London, London, London… I’m starting to feel like you’re my second home! I go to London but I don’t get the chance to stay over and see it, so going to get wedding suits sorted seemed the perfect opportunity to indulge in a hotel stay at the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel.
The Radisson Blu Portman Hotel is a short walk from Marble Arch underground station (on the central line) and a stroll to Hyde Park. The hotel is in amongst the buzz of London yet far enough away from the main action to be almost tranquil. It is set back off the busy high streets and nearby is a wonderful road full of boutiques and quirky places to wine and dine in the evening.
On arrival the first thing I noticed was how the hotel lobby was very open, yet inviting with a sea of comfy sofas and coffee tables that beckoned conversations and catch up sessions. Many guests were having afternoon tea or simply relaxing with the daily newspaper. As reception areas go this one was certainly one I felt warm and welcomed into, I could of contently sat with a magazine and had a cup of coffee there.
Throughout my entire stay I couldn’t fault the staff. It’s very rare to find a team that appears to be content with everything running smoothly, regardless of whether it actually was or not. Everyone smiled and looked genuinely happy to be there with the concierge staff being attentive to anyone coming into the hotel. In some big hotels, particularly chains, you can often feel a bit forgotten as a guest but here that definitely wasn’t the case.
hotel is obviously a great location not only for those visiting the big
city for a trip away but also for meetings and events. As I have previously worked in
events management and venue finding I can appreciate what good
conference facilities are. This is a rare hotel that has conference facilities all on one
floor, ideal if you have a lot of delegates as you won’t be losing any!
They have 12 meeting rooms that can hold anything from 6- 600 delegates, so perfect for a big conference or just a small meeting.
Portman Square Gardens – EXCLUSIVE USE
Around the corner from the hotel is the Portman Square
Gardens. This is a place that provides an exclusive and very tranquil environment nestled among
trees, sculpted garden island beds and green lawn. It can be the ideal location for a private BBQ or some kind of private outdoor party. It is exclusive and only available on request.
Health and Fitness
There is a gym on
site which is always handy however it’s not very large, but it is the
perfect place for a quick work out. I love my workouts but decided I’d
get up early on the Saturday and join the rest of the locals and jog
around the glorious Hyde Park as it wasn’t very far away.
I must point this out because as I’m a blogger whose hand has slowly morphed into the shape of a phone… I’m always on the internet! When I go to a hotel and have no wifi or have to pay to use it, it can really put me off. I was happy to discover that wifi is in fact free and accessible throughout the entire hotel – this applies across the whole of the Radisson chain too.
The hotel has 11 floors, 10 of which can be accessed by the lift however if you are staying in any of the suites on the 11th floor then you’ll need to get out at the 10th and walk up the small set of stairs. We happened to be in one of these rooms on the 11th floor which was a big treat in terms of space and view.
We had a wonderful lounge area complete with a desk, television and of course two seater sofa to relax in front of the flat screen TV. There were a selection of magazines, a couple of DVDs to watch, along with some treats on arrival to toast our stay.
The bedroom was perfect for our visit as it separated all of our ‘stuff’, leaving the room simplistic and ideal to relax in. We had a double bed with two bedside tables complete with all the standard elements of a hotel room, there was a TV in a specific TV unit as well as the other TV in the lounge area. The decor was classic of a hotel like this, yet surprisingly wasn’t old fashioned.
The bathroom had a standard sized bathtub with a built in shower. It wasn’t a power shower but as this sort of bathroom goes it was quite a powerful shower. There was a build in hairdryer (one of the very old ones but worked fine) along with a specific make up mirror and grand main mirror. Toiletries can make or break a hotel for me but Radisson chain in general always come up trumps with their offerings in this department. The this works range is often found in their hotels, sometimes I’ve found sleep spray on my pillow from this brand but I know their toiletries are of a good quality standard and were on this occasion.
As we were in a suite we had our own kitchen complete with hob and fridge. I couldn’t quite believe how fantastic this was because even though we hadn’t got time to take full advantage of this, imagine you’re in London for quite a few days? This would help save costs and allow you to create your own meals/store your own food. There was a delightful coffee pod machine but also a kettle with a select of teas and biscuits.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Getting a good balance at breakfast time is mighty important so there is a lot of pressure for the hotel to perform. Served from 6.30pm until 10.30am gives everyone a good amount of time to come and dine at their own pace.
Having stayed in a few London hotels recently and not been ecstatic about the spread at breakfast, this one was in a league of its own comparatively speaking. Firstly eggs could be made to order (I had poached that were cooked perfectly), there was a delicious looking hot option with food that tasted of good quality. There was fresh bread (including gluten free), a wide range of cereals including nuts and seeds to add to your muesli, and ready made porridge that you could add some extra fruit and honey to if you wished.
I’m not a fan of cold meat and cheese at breakfast but some people love nothing more than to pop it in a croissant! However there was a wide range and once again it all looked of a high quality standard… so much so that I actually had to try some! You could even have smoked cheese!
To summarise breakfast there was so much to chose from you were almost spoilt for choice!
I just want to point out that even though we didn’t have our dinner at the hotel my partner and I were really impressed with the menu for evening dining. There was again a wide range available and at surprisingly reasonable prices.
The Radisson Blu venues do have a good standard throughout their hotels, which regardless of location I seem to have always had a good stay wherever I go. As you will agree this can be hard because a chain hotel in one location could be polar opposite to another, but this particular Radisson Blu was worth every penny. I felt looked after, so much so I could really relax whilst having a busy schedule in front of my days.
The only thing I would say is that I only got a taster of the hotel for one night, I would like to go back and stay longer because as I’ve discovered previously sometimes you don’t always get to see the bigger picture after only a day or so.
I say this rarely with any hotel I stay especially with London as I always want to try a different hotel each time, but both my partner and I agreed we will be coming back after we get married to enjoy a long weekend. Rooms start from around £169 B&B and I do believe it’s worth it for a good balance of sleeping well and relaxing but also being very close to all the hotspots that London has to offer.