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- Booked: London on Virgin Atlantic in October
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Oh man. Talk about a blast from the past.
I stayed here in October 2013 and never got around to writing a review about it. However, I still remember it all so clearly…
It was also my first time staying on the “other side” of the River Thames, as I’d always stayed closer to Soho/Hyde Park. So staying in Southwark was a totally different experience.
And I’ll never forget the wonderfully curated, breathtaking Paul Klee exhibit at the Tate Modern and walking around overwhelmed by the artworks afterward.
Arrival and check in
After flying in to Heathrow, we took the metro all the way to the Southwark Station.
We got there around 11am, but they were able to check us in early.
My Hilton Gold status was recognized, and we were told about the free breakfast and given access to the club lounge (which ended up being a lifesaver!), although this policy is only at select properties.
You can get Hilton Gold status by having either the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card or the American Express Hilton HHonors Surpass card.
A huge benefit of Hilton Gold status is the free breakfast. You can also get the occasional upgrade… and I was given access to the lounge at this particular hotel, where I imbibed many drinks. I must’ve saved at least $150 on breakfast for 3 days plus all the drinks and snacks I had. So it was well worth it to have status in this instance.
London is one of those cities where if you have a nice hotel room, that’s great and all, but you’ll probably never be in it.
That was the case here, as I was out in Hyde Park, seeing shows, meeting up with friends, and doing touristy stuff.
So this room was a great launchpad, and we came back often to get snacks and drinks, but were mostly gone.
That said, it was clean, an OK size, and had a functional bathroom layout.
The room was perfectly neutral. And the staff were courteous and attentive throughout.
The wifi was free and blazing fast, and the free breakfast was great!
I… didn’t take any breakfast pictures or lounge pictures. Maybe that’s why I never wrote this review. Damn! :/
I have a picture of some half-eaten pastries and an Old Speckled Hen beer on the balcony though.
Just know that you can go in any time for beverages, but they lock up the beer between official “snack” hours. And it is locked up all day on Sundays. Maybe something to do with the drinking laws?
Breakfast was the usual hot and cold items, pastries, fruits, and smoothies. Really nice spread. I know it’s lame saying that with no pictures, but it definitely helped get the day going.
Between the breakfast and lounge, I snacked often.
We came back to the room a few times to base out. I loved Southwark.
A *little* off the beaten path. Plenty to do and see at all hours of the day and night. Lots of bars, and beautiful views of the city on the other side of the river.
I forgot the tube would stop running at midnight so had to take a taxi back one tawdry evening. The London metro is NOT 24 hours, so be sure to check your stop on the timetable for the last tube.
Overall, a lovely property in a really cool location. I’d go out of my way to stay here again.
And writing makes me kinda miss London.
Hopefully this review didn’t suck too bad.
I usually like to write my reviews a little, uh, closer to the date I stayed. I think I was finding footing with Out and Out around that time, and didn’t take as many quality pictures as I would’ve liked.
But I think about this Hilton often (that sounds weird to say), and wanted to post this for posterity. It’s also a nice reminder of all that’s happened since then.
Maybe I’ll visit again soon and can post an updated review. 🙂
Staying at this particular property enhanced my overall time in London. The Hilton Gold status was invaluable, and I’d love to explore Southwark and the other side of the River Thames a bit more.
If you’ve stayed here, how does your experience compare?
And, side note, does anyone find the Hilton credit cards worth having?
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