Recently as a birthday treat we decided to visit London, as last time we did was for New Year’s Eve and we didn’t get to see everything we wanted too. We decided to stay out of the centre this time so we were able to drive down without any congestion charge. During my trip I put together a short series of 4 blog posts of different things we enjoyed doing and how we did them. This will be split over a few weeks of posts to help explain each day we spent there (There’s too much to talk about in just one!).
DAY ONE: GOOD HOTEL AND EMIRATES AIR LINE
From searching the hotel we knew it had no car park and we realised parking in London looked like a chore, the prices were crazy and the spaces so limited. We didn’t really want to pay £50+ for two nights of parking yet we didn’t want to travel on the train. I soon heard about the Just Park app, this gives you a selection of parking spaces close to your destination all for a cheaper price. I put in the hotel postcode and the dates and times of our stay, which gave me a wide selection of safe parking spaces. What I loved was that I could see all the reviews of other people who have used the space before. We chose a parking space at seagull lane, behind the Crowne Plaza at the Royal Victoria Docks costing us just £17 for 2 nights!
Upon arriving we were sent instructions with how to get in to the parking and where to park. These were easy to follow and we left our car there for 2 nights with no doubts! I would highly recommend using this service instead of paying crazy amounts! It was very useful!
Good Hotel, London
We deicded to stay at the Royal Victoria Docks as we wanted something a bit more relaxing than the sound of beeping of buses yet wanted to still be able to access everything easily. We chose to stay at The Good Hotel, a floating structure that creates a social presence in London. The hotel, which was shipped from Amsterdam and once used as a form of prison, has been completely redesigned to float upon the docks. The hotel is used to help employ those who are unemployed in the area by giving them training and the chance to learn in a new environment. The hotel also sources ingredients, materials, labours locally and works to provide a healthy work environment and fair salaries. They also work with local charities, help them grow their businesses and offer them a platform for further development. They also give £5 a night to their NGO partner, Niños de Guatemala, for every direct booking made.
Not only is this hotel incredible in changing the way businesses are run, it also provides one of the best stays we have ever had. From the moment we entered we were welcomed warmly by a young member of staff as if we were long friends rather than just a guest. This made it feel so much nicer and friendlier! We were shown directly to our room and was able to upgrade to a dock view (I highly recommend doing so, it makes all the difference in the morning!).
Our room was small, yet comfortable as it is a converted prison cell. It had a large bed overlooking the beautiful docks, coffee making facilities, a large mirror, a bathroom fitted with a walk in shower and a desk. We also had a small knitted doll sorta thing on our bed which was created to help take our worries away, which was a nice touch! We were also given a handy phone, which allowed us to make bookings and search for different things to do around London! The hotel is located VERY close to the city airport, this mean you can hear and see the planes take off over the hotel. The planes do go quiet between 9pm-7am, which didn’t really bother us as in the room itself we could barely here them and I love watching them anyway!
We visited the rooftop bar on the first night, which is probably one of the nicest parts of the hotel. The bar overlooked the docks and the Emirates airline, giving you comfortable sofas, swinging chairs and bean bags to enjoy the view with a glass of wine. The rooftop bar is open most of the day and late evening meaning you can enjoy the summer sunset. We also had breakfast in the main bar which consisted of a buffet style selection. This included make your own yoghurt, toast, pastries, eggs, spreads, fruit and selections of juices. We only had this on one morning but thought it was a lovely choice of light foods to have looking over the docks before a day in London.
The hotel is also situated a 5 minute walk from the DLR Victoria station and the Emirates Air line making it very accessible. Our stay here was wonderful, we slept amazingly and the staff were so lovely and always there to help, I would recommend it to anyone and cant wait to come back again!
If you’re looking for something a little different when staying in London (or anywhere!) check out Expedia’s new HOTEL EDIT, this helps you find quirky, fun and different hotels to really enhance your hotel experience.
Emirates air line
Now I must point out first of all, neither my boyfriend nor I like small spaces or heights, so we have no idea why we chose to book tickets. I guess over the year I’m aiming to do more things that scare me. The air line was right next to our hotel so on the first night (so we couldn’t chicken out) we headed straight over. we went around 6/6:30pm on a Monday night so there was no queue at all and we got straight on. The single trip costs around £3.50 a person, but we had this included in our hotel package. Before boarding we were also given a small guide on things we would see on the flight.
We boarded and the doors closed and we knew we couldn’t go back now. As the cable cart set off we were sat on comfortable seats with the radio playing explaining what we were passing over. In all honesty we were both pooing ourselves the higher we went and didn’t really listen to what was going on. The air line reaches highs off 300ft allowing you to see right over the Thames river, the O2, the London eye and the docks. The view is incredible and the photos don’t even do it justice. The ride was smooth even though it was windy and lasted around 10 minutes (even though it felt like forever). You can see right around London at a 360 degree view. After the flight we jumped off at Greenwhich station, right by the O2.
Even if you don’t like heights, I would recommend giving this a go, its a beautiful but quick way of travelling and seeing London from above. It makes a big difference from the tube or walking and also allows you to see London differently!
Later in evening, after the air line we travelled from Greenwich (the tube station the air line lands at) to Canary Wharf, where I partnered with the Cake App and reviewed the incredible Chai Ki restaurant (CHECK THIS OUT HERE).
Overall, our first day in London was wonderful, we couldn’t believe just how much there was to do outside of the central zone. I couldn’t recommend The Royal Victoria Docks more as a get away escape.
MY TRIP TO LONDON: TO BE CONTINUED (Day two: Night boats and Camden Lock)
Much love x