Review: art’otel Battersea Power Station hotel, London
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This is a review of the art’otel Battersea Power Station hotel in London.
Regular readers will know that it is very rare that we accept hotel reviews from readers. We think there is a lot of value in having all of the hotel reviews done by the same small group because you, as a reader, can have confidence that the writer has a lot of previous experience to draw on.
Occasionally, however, a reader goes to a hotel which is newsworthy. If you live in London, you are likely to have been sucked into the hype surrounding the reopening of Battersea Power Station, with the shopping centre inside now open.
Few people know that there is a brand new hotel directly opposite the power station. Reader Nigel checked in a few weeks ago whilst it was still in ‘soft opening’ mode and sent us this report.
The hotel website is here. Over to Nigel:
The Park Plaza Group normally both own and operate hotels. However, this new art’otel at Battersea Power Station is their first managed property, and is the first art’otel hotel in the UK.
The concept behind the art’otel brand is to invite guest artists to create and present original art for the location. There is a range of original art throughout the hotel and particularly in the extensive lobby. Jaime Hayon is the first guest artist. The colour palette in the hotel is soft with the art making the big impression although it could be better lit.
The hotel had 50 rooms available when I stayed during the ‘soft opening’, although it will eventually have 164. However, even though the gourmet restaurant, heated swimming pool (image above) and some of the rooms were not available the hotel looked to be exploiting its location with ‘chunky’ pricing.
We paid £452 for our Skyline View 27 sq m room including breakfast. Prices on a midweek day later this month are similar to what we paid with an entry level room priced at circa £300.
Entrance is via Electric Boulevard. Car parking is next door to the hotel although this is a public car park and at present there are no discounted rates for hotel guests. We came by car and paid £26.50 for a 24 hour stay. The hotel is also well served by the Northern Line underground extension, with the nearest tube being the new Battersea Power Station station (!).
The reception desk is at the end of the large lobby & check in was efficient and friendly although clearly the staff were still in training.
Rooms at art’otel Battersea Power Station
The bedrooms are small starting at 27 sq metres with Junior Suites at 60 sq metres and a Masterpiece Suite at 100 sq metres.
Only the lower category rooms were available when we booked. We chose a 27 sq metre Skyline View King which was space constrained but did manage to fit in everything you needed.
We chose this category because we thought Skyline View should be the reason to stay at this hotel. Indeed, it is marketed via implying that you will see the iconic towers of the power station and the river. This is not the case.
Rooms face one of two ways. You either overlook the Victoria to Clapham railway lines (which is great if you love watching trains) or face apartment buildings such as the admittedly funky Frank Gehry designed tower.
Don’t expect a view like that of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Indeed, apparently only two rooms will have a view of the power station. One is a Junior Suite; the other the Masterpiece Suite. The latter is now bookable with the price moving around between £1,400 and £2,100 per night.
Rooms are well designed with extremely comfortable beds topped with mattress toppers, modern plugs with USB A ports; a very effective simple to use mood lighting system, a desk, large Samsung TV and an easy chair.
Bathrooms have one sink and a walk-in shower with both rain and hand showers. These can both be used at the same time which is not always the case.
The rather good toiletries are from Kevin Murphy, a big name in skincare products in Australia. Slippers and really soft dressing gowns are particularly notable.
In this room category soft drinks in the mini bar are complementary but for a bottle opener you needed to go to the reception desk where they hold five corkscrews for guests who ask! There is no bottle opener in the rooms themselves which is an oversight. There is a smart coffee machine (not Nespresso) and two bottles of water were provided.
The hotel has a spa of which the gym, sauna and steam were open when I visited. The pool had yet to open.
Restaurant-wise the hotel’s main restaurant JOIA will open this month, headed by a two Michelin starred Portuguese chef called Henrique Sa Pessoa who runs Alma in Lisbon. The views from this restaurant DO overlook the Battersea Power Station towers as will the swimming pool and rooftop bar once they open. We were given a sneak preview of the restaurant and bar and they are impressive and the views are amazing. We will definitely pay this a visit.
TOZI Grand Café on the ground floor was open and we had a really good dinner with scallops and a well priced sharing Porterhouse steak for three. This restaurant is ‘an outpost’ of TOZI in Victoria and food is Venetian inspired cuisine. Here is a PR image:
Breakfast is a la carte, not a buffet. Don’t expect simple porridge or an English breakfast; porridge is with chia seeds and agave whilst bacon & eggs exists but no sausages, mushrooms or fresh tomatoes were available. All smoothies and juices on the menu were out of stock (!) but overall it was a good experience. The menu refers to Dave’s strawberry jam with no explanation. Apparently, in case you wanted to know, Dave is the pastry chef.
It is worth asking about the possibility of an upgrade if you have Radisson Rewards status. We have Premium (mid-tier) status but unfortunately no higher category rooms were available.
The hotel has a brilliant location next to the power station but the rooms underwhelmed for the price, albeit we enjoyed our stay and particularly our meals in Tozi.
To us this felt like a four star hotel, not five star.
We were a little disappointed by the view from the rooms themselves, but the top floor destination restaurant and pool do have a magnificent outlook. Décor in the lobby is a little bland and the lighting needs improving to highlight the wonderful art. Overall I feel art’otel Battersea Power Station has some way to go to reach its full potential, and there is nothing that can be done about the small size of the rooms or the lack of views.
The art’otel Battersea Power Station website is here.
Since Radisson Rewards moved to a cashback redemption model, you can redeem points towards the cost of any room on any night at roughly 0.2p per point.
How to earn Radisson Rewards points and status from UK credit cards (March 2023)
Radisson Rewards does not have a dedicated UK credit card. However, you can earn Radisson Rewards points by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.
These cards earn Membership Rewards points:
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 60,000 Radisson Rewards points. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with four free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 90,000 Radisson Rewards points
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 30,000 Radisson Rewards points. This card is FREE for life.
Membership Rewards points convert at 1:3 into Radisson Rewards points which is a very attractive rate. The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 3 Radisson Rewards points.
Even better, holders of The Platinum Card receive free Radisson Rewards Premium status for as long as they hold the card. It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Marriott Bonvoy Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.
(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.)