At the recent Cosmopolitan Magazine Blog Awards 2013, where I was lucky to receive a Highly Commended award for Tidy Away Today, I was kindly given a complimentary night’s stay by the hotel Ibis London Blackfriars.
It was the perfect opportunity for a mini mid-week break in the capital with my husband, since the children were being looked after back home by their grandparents. This hotel is ideal as a comfortable base for couples to explore the city on a budget. The location couldn’t have been better for us, as it was just a short walk to the Oxo Tower where my event was being held. In fact, we could see it from our room, as well as the London Eye.
It was also in a great spot generally; just a stone’s throw from Blackfriars Tube station and positioned close to the South Bank of the Thames, where there are lots of places to explore.
The hotel decor is very chic and contemporary in its design.
Details like felt fabric wall panels and designer wallpaper appealed to me, as well as an array of eye-catching lights. As we headed to our room, everywhere looked fresh and clean and the room itself did not disappoint; although compact and with only a shower (no bath), it had everything we needed and was cleverly designed to make the most of the space. The bathroom was in a curved ‘pod’ like space and the built in flat-screen TV enabled you to connect your computer and charge any USB device, which was handy. There were fruit and refreshments in the room and perhaps most importantly, a comfy bed!
On reading the hotel brochure, it was nice to know there was a generous window for breakfast – 6.30am to 10.00am midweek (12 noon on a weekend). Also, our check-out time was noon, which is later than some hotels (and it was no problem to leave our bags there after check-out while we did some sightseeing).
So, having enjoyed a fabulous awards night, meeting up with fellow bloggers and sipping cocktails, I slept really well and we went down for breakfast about 9am.
The hot and cold breakfast buffet was wonderful, there was a great choice and a nice relaxed atmosphere, with smiling staff regularly coming out of the kitchen to top up the croissants etc. The Ibis London Blackfriars enabled us to look around an area of the capital we hadn’t really explored well before. We took a short walk back to Oxo Tower Wharf, which has a mixture of shops, cafes and galleries, then strolled to nearby Gabriel’s Wharf where there were some characterful little shops. Then we walked on alongside the Thames, spotting Big Ben before reaching the London Eye. We visited the Tate Modern as well as Borough Market and the surrounding area which was brimming with coffee shops – heaven! Both of these were new destinations for us and all manageable on foot from the hotel.
We definitely saw a different side to London staying at this hotel; a less hurried and more relaxed experience, taking in all the sights, sounds and smells (the stalls serving hot food at Borough Market smelt amazing!). I would not hesitate in recommending the Ibis London Blackfriars hotel to anyone seeking a nice, clean and affordable place to stay in a handy location. The reception staff were knowledgeable about the area and although we perhaps wouldn’t choose it for a trip with our sons, due to a limited number of family rooms, for couples or those with older children having their own room, it is spot on. A great big thank you to the Ibis London Blackfriars for our complimentary night’s stay, we were very grateful and had a wonderful time.