Here’s why a London staycation could be just the mini-break you need
Sometimes it takes an overnight hotel break in your own city to make you appreciate just how fabulous it really is. Slap bang in middle of London’s Southbank, overlooking the river, Sea Containers London is that hotel. Close to all the main attractions but just far away to be a respite from the craziness, it features up-close views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Shard, yet feels strangely peaceful thanks to the expanse of water you see from the riverside rooms. Once home to the marine transport company Sea Containers Ltd, the interiors by award-winning designer Tom Dixon, are inspired by the 1920s golden age of transatlantic cruise liners. Knock out features include the sweeping copper clad hallway and golden reception desk shaped like a ship’s hull and an array of nautical references throughout the property.
Expect faultless five star service but a relaxed New York vibe where anything goes and every member of staff you encounter has a cool calm ‘no worries, consider it done’ attitude. The crowd is very international – a nice mix of hotel guests taking chilled out meals in the brasserie and glamorous couples enjoying a drink or seafood platter on the terrace before heading up to the achingly chic 12th Knot rooftop bar.
We loved the stylish brasserie-style Sea Containers London restaurant, which features an impressive stainless steel circular bar and open kitchen and does one of the best breakfast buffets we’ve seen in London. Dinner here had a focus on sharing platters (think seabass cevice tacos, a divine burrata with squash and pumpkin seeds and fresh crab with avocado and sourdough). Larger plates were just as good with the lobster and whole sea bream being stand out winners for us. Don’t leave without taking a post-dinner cocktail in the experimental Lyaness bar. As well as an outstanding array of gin cocktails, this place is doing some really exciting stuff when it comes to sustainable and ethical practices such as recycling all their lemons. They also feature a banging non-alcoholic cocktail menu featuring gorgeous homemade syrups and tinctures.
Calm, luxurious, minimalist, Many overlook the river, (there are 359 in total) and are the perfect respite after a night out in London. Modelled around the hotel’s nautical theme and with unique accessories designed by Tom Dixon, you can almost believe you’re staying on board a luxury cruise-liner. Rainforest showers, quirky port-holes and marble bathrooms are a big part of the attraction but it’s the views that are to die for here. You just can’t beat opening your curtains in the morning, looking onto St Paul’s Cathedral and knowing you’re just minutes away from exploring the best parts of the capital.
Don’t leave without…
Checking out the hotel’s very own in-house Curzon cinema in the basement, which screens cool indie films alongside serving truffle hotdogs. You’ll also love the slightly surreal 1970s sci-fi inspired agua London Spa -not just because their massages are excellent but because they serve ice-cream sundaes and champagne alongside their treatments. Could you want any more?
Book Sea Containers London now From £170 per night