Marriott’s Bankside Hotel London: Bottom Line Review

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During a recent trip to the United Kingdom, my wife and I spent four nights at the Great Scotland Yard Hotel, one night in Cambridge at the University Arms Hotel, and our final night back in London at the Bankside Hotel where I used a Marriott 85K free night certificate to cover our stay. At check-in we were warmly greeted and given a glass of wine each. We we were very pleasantly surprised at how good the wine was! Next we were informed that we had been upgraded to a suite. This was a great start to what turned out to be a very pleasant one night stay.

Bankside Hotel London Bottom Line Review

The Bankside Hotel is a terrific option for anyone looking to stay on London’s south bank (the south side of the River Thames). Nearby you’ll find the Tate Modern museum, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Millennium Bridge, Borough Market, and great views of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Just a bit farther you’ll find the London Eye and great views of Big Ben across the river. The hotel is also just steps away from Blackfriar’s railway station and an easy walk over the bridge to Blackfriar’s tube station. You won’t get the feel of classic old-style London here, but it’s easy to get around, and rooms are much bigger than you’ll typically find on the north side of the river.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Stunning hotel: both the common areas and our bedroom were gorgeous
  • Excellent check-in experience: fast, friendly, and offered welcome drinks (we chose wine which was surprisingly very good)
  • Wonderful elite recognition:
    • Upgraded to a suite (I tried applying a Nightly Upgrade Award to get into the hotel’s biggest suite, but that didn’t work. Fortunately, we were upgraded to a nice suite anyway).
    • Welcome gift in room, in addition to our choice of welcome gift: 8 GBP or 1,000 points.
    • Free breakfast buffet
    • 4PM late checkout offered
  • Mini-bar items are complimentary
  • Every floor has water refill stations
  • Bottom floor includes a very nice little art gallery

Cons

  • Very modern: if you’re looking for old-world charm, this isn’t the hotel (or the neighborhood) for you. Instead, consider either Hyatt’s Great Scotland Yard Hotel or, better yet (for old-world charm), IHG’s Kimpton Fitzroy.
  • Expensive: Rooms typically go for over $600 per night for refundable bookings. Point prices usually range from 62,000 to 78,000 points per night (but I’ve seen as low as 56K per night and as high as 92K per night).

Additional details

  • Cash price: Rooms typically go for over $600 per night for refundable bookings.
  • Point price: Usually range from 62,000 to 78,000 points per night (but I’ve seen as low as 56K per night and as high as 92K per night).
  • Point value: Good. I believe that you’ll usually get around 1 cent per point value or better when compared to the hotel’s refundable rate.
  • Destination fee: none
  • Location: Very good central location, but not great if you’re looking for old-world charm.
  • Marriott Titanium Benefits: 
    • Room Upgrade: We booked a standard room and were proactively upgraded to a  suite.
    • Free Breakfast: The hotel offers a good full buffet, which is completely free for Platinum elites and higher.
    • Club Lounge: None.
    • Late Checkout: We were offered 4pm checkout but didn’t need it.
    • Welcome Amenity: We were offered our choice of 1,000 points or 8 GBP food & beverage credit (we chose the latter). Additionally, there were some welcome treats in our room.
  • Would I stay again? If I had occasion to stay in that part of London again, yes I’d happily stay here again. That said, I much prefer the Bloomsbury area (where the Kimpton Fitzroy is).

Image Gallery

Common Areas

Check-in desk
Lobby: upstairs from check-in desk
Outdoor terrace
Art gallery in basement. This was my kind of art museum: no crowds (no one except my wife and I were there), no entrance fee, and some really cool art.
Art gallery in basement
Water refill stations on guestroom floors

Restaurant: Art Yard Bar & Kitchen

Art Yard Bar & Kitchen is the only restaurant in the hotel
We ate dinner at the hotel. Shown here is the bread palette, which was great. My main (the salmon) wasn’t great, but my wife said that her pasta was terrific.
Art Yard breakfast buffet
Art Yard breakfast buffet
Art Yard breakfast buffet
Coffee, including specialty coffees like this latte, are included with the buffet

Suite

We were upgraded to this suite. I loved the spaciousness, the decor, and the views

Welcome gift and card
This picture somehow makes the bathroom look small, but it actually had plenty of space and very nice plush towels

I appreciate that they provide a refillable water bottle
Mini-bar snacks and drinks are free
Mini-bar snacks and drinks are free. We didn’t try Montezuma’s Splotch. It sounds too much like something that would cause one to splotch their pants.

Gym

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FNT Delta Diamond

I stayed here when the hotel first opened. It was one of the better Marriott properties in London. However, the lack of a club lounge is uncompetitive. They could at least offer complimentary soft drinks from a pantry in the lobby. What I didn’t like was the design. When I come to London, I want that quintessential English decor. There are so many old-school 4-star and 5-star hotels in London that I would choose over Bankside.

stvr

No door, not a suite. My humble rule.

