Hotel Review: InterContinental London – The O2 Greenwich in London
I wouldn’t call this place classy, as it implies I’m claiming a certain level of classiness myself…which is vulgar. So let’s call InterContinetal London – o2 ‘top notch’, instead.
Perched on the Northern tip of the Greenwich Peninsula, this high-rise haven is a mere 4-minutes walk from North Greenwich tube and even less to the O2 Arena.
Greenwich Peninsula is easy to reach from central London with the Jubilee line whisking you from Waterloo in 11 minutes and from Bond Street in a nifty 15.
Whether it’s business or pleasure the hotel has everything you’ll need – from elegant lounges to fine-dine restaurants and buzzing bars. It also boasts a luxury spa with a 17-metre pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and no less than 8 treatment rooms.
There’s even a tunnel-like walkway leading from the hotel lobby directly to the O2 Arena. This means – even if you’re shaking it up at the 18th floor Sky Bar – the venue can be reached in a matter of minutes.
Style & Character
This mighty tower boasts 453 rooms, including 59 suites, some of which are incredibly lavish, such as the two-bedroom penthouse with a grand piano.
One of the best things about the building is the amount of space and natural light. There are double-height windows everywhere, letting sunshine flood in. After dark this gallery of floor-to-ceiling picture windows show London in all its glittering glory.
The décor is an affable mix of modern (marble panelling, steel, glass) and old-school boathouse. Not quite minimalism, but borrowing bits and pieces from a variety of styles and eras, both current and classic.
The High Life
Bathed in moody, low-lit glamour the Eighteen Sky Bar is worth a visit as the sweeping view of Canary Wharf is incredible – especially at night when it could easily stand in for a James Bond film set. The cocktails are equally jazzy: Clipper Spritz, anybody? (Clipper Gin blended with Lemongrass and ginger cordial, peach and citrus, topped up in the best way possible for a gin: tonic water.)
Our room (Riverview, Superior King) was perfectly sized for 2 people and came with Tassimo coffee machine, a kettle and some exotic blends from the East India Tea Company. We’d also been presented with a bowl of fruit and a platter of tantalising (and probably fattening) chocolates, which earned them more than a few house points.
The slate-lined bathroom was a joy, complete with Anne Semenonin products, a power-shower and sizeable, separate bathtub.
Smart technology is great – if it doesn’t need a lengthy instruction manual. Thankfully, ours was idiot-proof and linked everything perfectly: the television to the Bose speakers in the bathroom, the air-con’, the lighting and the do-not-disturb sign all controlled from bedside touch-pads.
More importantly, the king-size bed and the ‘bulletproof’ windows with blackout curtains made for a great night’s kip – a blessing in this buzzing, giddy capital.
Eats And Treats
Breakfast was served in the light and airy Market Brasserie and you couldn’t wish for a better selection of foods. Cereals, breads, muffins, hams, yoghurts, smoked fish, blah, de blah; there’s even an egg station, where chef will rustle up some eggs à la Carte. Suffice to say I started Sunday morning in a great mood.
We had dinner at the elegant Peninsula restaurant, a complete treat before heading off to a concert at the O2 Arena. M had melt-in-your-mouth slow-roast Lamb with red cabbage and hazelnuts and yours truly had a perfectly tender Duck with 2 sides of vegetables…just because. I was informed the cheescakey, crumbly tart was utterly delicious.
The food lived up to its triple-A rating and the Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon rounded off proceedings beautifully. We also found the staff genuinely wanted us to have a great experience – which we did.
For an after-dinner (or post-gig) nightcap, head to the maritime-themed Clipper Bar, with its mix of antique maps, vintage clocks, models of tall-mast ships and the impressive oval marble bar. Here you can settle down with a house G&T made with exclusive Clipper Gin.
Alternatively, the ground floor Meridian Lounge provides a pleasant setting in which to work or simply stare out the window for an hour, or 2. Guests can order a classic high tea, or go for specialty coffee laced with oriental spices. Both are available out on the terrace. Open Monday to Sunday, 6am – 12am.
Down To Business
In addition to all this, there are 20 events spaces and meeting rooms including the Arora Ballroom, a staggering 3,000sqm pillar-free space, accommodating up to 2,400 guests.
If you hate the thought of fighting your way to the tube with 1000’s of O2 concertgoers, book yourself in here. It feels childishly thrilling to be waved through the ‘hotel-guests only’ channel and straight into the ‘tunnel’, post concert. ‘Home’ in 3 minutes.
If you’re looking for a stylish room whilst attending a business conference, you’re in luck. On the other hand, if you’re planning any sort of…ahem…brief encounter, you’ve definitely found the spot.
Verdict: A glitzy hotel, where concept, design and vibe are all bang on. All it needs is a heliport on the roof. Oh, and some decent greenery in the hotel grounds wouldn’t go amiss.
Address: 1 Waterview Drive, London SE10 OTW
Phone: +0044 (0) 208 4636868