy London City toiletries

You also get a little box of amenities that usually include cotton buds, shaving kit etc but in this case was completely empty so seemed a bit pointless ….

Returning to the bedroom you get a king size bed:

Canopy London City bed

Bedside tables and plug sockets are on both sides, which is always good. Light switches are old-fashioned flip switches which I hugely prefer to touch-screen style controls as you can’t accidentally turn something on in the middle of the night. I wish more hotels would do proper, physical switches.

Canopy London City bedside plugs

The bed was comfy, with some really nice pillows.

Opposite the bed is a nice, large desk plus an armchair:

Canopy London City desk

Above the desk is the TV, framed in a case of knick-knacks and commissioned art (all securely glued down so that it doesn’t get stolen!):

Canopy London City decoration

I thought this was quite a charming approach to room decor and adds a bit more depth versus framed photos or pictures.

Depending on which side of the building you are on you also get some views, although I was surprised to find that the windows are double glazed with an additional layer of glazing on the inside, similar to what you occasionally find in older properties with heritage windows. Here is the view of the city from my room:

Canopy London City view

All things considered I found the rooms well appointed and well designed, with a slightly industrial-chic.

Oddly enough and despite being on the 6th floor you can just about hear the tube trains pass underneath the hotel. The vibrations must rise through the structure of the building, although it is only noticeable because the air conditioning is silent and the sound proofing is otherwise exceptional.

Dining at Canopy London City

The Canopy has a number of restaurants and bars, the majority of which have yet to open. There is a rooftop bar and terrace called Florattica which should have good views of the city when it opens in the summer, as well as a restaurant called Penny Squares which will also open in 2022 (it is currently just serving breakfast, as you will see below).

Canopy London City freedom cafe

For now, the Freedom Cafe in the lobby is the only option that’s open with a cafe, bar and a casual dining menu. It also does a free tasting every day, which during my stay involved a little glass of the best mulled wine I have ever had:

Canopy London City taste4

Menus are printed on newspapers which is charming and include various facts about the local area:

Canopy London City freedom cafe menu

In the end we decided to share a few of the smaller plates, which the waitress quite rightly warned us were not as small as we were imagining. The selection included mac n cheese croquettes, corn crusted chicken bites, grilled halloumi and scorched gunpowder tea radishes:

Canopy London City freedome cafe food

Breakfast buffet

The breakfast buffet is served in the main Penny Squares restaurant which is on a mezzanine level:

Canopy London City Penny Squares

It’s a light space. A full spread is provided, with hot items:

Canopy London City hot buffet

Smoked salmon and other deli items are also available, as is a range of bread and pastries, yoghurts, fruit and cereal. You can also choose from several different juices:

Canopy London City juice

I decided to go all in. Here is what I had:

Canopy London City breakfast

Other facilities

One other thing worth a quick look is the gym in the basement, which was very classily done. Although just a single room it felt very spa-like:

Canopy London City gym

Conclusion

It’s clear from my stay that the Canopy brand has got a lot of things right. The hotel is well designed and in many ways ought to be a blueprint for how the main Hilton brand should evolve too.

The breakfast is good and you are within walking distance of the City. Once the rooftop bar opens in the summer it is likely to be even better.

Rooms at Canopy by Hilton London City start from £171 per night midweek in January or 56,000 Hilton Honors points. You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.


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Comments (53)

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

  • Bob says:

    Rob, there are filtered water taps and ice machines in the corridor for you to fill up the refill bottle with (if you don’t like the idea of using the bathroom taps)

    • the_real_a says:

      Glad to hear this. Some water from Hilton’s tap system is absolutely foul (Double tree forest pines in Yorkshire looking at you). The zip taps are presumably also good for filling your own water bottles too instead of scraping the tap in the bathroom and getting it half filled at a weird angle.

      Having said that the Zip taps in my former office were out-of-order more time than they were in service.

  • Lynda says:

    Why would you drink water from a bathroom tap yuck unless you do it in your own home.

    • AndyW says:

      You know the water in the bathroom tap is the same as the water in all your other taps right…

    • sloth says:

      drinking from a bathroom tap is filth

      • Nick says:

        In old Victorian (and earlier) houses it’s recommended not to drink from bathroom taps as the pipes often contained lead. But in anything built since we realised lead poisoned you, it’s perfectly fine. Some older folk can’t get it out of their head though and the message filters down.

        • Pete says:

          Likewise, unless people are told it is filtered water!
          Most buildings of this size will store water in a tank, some are looked after better than others.

          If your house has a storage tank….. Don’t drink the tap water, unless it is mains fed.

          You are welcome!

        • Colin MacKinnon says:

          Actually, partly due to wartime precautions, every home used to have water storage tank. So if the water mains went, you had a store in the house.
          But since this was stored water, it perhaps wasn’t so fresh. So the kitchen cold tap had to come off the mains. Both the mains supply pipes and the storage tank lining were usually lead, so you would run the kitchen tap for five minutes every morning to get rid of the overnight lead build up. You obviously couldn’t do that easily with the storage tank.
          Even today, water is said to be unfit for drinking if it has been in the pipes for more than a fortnight. So worth flushing the toilets and running the cold tap for a few minutes after coming back from holiday.

          • Rhys says:

            Not sure flushing the toilets after a holiday is necessary – don’t think you’ll be drinking that water!

  • Richie says:

    I don’t like the wash hand basin and tap in the bathroom, I do like the room though, great desk, great armchair, lots of hanging space.

  • the_real_a says:

    I wouldn’t fancy being a cleaning staff member trying to dust around all of that “art” clutter in every room.

  • Pete says:

    Likewise, unless people are told it is filtered water!
    Most buildings of this size will store water in a tank, some are looked after better than others.

  • Doommonger says:

    The Canopy is an acquired taste, I am reliably informed that the pictures are meant to reflect the ethnic diversity of the area.

    Doomster.

  • Alan says:

    Hotel Indigo across the road is decent if using/collecting IHG points – nice upgrade with Spire status.

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

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