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Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel – great for spacious rooms in central London

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This is our review of the Hilton London Bankside hotel.

If the name ‘Hilton’ fills you with visions of bland, cookie-cutter hotels filled with IT contractors in white short-sleeved shirts then prepare to be surprised. Hilton London Bankside is a surprisingly trendy Hilton that opened in 2015.

It is so popular that, pre-covid, midweek occupancy was apparently at 95% and the hotel is in the middle of a £25m upper floor extension which will add 76 rooms. There was no disruption as far as I could tell – despite staying on the top floor – and the only reason I noticed was because I spotted the scaffolding from the outside.

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

Thanks to Hilton for arranging my visit for review purposes. This is one of two London ‘staycation’ reviews we are publishing this month, with Hyatt’s Great Scotland Yard following next weekend.

The Hilton Bankside website is here.

Hilton London Bankside location

The hotel is just round the corner from Tate Modern in what is otherwise a residential area of the south bank, albeit amongst a cluster of hotels:

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

As you can see, the closest stations are Southwark (Jubilee Line), Blackfriars (Thameslink and Circle & District Lines) and, across Millennium Bridge, St Pauls (Central Line). Waterloo and London Bridge stations are also not far.

Despite its central location, Bankside has the benefit of remaining a fairly quiet, residential area. Although it’s exceptionally close to the Tate Modern, Millennium Bridge and South Bank river walk, this isn’t an area overrun with tourists (unlike Soho and the West End, for example) which means it’s a pleasant place to stay.

Inside the Hilton London Bankside hotel

The exterior doesn’t give much away:

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

…. but walk in and you can see that this is something different. The lobby itself is fairly dark, but they’ve gone for the industrial chic look with lots of metalwork and lighting:

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

My room wasn’t ready when I arrived at 2:45pm (Hilton only guarantees rooms are available from 3pm) but the check-in process was done ahead of time. I was also given access to the Executive Club lounge (I am Hilton Diamond) whilst I waited.

Check-in involves a glass of prosecco, although it was poured from a screw-top bottle and mine was very flat …. so not sure if it was prosecco or just standard white wine!

Rooms at Hilton London Bankside

I returned to reception shortly after 3pm and picked up my keycard before heading up to my room on the seventh floor. I had been given a King Executive Room including lounge access, although as a Hilton Honors Diamond member I get that anyway.

The room was incredibly spacious for London at 34sqm, particularly as this was in a mid-tier category and not a suite. Entry-level rooms are not much smaller, at 30sqm, so the Hilton Bankside is a great pick if space is what you are after.

This is what you see when you walk in:

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

Missing from the vestibule were hooks or hangers of any sort, which would have been ideal for coats and jackets. Instead you have to put them in the wardrobe by the bed or on the chaise longue.

As a modern hotel there is no heritage structure to contend with and the room was a conventional square shape. Centre stage was the king bed, but there was loads of space around it on all sides, far more than you can even see in the photo above.

You won’t run out of juice because there are two three-pin mains sockets and two USB-A ports on each side of the bed:

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

To the left of the bed is a wardrobe, complete with (very high quality) bathrobes, a safe, iron, hairdryer etc.

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

On the other side of the bed is a chaise longue:

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

Whist, in the opposite corner, you’ll find a good-sized desk.

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

The TV is mounted on the wall above a console table and mini bar. The fridge was stocked with water and soft drinks (chargeable) whilst a kettle and Caffitaly coffee machine were also available. It wasn’t until the next morning, when I was making myself a cup of tea, that I realised they had forgotten to replenish the coffee pods.

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

The bathroom isn’t huge but is a far sight bigger than the tiny one I had in the Canopy Cannes recently. Whilst there’s only one basin, there’s enough space for two people to be in the room at the same time!

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

The shower features rainfall and adjustable heads and the water pressure was great.

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

One thing the hotel does not necessarily have is views – at less than 10 storeys it is surrounded by similarly-sized buildings. In my case, I had a view of an internal courtyard overlooking the Executive Lounge skylight:

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

Service was generally good, although our request for a dental kit went unfilled multiple times and took an age when it finally did arrive. I was surprised to find a turndown service was performed, which I wasn’t expecting at a ‘standard’ Hilton in London.

Pool & gym at Hilton London Bankside

Anyone staying also gets use of the leisure facilities, in this case the pool and gym in the basement.

Hilton Bankside gym

Here is the pool, which is a decent size for a central London hotel:

Hilton bankside pool

You can see a jacuzzi in the rear corner but this is the same temperature as (and is indeed connected to) the pool, which I always find a bit odd. It would’ve been nicer to have a ‘proper’ hot tub. There are no saunas or steam rooms.

Hilton Bankside Executive Lounge

One thing you might not expect from a seemingly more leisure-focussed hotel such as Hilton Bankside is an Executive Lounge, but it’s actually very pleasant.

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

It’s very quiet in between the service periods of breakfast and happy hour in the evening, and a large skylight means it is a pleasant spot to sit and work should you need to. When the food and drinks come out it gets fairly full, but only for an hour or two.

