Review: the new Hampton by Hilton London City hotel
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This is our review of the new Hampton by Hilton London City hotel in Aldgate East / Whitechapel.
Over the past few years we’ve seen a number of new hotels pop up just East of the City of London, in the area around Whitechapel and Aldgate. This includes the Canopy London City (review here) – another Hilton hotel – as well as Hyatt Place London City East (review here).
This month they were joined by the Hampton by Hilton London City, which opened a month early (a rarity these days!). It is literally around the corner from Hyatt Place, on Osborne Street, which is what Brick Lane becomes at its Southern end.
Whilst the site was previously a hotel called the Arbor City Hotel, it has undergone a complete refurbishment. I don’t think anything is left of the original bar the concrete structure itself.
As the Head for Points expert on hotels in the area, Rob sent me to check it out. The Hampton London City kindly offered to host me. The hotel website is here.
Where is the Hampton by Hilton London City hotel?
As mentioned above, this is a very happening neighbourhood. The opening of 3+ international hotels suggests the area is slowly bowing to the pressures of gentrification but it does appear to be doing so in an organic way – there is no big masterplan here. Whitechapel and Brick Lane still feel rough around the edges, which is what makes them so attractive.
Local attractions include the Whitechapel Gallery (unfortunately closed Mondays, when I stayed) as well as Brick Lane itself, Spitalfields Market and, just up the road, Shoreditch. It is also exceptionally convenient for the City itself.
The closest Tube stations are Aldgate East (District and Hammersmith & City lines) and Aldgate (Circle and Metropolitan lines), with the former just a couple of minutes away. Liverpool Street station is 10 minutes away and gets you onto the Elizabeth Line (useful for Heathrow), Overground and Central lines.
Inside the Hampton London City
Hampton is Hilton’s budget / select service brand, so don’t expect anything too grand.
The ground floor of the Hampton is given over to public space, with a range of seating from tables, high tables and armchairs suited to every need. It is akin to a citizenM hotel, with hotdesking encouraged.
Check-in desks are immediately ahead and the staff greeted me as soon as I walked in, which was a pleasant welcome.
Rooms at the Hampton by Hilton London City hotel
As this is a select service hotel there aren’t a huge amount of room types. Your choice is largely between a standard king room, queen room with sofa bed or room with two queens. There is some differentiation based on view / floor.
I was given a City view room on the 5th floor – the top floor. The view was, indeed, good:
…. although as you can see, Brick Lane is still very much underdeveloped, with a large abandoned plot of land directly in front of the hotel. It all adds to the realness of the area!
The rest of the room is identical, I believe, to any other king room. That includes an open wardrobe / luggage rack as you walk in.
The bathroom is basic, but features a heated mirror (luxury!) and shower:
Toiletries are ‘Spa Therapy’ branded which I think is just a fake generic brand. They were fine although I thought the wall-mounted pumps felt cheaper than the rest of the room.
On the other side of the bathroom door was a small mini bar set up. This featured a fridge, kettle, tea bags etc. There was no coffee machine. A safe and hairdryer were also in the drawers.
The room itself was a fairly standard size for London. It was small, but not tiny: still plenty of room to walk around the bed.
The bed was very comfortable, with two types of pillows. On each side of the bed there were dual-gang sockets as well as two USB-A ports – perfect for 2023!
Opposite the bed is a large 55″ TV:
Unfortunately, this isn’t a smart TV and there is no option to cast from your phone or mobile device, which is frustrating – you are stuck with live TV. I did raise this with the GM, who agreed and said he is currently in discussions with Hilton to get this fixed. Apparently brand standards is one of the reasons why it hasn’t been done already. Volume was limited to 25% – great for other guests, although perhaps a little on the low side.
Underneath the TV is a small desk although it really is tiny. You’d struggle to get anything more than a 13″ laptop on this. To the left is an armchair:
Overall the rooms are very smart. Okay, fittings are in wood veneer, but clever use of lighting and a nice blue fabric headboard as well as some modern framed pictures above the bed elevate the experience. Can’t complain.
In the basement is a small gym:
Breakfast at Hampton London City
Whilst there’s no restaurant at the Hampton, in line with Hampton brand standards all guests get free access to the hotel buffet breakfast which is served in the lobby lounge area.
Because it is open to all guests, you can walk right up to the buffet and start eating – no need to register your arrival or wait for someone to seat you. It is fairly basic but crucially includes hot items including sausages, baked beans, mushrooms, hash brown and scrambled egg, although sadly no bacon.
There’s also a range of cereals and pastries, and a waffle machine:
…. plus some yoghurts, cold cuts and fruit:
Interestingly, I was told that the current footprint of the Hampton London City is only about half of the hotel. A second wing with an additional 100-odd rooms is due to open at the rear of the building in due course and increase the overall capacity to over 200 rooms.
Assuming the location works for you, you can’t really go wrong with this hotel. Whilst it doesn’t offer much in the way of amenities, the rooms are well designed and you have everything you need on your doorstep, including your choice of hundreds of excellent restaurants in the area.
Rooms start at £170 per night but can top £250-300 at weekends, which is a reflection of London hotel rates at the moment. Redemptions hover around 70,000 points per night. You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.