Hotel Review: Canary Riverside Plaza, Canary Wharf in London
Right in the heart of London’s docklands and a mere five-minute walk to West Ferry DLR station, Riverside Plaza couldn’t be better placed for an early-bird flight from London City airport.
From hotel to airport is a mere 10-quid cab ride, which translates to 8 minutes. Forget chocolates on your pillow, this is the kind of decadent luxury that gets me salivating.
Riverside Plaza, or to give its full and rather clunky title, Canary Riverside Plaza Hotel, offers dramatic views across the River Thames and the city, with the shops and bars of Canary Wharf a short stroll away.
Thames Clipper boats, departing from the adjacent Canary Wharf Pier, offer a scenic voyage across to Greenwich or west to central London. It all makes me feel a bit George Clooney arriving at his wedding hotel, in Venice.
So what more is there, apart from the location? Well, guests also have access to Virgin Active Health Club with fitness facilities, treatment suite, saunas, steam rooms and a 20-metre infinity pool. The view of London’s dramatic, almost dystopian skyline is pretty special, from the pool edge.
I wouldn’t say the 142 rooms are a triumph of space and design, but they are reasonably sized, with a neutral palette of beige furnishings and blonde woods. Comfy King-size beds and all the usual hotel pleasantries come as standard. My (Premier) room was all C’s…comfortable, clean and calm. It’s definitely worth paying extra for that river-view room.
For International business travellers, there’s access to a commerce centre with the usual office resources: printers, desktop computers, plus a number of flexible meeting rooms if required. Wi-fi is ‘strong and stable’ throughout the building.
The hotel’s ground floor restaurant Quadrato serves mainly Italian-themed cuisine. At dinner, I was serenaded by Bowie and Paul Weller tunes, which you might think were out of place in a high-end hotel. On the contrary, it wasn’t at ear-splitting volume and it rather lifted the atmosphere. “ Fashion! Turn to the left / Fashion! Turn to the right”. Y’see? Spirits lifted, already.
The food was tasty enough: Minestrone ‘soup of the day’, (£7,00) followed by Roast Sea Bass Tapenade. (£23.00). I might have been tempted by such delights as Squid Ink Risotto, or a succulent and fatty Porchetta…” a moist boneless pork roast of Italian culinary tradition”.
For ‘pudding’, I pigged out on 2 extra plates of fresh fruit. Happily, no eyes were rolled at my greedy request.
Breakfast is the typical fanfare of Full English, Continental or ‘energy breakfast’. Not sure what the energy breakfast consists of, but it’s probably in the ballpark of mixed berries, Bircher Muesli and Greek Yoghurt smoothies. As for me, I order a hearty bowl of porridge with mango and banana, which totally sets me up for the day.
‘Classic’ Afternoon Tea is available from 3 – 6pm daily. If you’re feeling generous (or romantic) you might want to add a glass of Champagne, relocate to the terrace and watch the sun slowly disappear.
Built on the historic site of the West India Quay – the centre for Britain’s spice trade hundreds of years ago – Canary Riverside Plaza is an example of a superbly located, well run, easy-on-the-eye hotel, with decent food and friendly service. Staying here certainly made my early morning flight from London City, a more pleasant experience than it might have been.
A+ for location: Canary Wharf, ExCel, the O2 Arena and London City airport are all minutes away. Great for money hustlers, busy bodies and conference goers.
Address: 46 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, London E14 8RS
Phone: + 44 020 7510 1999