Art

going to London for a week in 2 weeks. Staying at Hyatt Regency Blackfriars, so I’ll be interested to see how that hotel is. I’m Globalist so I expect at least a suite upgrade and breakfast. We’ll see.

FNT Delta Diamond

That’s an ex-Crowne Plaza that was basically gutted and rebuilt. It’s a solid 4-star hotel, not the 5-star hotel advertised. Standard rooms don’t have coffemakers. The decor is very sterile and feels almost institutional. There’s really no decorative element in the rooms that feels British or London. You could be at a generic Hyatt Regency in Omaha or wherever. Staff are very good but don’t really do anything proactive. If you ask for something, they do it and do it well. Globalist recognition is basic; buffet breakfast in either the main restaurant or the small makeshift club lounge. Club Lounge is basically a broom closet. Not very competitive with other London properties, although the included wine selection was decent. During the day when the lounge isn’t open you can get complimentary soft drinks and complimentary wine from the lobby bar.

Arthur Leyenberger

thx for the info. I guess I could have done better. Will be more selective in the future 😉

FNT Delta Diamond

The only better Hyatt in London is the Hyatt Regency Churchill. At least in terms of being genuinely elevated above four stars and having a real club lounge. But rooms are tired and at the end of day it’s a Hyatt Regency in a city full of excellent four-star and five-star hotels at or near the same price. The JW Marriott Grosvenor House probably has the best club lounge of any major chain hotel in London.

Last edited 16 days ago by FNT Delta Diamond
Arthur Leyenberger

I was just approved for the IHG Biz card, so I will have a gusher of points coming my way in addition to my current stash. I’ve stayed at a couple Kimptons (Dresden, Glasgow) and Intercontinental (Edinburgh) and they seem a cut above Hyatt Regencys. Was in the Berlin Grand Hyatt last year for a week and enjoyed that.
Currently I have booked Hyatt Regency in Amsterdam in October and wondering if I should re-think that.

FNT Delta Diamond

After several years of IHG diamond and IHG ambassador, I gave up on IHG. There just aren’t enough IHG properties in the US to make it worth doing 75 nights a year. And frankly when I do need an IHG it’s often in a small town where the only option is a Holiday Inn Express. There’s no need to be an IHG diamond at a Holiday Inn Express.

Some Kimpton properties are nice, but on the whole they are more equivalent to a Marriott Autograph Collection/Tribute Portfolio or Hyatt JdV/Hyatt Unbound.

Hyatt Regency can be a mess. There are a lot of 1970s and early 1980s Regencies that are going on three, four or five renovations since they opened. They just keep putting lipstick on a pig. Domestically, they’re more like a Sheraton or Marriott. Internationally, they’re more like a JW Marriott. I’ve never understood where Grand Hyatt is supposed to be positioned. I don’t consider them equivalent to JW Marriott. I see them more like Renaissance or Westin.

Last edited 16 days ago by FNT Delta Diamond
Mario

Funny timing, I just checked in here yesterday. So far I love it. Only gold status but upgraded to the same suite. Great size room, love how modern and art filled the hotel is. Service has been fab. Love the location right next to Tate and river walk

Lee

Somewhat similarly priced is the Marriott at Grosvenor Square. Different vibe. Just two or so blocks from Hyde Park, Oxford Street, Bond Street, and many great restaurants.

FNT Delta Diamond

Bankside and the Hyatt Regency Blackfriars have some of the best locations in London because you can easily walk (no more than 20 minutes) to just about anywhere you want to go in London. St. Paul’s, Borough Market, Westminster, St. James’s Park, etc. Grosvenor Square, both the Marriott and the JW Marriott, are in a superb neighborhood but it’s a little farther away from the things that many tourists want to do to say nothing of corporate offices in the City of London or Canary Wharf. The price difference in cash or points between the Marriott and JW Marriott isn’t much. The JW Marriott is a much better choice; bigger rooms and a better club lounge. It will be interesting to see what the Hyatt Regency Churchill, Marriott Grosvenor Square and JW Marriott do once the St. Regis and Rosewood (at the ex-American embassy in Grosvenor Square) open for guests. With respect to St. Regis, Marriott has operated the JW Marriott more like a Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis since London hasn’t had either of those brands. The JW Marriott has lost a lot of corporate travel as it was the hotel for the U.S. Embassy. Most of those people have shifted to the Hyatt Regency Albert Embankment. Principals like senators and the secretary of state still stay at the JW Marriott but that contract ends once the Park Hyatt London opens up later this year.

Last edited 16 days ago by FNT Delta Diamond
Billy Bob

It’s terrible that Glob. They need to shape it up.

Denise

Great review!