Novotels are a short cut to an easy, hassle-free stay- and this new addition, just across Blackfriars bridge and minutes from the South Bank and the London Eye, is a gem.
It’s been so thoughtfully designed and planned that all needs are anticipated, no matter who you’re with. Children under 16 stay free in a parents’ room (and get a free breakfast), a giant wall screen displays useful information on sightseeing and weather, and there’s a teens’ corner near the bar with an X box and a touch-screen table for video games.
There’s an attractive bar and restaurant, called Elements, which brilliantly has ipads on some tables, and for single travellers, little TVs and headphones. (No more “that looks an interesting book, mind if I join you?”) The décor is stylish and calming mid-century chic, and the top-floor Executive rooms have balconies with wonderful views of the glittering Shard.
There’s even a spa with a small, chic swimming pool- which has projections of coral reefs on the wall, rain showers and a sauna. A stay here is efficient, affordable and thoroughly enjoyable.
The Novotel is just a short 8-10 minute walk across the Thames from Blackfriars station or you can take a cab.