With the due date for the baby on the horizon, myself and Katie are making the most of our little moments together at home. However, when the team at Marriott reached out to offer us a stay at the London County Hall Hotel for a Babymoon experience, we packed our bags for one final trip away together. It’s somewhere that I have walked past on many occasions and always wondered what it’s like on the inside. Here are a few reasons why you might want to have a peek yourself…
In terms of location, there are very few (if any) hotels in the Capital that can compete with the Marriott London County Hall Hotel. Perched right on the edge of the Thames on the south side of Westminster Bridge, the views from over the water really are unmatched. If you book a room with a view, you are treated to a front-row seat that looks over the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and the slightly more modern London Eye. In fact, the latter is the only other place you might need to go for a better view. You just won’t be able to enjoy it in your dressing gown!
In a stark contradiction to this prime location within the hustle and bustle of Southbank, there is a real sense of tranquility when you arrive at the County Hall. The front door is located within a very secluded courtyard off the main road, and you feel so shielded from the outside world as soon as you enter the reception area. In the current climate I really try and avoid the crowds, and the Marriot London County Hall Hotel does an excellent job of following current COVID protocols and makes you feel very safe. The interior is traditional on the ground floor and is very faithful to the hotel’s previous incarnation as a county hall; think wood-paneled walls, parquet flooring and grand marble fireplaces.
Our room for the two-night stay was in one of the Balcony Suite overlooking the Thames. It had a very generous footprint on the top floor with a walk-in closet area, huge bathroom and tub, and a living area with its own separate entertainment system. The bed was extremely comfortable, even for Katie who was 37 weeks pregnant at the time of our visit. Of course, the real focal point in these suites is the balcony, and we made full use of this during our stay. Outdoor space is at an absolute premium in London, and it was so lovely to be able to sit on our little balcony and watch the world go by down below. This was made even better by the sunset that flooded the balcony with the most beautiful light each evening. It was also the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast. A huge spread brought to our room each morning, the veggie breakfast was full of flavour and the pancakes decadent to say the least.
It would have been very easy to not leave the comfort of our suite for the entirety of our stay, but there was plenty to see (and to eat) in the hotel. Upon our arrival we were treated to an afternoon tea in the Library. Open at the weekends to the public, it is such an incredible space to be in, with rows upon rows of old books adorning every wall. On the table itself, there are plenty of choices of tea, and every course was expertly prepared. I’m more of a savoury person when it comes to afternoon tea, so the smoked salmon sandwiches were definitely the standout.
Speaking of food, if steak is your thing then I highly recommend a trip to Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar. I had the most unbelievable cut of beef served with triple cooked chips and a side salad, washed down with a very, very good bottle of Primitivo red wine. It’s extremely rare for us to both eat meat and save it for special occasions only. There were absolutely no regrets here; Gillray’s source all of their meat from a local butcher and each dish was prepared so well. For starters, we shared a couple of the vegan options (for some balance) and then I finished off dinner with a very decadent cheeseboard. We actually took our deserts and the remainder of the wine back to our suite to enjoy on the sunset on the balcony; it was a such a relaxing way to enjoy dinner.
Things To Do
Elsewhere, the Marriott London County Hall Hotel has a huge gym and indoor pool that is definitely worth checking out. It’s open to external paying members too, but every time I went it was fairly quiet. You’ll need to book a time slot for the pool (at the time of writing), and it’s a great place to hear the water and really relax on one of the sun loungers. We were also very lucky to have the opportunity to have our own private capsule on the London Eye during our stay. Katie hadn’t been on it before, and it had been almost twenty years since my last “flight” on the London Eye. The views really are unmatched and it is an incredible way to see London from above. I will admit that my vertigo did slightly set in on the way up, but once that had passed it was a really great experience.
If you are looking for a hotel in Central London that has the views, has the location, and has the service to match then I would highly recommend checking in to the Marriott London County Hall Hotel. You can find out more here.