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

During the day the offering is relatively sparse, with hot drinks and soft drinks available as well as a surprisingly extensive selection of fruit juices including lychee:

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

In the evening, during happy hour, cava, wines, beers and basic spirits are available and offered by an attendant – you can’t help yourself.

Food features a few salads, some cold cuts and 2-3 hot items which involved gnocchi and chicken the day I was there.

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

Whilst I wasn’t there for breakfast, I did pop in afterwards when they were in the process of clearing it away and it looked much more extensive – extensive enough that you could easily get by.

Saturday Brunch at OXBO Bankside

The hotel’s restaurant, OXBO, offers a bottomless brunch on Saturdays which we decided to check out. It’s available from 12:30 (after the main breakfast service) and is £42 for four courses or £58 for four courses + two hours of bottomless cava.

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

The offer is not bad. It includes unlimited access to the starters from a market table (ie help yourself) as well as made-to-order egg dishes such as eggs benedict or omelette. The market table impressed, with prawn cocktail, miso salmon, various salads, cold cuts and more.

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

The main course is served to share at the table and features three dishes:

  • slow cooked short rib on polenta
  • baked cod with celeriac puree
  • gnocchi and roasted root vegetables

The quality is arguably not as good as the starters. It comes with the right number of items per table:

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

Desserts are self-serve as well, also from the market table:

Review: the Hilton London Bankside hotel

Conclusion

The Hilton London Bankside is quite unlike other mainline Hiltons thanks to its design-led style. (Hilton Bournemouth, reviewed here, is similarly design-led.) If it wasn’t for the Hilton branding you might think you were at a different chain entirely.

Base rooms here are some of the largest I’ve seen in London, so if space is important to you then the Hilton Bankside is definitely worth consideration. If you’re here on holiday or with kids then the pool is also a good insurance policy against inclement weather!

Overall, this is an excellent Hilton and well worth a visit if it suits you location-wise.

You can find out more, and book, on the Hilton London Bankside 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 (June 2024)

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The Platinum Card from American Express

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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 and they come with generous sign-up bonuses. You can apply here.

You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:

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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 (43)

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

  • Michael C says:

    Our favourite family hotel, we go every few months.
    As someone mentioned, prices can vary wildly.
    Pool opening times are very long: 0630-2200h? (off top of head).
    For theatre-goers, 5 mins. either way to The Globe / Old Vic.
    Borough Market (and therefore London Bridge) only about 8 mins away.
    The last couple of times, no space for room upgrade as Honors Gold, but asked for and was readily granted lounge access instead.

  • Tariq says:

    Have stayed in a standard room here before and it was much smaller than pictured – a metre or so of space around each side of the bed.

    Would still recommend at £200 or less – would want to be in the Westin at £300-400 tbh.

    I would expect an Exec room to have additional amenities like dental kit, shave kit etc but perhaps withdrawn on ‘environmental grounds’?

    No Pelotons in the gym? Or were they out of sight?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Always see bad reviews of the Westin service. Seems like RBH don’t quite get it yet?

      • Tariq says:

        Stayed last weekend. Reception was a bit hit and miss but otherwise had exceptional service. Breakfast in the restaurant particularly and service, housekeeping in the spa/pool.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          That’s good to hear. I do want to give it a go myself this year.

    • James says:

      There are 2 pelotons but last time I was there one of the cages on one bike was broken.

    • JD says:

      Stayed there last year and they had a Peloton then.

  • Simon says:

    Its a good venue for meeting rooms too – have attended conferences and organised meetings here. Fair price for zone 1, and easy to deal with.

  • Mr Benjamin Murphy-Ryan says:

    Stayed a couple of times knowing HH members rave with this hotel – was underwhelmed, room small, dark, bathroom nice, gym average. Service was generally just meh – lounge wasn’t great food or service, staff . I think it’s down to individual preferences really – if you get cheap it’s ok, and good location, but would definitely
    check others if expensive – LXR, curio, Conrad and park lane.

  • AlanC says:

    Fantastic upgrade to the huge rooftop suite with outdoor terrace on the 30th December. And the night was on points too!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Think this one/the floor is closing while they extend on the roof.

  • pking says:

    Well done on calling out the IT contractors, you forgot to mention they’re generally overweight, incompetent and ignorant with mail order brides.

  • JD says:

    Love the Hilton Bankside. Sadly though its too pricey for my company business trips these days

  • Ramsey says:

    Love this hotel and only ever stay here when in London (usually on points). Like many who have commented, it’s really well run, friendly staff, comfy bed, powerful shower, the best Hilton Exec lounge in London, nice pool, great breakfast … what more could you ask for! As for the location, it’s our favourite – much quieter than the tacky touristy areas, love the walks along the south bank to all the attractions and across the millennium bridge to St Paul’s. Stayed a few weeks ago ans didn’t even realise renovation work is going on. The only thing that worries me is learning that the hotel is getting bigger and hope they can keep up the service standards.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      That’s because it isn’t really yet … they started prep and have just secured the funding to continue

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

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