“Forget corporate-bland Hiltons - different city, same hotel; Hilton Bankside breaks new boundaries. The hotel reflects its local neighbourhood; in this case, trendy Bankside on London's South Bank, London's first port and a former industrial-and-warehouse area that now buzzes with creative and design agencies, food markets, craft breweries and pop-up happenings under railway arches.
From the graffitied artwork at the entrance to the industrial-size lampshades, this doesn't feel like a Hilton hotel. Built on the site of a former warehouse and essence distillery, the hotel reflects this in its design: polished-concrete-effect floors and walls, recycled timber cladding, white metro tiling and architectural lighting. The Distillery Bar, with naked lightbulbs and vintage perfume bottles, stocks over 60 gins and creates botanical cocktails that are works of art. The OXBO Bankside restaurant, with its papier-maché animal heads, exposed brick, and pressed-tin ceilings, offers a stylish Modern British menu - cider-marinated salmon and monkfish cheeks, for example, or saddleback pork chop with prune and apple - from its open kitchen. Or just chill out with a simpler menu in the bar.
Bedrooms are ultra cool with charcoal-grey floor tiles, light-oak panelling, polished-concrete-effect walls, floor-to-ceiling windows, superking beds and huge bathrooms. Definitely not fussy piles of cushions but useful elements such as decent reading lights and free soft drinks. Upgrade to get the best city views. There's a beautiful, cloudy-blue pool in the basement, bold contemporary British art scattered around, and staff that manage that tricky balance between professionalism and having fun. And you will have fun here. See how many of the 50 tiny foxes - images and sculptures - you can spot; designed as a memento of the urban fox that was found when the site was redeveloped. ”
Written by Helen Pickles
“Why do people love staying in your hotel?
Leading the next generation of Hilton hotels, guests staying at the hotel love our unique design and how it reflects the exciting surrounding area, combining the urban grittiness with polished contemporary design. Although we pride ourselves on being unique, the fact that we are a Hilton Hotel means that guests receive only the highest quality of service, while OXBO Bankside offers fantastic all-day dining focussing on the best of British produce and The Distillery allows guests to have the perfect pre-dinner cocktail. Finally, the location of the hotel also means that it has become the perfect base for guests exploring the city –Tate Modern, The Globe, The Shard, and Borough Market are just metres away, and the City of London just the other side of the river – but is far enough away to maintain a neighbourhood, community feel.
What is there to do in the area?
The area of Bankside is one of London’s oldest and most culture rich parts of the capital. With Tate Modern just a stone’s throw away, guests can explore the fantastic contemporary exhibitions and new wing of the museum to their hearts content, while theatrical evenings can be had at The Globe, The Old or Young Vics, or the National Theatre which are all within walking distance of the hotel. For fantastic views over London, head to the Shard which is close-by and for guests with an interest in food, Malty Street and Borough Market offer a wide range of wonderful local produce, delicious street food and tiny pop up restaurants in a warren of ancient pathways. Or slowly meander along the riverbank, exploring the tangle of gentrified hidden streets with live music, local pubs, coffee houses and independent galleries.
What kind of breakfast do you offer?
Hilton Bankside offers a huge spread of breakfast, with something for everyone. The Chef’s self-service Traders Tables are laden with pastries, artisan breads and baked treats, while the other displays cereals, home-made granolas and mueslis and all types of fresh fruit. Chilled cabinets also offer continental style breakfast foods such as cured meats, smoked salmon and an array of different cheeses and yoghurts. Finally, the piece de resistance is the open kitchen where chefs enhance OXBO Bankside’s personalised experience, cooking all the breakfast classics from indulgent pancakes with berry compote and clotted cream, eggs benedict with homemade hollandaise or the signature salt beef hash made with brisket and a fried duck egg.
Do you offer other meals? And can you recommend good places to eat out locally?
Our wonderful restaurant OXBO Bankside offers a delicious all-day dining menu under the helm of Executive Chef, Paul Bates. With breakfast, lunch and dinner, the food reflects British fusions with fresh local products. OXBO Bankside is a relaxed space which includes an open kitchen with chefs cooking in front of guests, adding to the theatre of the restaurant.
Bankside also offers a host of delicious eateries such as Borough Market, where guests will find street food stalls and renowned restaurants (including Brindisa where Chef Paul Bates sources his chorizo meat from), Bermondsey Street, very near to the hotel, where guests can choose from a range of delicious and casual independent restaurants like Pizarro and The Woolpack or Butler’s Wharf, where guests can enjoy dinner at the old classics like Pont de la Tour along the banks of the River Thames. Not to mention the vibrant South Bank area with a whole host of restaurants to choose from.
Which are your most popular room types, and why?
The most popular room type is the Executive Room. These rooms are more spacious, and also have access to the Executive Lounge which serves breakfast, afternoon tea and evening menus of hot and cold canapés with a range of selected beverages, in a stylish, refined setting. A cosy fireplace, dedicated arrivals area and pre-check in showers are some of the added benefits of this exclusive space.
What facilities do you have for children and can you fit extra beds in your rooms ?
Interconnecting rooms allow families to remain together while staying at Hilton Bankside, and one extra bed can be added to the rooms for young children needing to share. Complete with an ionizing purification system so that eyes don’t sting, the 17 metre heated swimming pool is perfect for families. Meanwhile, guests will notice the fox motif that can be spotted in various areas of the hotel. During construction, a friendly fox visited the building site every evening and came to be seen as the guardian of the hotel. For this reason, we decided to give him a legacy, creating a modern fox sculpture – 50 of which are hidden around the hotel, the ultimate treasure hunt for children!
What message would you like to give Hotel Guru readers?
Representing the next generation of design-led Hilton Hotels, we would like guests to understand that Hilton Bankside is a neighbourhood hotel with excellent food and beverage offerings and the perfect location for visiting London’s most-visited landmarks. Each part of the property has been carefully created to reflect the fascinating history of this riverside district that is filled with historic treasures, live music, street markets, pop-up events and award winning museums including the world renowned Tate Modern, Borough Market, Shakespeare’s Globe and The Shard.”