I recently celebrated my 6th wedding anniversary with my wife with a night at South Place Hotel, near Liverpool Street Station, London. The hotel is primarily a business hotel during the week, but we managed to get a better deal by staying on a Friday evening and booking through a comparison site.
Location: Located between Liverpool Street and Moorgate right near the City of London. Across the road is a M&S (only open weekdays but contains a large food hall in the basement), and a HSBC bank. The station contains a number of shops and restaurants (most open 7 days and until late at night) and is only 5 minutes walk away.
Check In: We arrived around 2.30pm and were greeted politely by the reception staff. Check in was swift as we’d already paid online, our credit card was pre authorised for extras which is fairly standard practice. We also ordered a free newspaper for the next day (more on that later). We were shown to our room by one of the staff. She explained the wellness centre (sauna and steam room) on the first floor and took us to our room on the fourth. We were shown round our room, including the high tech entertainment system (more later) and funky lighting system.
Room: The hotel is only a couple of years old and rooms are pretty high end. Some of the most interesting features are automatic blackout window blinds, a high tech lighting system with a number of pre-sets, and a B&O based entertainment system. The blinds worked really well overnight, we could barely tell it was light outside in the morning. The lighting system was mixed. It’s pretty complex and uses a touchscreen system that appears to sometimes respond to touch, and sometimes not. It has a night setting if you need to get up while it’s dark but don’t want to put the lights on, and includes other settings such as movie which dims the lights. The entertainment system is hosted on a B&O TV, which looks like a picture frame on the wall, square with the screen located above a speaker. The system uses an entertainment system that provides a number of TV channels along with movies on demand (most of which are free to watch, including some of the latest releases – a nice touch for a rainy day!). The system comes with a heavy B&O remote, but it’s not the most responsive or intuitive to use by any means!
The room contains all the normal amenities you’d expect from a high end hotel from slippers and robes to hairdryers, a full minibar (obviously pretty pricey, but including pretty much everything you’d ever need) including fridge and high end toiletries in large 100ml bottles. The most startling extra was a toaster – we’re guessing for room service breakfast, but you could bring your own bread if you got peckish!
The bed was comfy, although probably a little soft for my personal tastes. The pillows provided are very soft feather pillows, but they don’t really provide any support. There is a pillow menu to change these, but we didn’t bother in the end.
The bathroom contains many high end items and many nice extras including nail kit, and even a spare hair bobble. There is a shower over a large bath, the shower is a rainfall shower, and very good, the bath is very large and definitely big enough for a soak! The shower isn’t the best designed as water flows straight onto the floor, so have a towel handy to mop up the impending mess!
Food: The hotel has two restaurants. On the ground floor is the restaurant used for breakfast and also open for lunch and dinner, called 3 South Place. On the 7th floor is their signature Michelin starred Angler – see our review here. There is a good selection, but prices are definitely up there for business travellers in the city – including breakfast at over £20 per person if ordered separately from the room.
Overall: We really enjoyed our stay in South Place Hotel. The hotel is obviously high end with room facilities to match. There were a couple of things that let us down though, which was a little annoying from such a high end establishment. Firstly, even though we ordered a newspaper, it didn’t arrive at our room in the morning. Secondly, the milk in our fridge for tea and coffee must have been left for a while as it has separated in the carton and wasn’t drinkable. Finally, this is very much a city hotel. At 4am on Saturday morning we were kept awake for 30 minutes while a bin lorry emptied (what seemed like an endless amount) of bins from the office blocks down the road. There is also a building site across the road which started work around 8am. This is not necessarily the hotels fault, but if you’re after a peaceful night then look elsewhere or wear your free earplugs supplied in the room! I’d stay here again, but probably if someone else was paying and I didn’t want to stay in bed in the morning!
Hotel was paid for by the reviewers.