TRAVEL REVIEW: London's Park Plaza hotel offers stunning capital views of the city
Think of London and chances are you'll conjure up images of Big Ben, the London Eye and the River Thames flowing past the House of Parliament.
A shimmering skyline, red double decker buses and hustle and bustle would also probably feature pretty highly in the mix too.
Imagine then if you could pretty muchÂ enjoy them all from your hotel balcony.Â Â
Well, imagine no more.
For the wonderful Park Plaza Westminster Bridge offers them all '“Â and much, much more besides too.
It goes without saying that the capital is a popular and much-loved destination for all ages with its wealth of attractions and fast-moving and cosmopolitan lifestyle.
And what better place to stop than right in the true, bustling heart of one of the world's most vibrant and exciting cities?
The Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, as its name suggests, is perched right at the end of perhaps one of the world's most famous bridges '“Â the opposite end from the House of Parliament and Big Ben (yes, I know its called the Elizabeth Tower but let's not split hairs) and there's wonderful views of both from the atriums and balconies.
Or at least there would be were the whole building not undergoing a massive refurbishment at the moment. Sadly, the world's most popular clock tower is clad head to foot in scaffolding for the foreseeable future, so you have to feel for those tourists who've come from all over the globe for that once in a lifetime iconic tourist shot.
But back to our base for three days.
Heading down to the Smoke on the train from Doncaster, we'd whizzed across on the tube from King's Cross to Westminster and then made the steady stroll across Westminster Bridge to the shimmering black glass frontage of the hotel which stands in the shadow of the nearby County Hall.
As soon as we stepped through the doors, me and my two children, aged 12 and 14, were warmly welcomed into the spacious lobby '“Â where nothing was too much trouble for the staff.
We were taken care of from the minute we set foot inside '“Â checked in with ease and a smile, bags briskly delivered to the room any questions answered and dealt with quickly and efficiently.
We were booked into a King Studio Suite on the 13thÂ floor '“Â and it lived up to its name '“Â plenty of space to relax and unwind '“Â a huge, plump double bed to dive into and sofa bed for the children to sleep in.
The bathroom housed a sizeable bath, shower cubicle with perfect temperature water (no messing with the controls) and ice cool air conditioning '“Â absolutely wonderful after a someway sticky day crossing London during the recent heatwave.
With a mini bar packed with drinks and snacks, much to the delight of the kids, it was the perfect way to settle into our surroundings.
But the biggest draw was the balcony '“Â and all three of us were blown away by the amazing view as we set foot into the London air.
Want an incredible view of the London Eye, the city's sprawling streets below and the perfect spot to soak up London in all its beauty? Then look no further than the Park Plaza.
To say we were truly chilled was an understatement '“Â sipping cooling drinks in the shadow of one of the world's most famous landmarks while the sun set over Waterloo (make your own Kinks references) was a truly wonderful moment.
After a fantastic night's sleep beneath the crisp, white sheets and plumped up pillows, the following morning, we'd taken the height of luxury to the next level '“Â breakfast served in the room.
Bang on 9am, the doorbell rang and into our room swept a table stacked high with juice, toast, coffee, full English breakfasts, croissants and pastries.
Dressed in their complimentary gowns and slippers, the lads were in their element and living the high life as they munched down bacon, eggs and sausages.
With a packed itinerary across London, we didn't have time to explore all the hotel has to offer '“Â and it has a lot to offer.
There's a string of restaurants and bars '“Â Brasserie Joel, the France-inspired restaurant with two AA rosettes, Ichi Sushi and Sashimi, as its name suggests, a fresh fish bar and the Primo Bar and 1WB bar which offers free live music and handcrafted cocktails.
There's also the Mandara Spa '“Â a relaxing escape from he daily grind with treatments, products and pampering to make your break and ultra relaxing one.
There's a swimming pool too open between 6am and 10pm '“Â but due to its popularity, you do need to book. And if that wasn't enough, there's also a sauna, steam rooms and a gym too.
In addition, there's an extensive children's programme to enjoy if that's your thing too '“Â movies and popcorn, cupcake decorating, pizza making and more.
Sadly, with just two nights at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, we didn't have time to fit everything in, generally flaking out after a busy day exploring the sights and sounds of the capital.
But time and time again we were drawn back to our 13thÂ floor balcony and its simply amazing views of a city that never sleeps.
From a coffee in the morning to unwinding among the twinkling lights at the end of the day, each time we gathered there we felt extremely lucky to soak up such a fabulous view.
If you are looking for a hotel right in the heart of central London, a stone's throw from all the attractions and just minutes away from the London Underground (Waterloo and Westminster are the nearest stations) this exceptional hotel is the one for you.
A wonderful and relaxing break slap bang in the middle of London was just the thing to recharge our batteries after a busy summer.
We can't wait to be back soon.
For more details, reservations and bookings click HERE