Hotel Review: Novotel, London Blackfriars

The four star Novotel in London Blackfriars is practical and comfortable softened with personal touches and splashes of colour.

Novotel London Blackfriars
Novotel London Blackfriars
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With over 400 hotels across 60 countries, Novotel are the cosmopolitans of the hotel world, offering clean, spacious rooms, great locations and a little luxury.

Novotel London Blackfriars is no different, thanks to charming service and personal touches. It’s also tech savvy: the ground floor is decked out with self-check desks to help reduce waiting time.

Interestingly, it ranks highly as an eco-friendly hotel, making significant efforts to reduce waste and recycle where possible.

Who for

Busy commuters will find Novotel Blackfriars a convenient choice as it’s just a three-minute walk from Southwark tube station, which connects to London Bridge, Bank and Canary Wharf in less than 20 minutes. There are seven fully equipped meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 100 people.

This is also a family-friendly hotel, and children under 16 can stay for free if they sleep in the same room as their parents/grandparents (max two per room). They can also eat breakfast for free if the adults have opted to have breakfast. Kids will receive a special welcome and personalised gift, and there’s also a late-check out option on Sunday (subject to availability). Check-out is normally at 12.00pm.

Accommodation

There are a total of 182 rooms, 10 of which are disabled accessible. All rooms are en-suite and have a TV, safe, mini bar and eco-friendly toiletries. We stayed in one of the Executive Rooms on the top (11th) floor, offering excellent views of The Shard and other prominent buildings in the City of London.

Novotel London Blackfriars suite
Novotel London Blackfriars suite

The room itself was very spacious and not too stuffy, with a large bed, sofa, desk, wardrobe and coffee machine. The bathroom was also a good size and had a rather amusing glass partition wall that turned from opaque to transparent at a push of a button.

Facilities

There is a small, heated swimming pool open every day from 6am. I loved that the pool had underwater speakers, blasting out hits such as “Call Me Maybe” during my evening swim. There is also a hot tub but unfortunately the temperature was far too cold to be enjoyable. The sauna also wasn’t hot enough.

The small but perfectly functional swimming pool
The small but perfectly functional swimming pool

As well as the pool, there is a neat little gym with treadmills, exercise bikes, a cross trainer, rowing machines and weights. You can help yourself to clean towels in the changing room.

Food and drink

The Jamboree Foodfest & Bar is located on the ground floor of the hotel and is popular with more than just the hotel guests. The restaurant is brightly decorated and has a fun, friendly atmosphere. As we arrived for breakfast we received a very warm greeting from the waiting staff. We then tucked into a tasty hot & cold buffet breakfast that included hash browns (always a winner for me) and delicious sausages, although the bacon and scrambled eggs were too dry for my taste.

The Jamboree Foodfest & Bar
The Jamboree Foodfest & Bar

The bar has a TV mounted on the wall which is popular with sports fans. There’s a wide range of cocktails and bar snacks, and you can enjoy 2-for-1 on signature cocktails during Happy Hour (Monday-Saturday 4pm-7pm and all day on Sunday). I tried the Tulum Tower, a sharp and tasty mix of Monte Alban Mezcal, passion fruit, pineapple juice and lime – most delicious!

Is WiFi available?

Yes, WiFi is available in all rooms free of charge. It’s easy to sign in, reliable and fast.

Room rates

A double room for two people starts at £135 per night. Breakfast is an additional £16.45 per person.



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What’s nearby?

London Blackfriars is predominantly a business district so you won’t find any museums close by. However the London Eye, the Globe Theatre and Tate Modern are all within a 15-minute walk from the hotel. London is an enthralling city and thanks to an excellent Underground network, the world is your oyster.

Getting there

There is no parking available at Novotel Blackfriars so if you can, take the train. The nearest station is London Blackfriars (about a 10 minute walk) and the nearest tube stop is Southwark (a three-minute walk).

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