Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London

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01. Introduction: Business class battle royale – British Airways vs. Virgin Atlantic
02. British Airways 747-400 Club World (business class) San Diego to London (LHR)
03. Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London
04. Hilton London Heathrow Airport, Terminal 4
05. The 3 things that I love most about London
06. Virgin Atlantic Club House, LHR
07. Virgin Atlantic A340-600 Upper Class (business class) London (LHR) to New York (JFK)
08. InterContinental New York Barclay
09. jetBlue A321 Mint (business class) New York (JFK) to Los Angeles
10. Delta Connection CRJ-900 economy class Los Angeles to San Diego

Choosing a hotel is something that always gives me heartburn and a bit of anxiety – especially in big cities such as London! It all comes down to the fact that there are far too many choices, and I’m always second-guessing the decisions I make. Am I overpaying? Is the location ok? Is it going to be too noisy? What about room service? These are just a few of the questions that always swim around in my head as my cursor nervously hovers over the “book now” button on hotels.com.

But just as it always seems to happen, the decision to stay at the Park Plaza in Westminster ended up being a fine choice. I can’t really say that I’ve ever made a bad hotel decision yet, so I guess I’m doing something right (even if it doesn’t really feel like it).

The reason for choosing the Park Plaza came down to the fact that it was just a hop and a skip away from the Westminster Bridge and the Parliament building. I’ve been to London before – and I remembered that area to be quite nice, so I figured that I couldn’t go wrong by staying here. Never mind that my last visit to London was 19 years ago, and a lot can happen in that amount of time…

To get to this hotel, I took the Underground from directly from London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR). It was about a 50 minute ride to the Westminster station, but once I emerged from the train and stepped out onto the sidewalk I felt like I had made an excellent decision to stay at the Park Plaza. Big Ben was directly in front of me right across the street, and I could even see the hotel in the distance across the bridge. How perfect is that?

park plaza hotel westminster bridge exterior

That circular-shaped glass building straight ahead is the Park Plaza. I took this picture while standing on the Westminster Bridge (with Big Ben and Parliament Building right behind me) so the location is quite excellent.

park plaza hotel westminster bridge exterior

Here’s a closer look at the Park Plaza. What you can’t see in this pic is my other arm vigorously patting myself on the back for making such a fine hotel selection.

This was my first stay at a Park Plaza property, and immediately after stepping through the doors I knew I was in for a treat. The lobby was large and grand, and I really liked the dark mood lighting – dark hotels have never really been my thing but this seemed to work for some reason.

park plaza hotel lobby london

Welcome to the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel!

park plaza hotel lobby london

The main lobby was enormous! That’s the check in desk straight ahead (way off in the distance).

park plaza hotel lobby london

Also located in the lobby were several restaurants, cafe’s, and shops.

park plaza hotel bar lounge

This is the bar / lounge, which always seemed to be a popular place to hang out.

After checking in at the front desk, all I could think about was the possibility of having a room with a nice view of Big Ben and the Parliament Building. This hotel faces those landmarks directly, and I had pretty high hopes that this might be the best view from a hotel room that I’ve ever had. It’s dangerous to inflate hopes up that high…

view from park plaza hotel london

This is what saw immediately after stepping off the elevator on the way to my room. My fingers were crossed tightly that I’d get a room with a view like this!

park plaza hotel london hallway

Walking down the hallway, still hoping and praying for an amazing view…

london park plaza hotel room 834

“I’ve got a room on the 8th floor, so the view HAS to be good!” – this is vaguely what I remember thinking as I inserted the key card into the slot on the door.

The air was definitely let out of my tires once I entered the room. While it was a decent size room with nice finishes and design touches, there was no view to be had. At all. The windows overlooked the interior atrium of the hotel with no peek to the outside world at all. Total bummer!

london park plaza hotel room 834

I opened the door, and…total letdown. So much for an amazing view.

london park plaza hotel room 834

The burning carnage of whatever is being shown on the TV screen might have well been my hopes and dreams of a good view.

view from park plaza hotel london

Really? That’s the view? I’ve been in roadside Comfort Inn’s with better views than this!

london park plaza hotel room

OK. Enough complaining about the view. The rest of the room was pretty nice actually.

london park plaza hotel room

This bit of script on the floor at the entrance was a very nice design detail.

london park plaza hotel room

The colors in the room were quite nice, if not a bit dark.

london park plaza hotel furniture

I liked this chair quite a bit. It wasn’t all that comfortable but it sure did look cool.

london park plaza hotel room desk

Very much appreciated was this large desk with a convenient electrical outlet for many different kinds of plugs.

london park plaza hotel room mural

I thought this mural on the closet door was pretty cool until I turned the lights out on the first night. Then it got creepy.

london park plaza hotel room closet

Here’s a pic showing the large closet space behind that mural.

london park plaza hotel room

Wide angle pic showing the entire room looking towards the main entrance.

london park plaza hotel room

Another wide angle pic showing the other direction. Looks dark, doesn’t it?

london park plaza hotel minibar

Glassware in the bar area just over the minibar.

london park plaza hotel minibar

Well-stocked minibar with attached refrigerator.

london park plaza hotel bathroom

The bathroom was definitely my favorite part (and not because it wasn’t dark and dreary).

london park plaza hotel bathroom

Spacious and well-designed. Exactly what I like in a bathroom!

london park plaza hotel bathroom

I thought for sure I was going to make use of that tub, but it never happened. Looks nice though!

SANspotter selfie

Working hard to get pics for this trip report, despite having just got off a long flight from SAN.

london park plaza hotel bathroom

Despite not trying out the tub, I do have to say that the shower was quite nice.

london park plaza hotel bathroom

Elemis amenities here in the bathroom.

As you can see, this room was quite nice – but very dark and dreary. I didn’t mind the darkness so much at first but by the end of my stay I was very much looking forward to leaving. It was so dark that it became difficult to tell what the weather was like outside, or even what time of day it was. That was very disorientating, and highly annoying as well.

Food options in the Park Plaza Westminster were decent. I ate in one of the on-site restaurants (Brasserie Joël) the first night, and I found the portions to be much too small for the price. I walked away still feeling hungry after spending nearly $50(US) which didn’t really sit well with me.

Brasserie Joël restaurant

Interior of the Brasserie Joël restaurant.

Brasserie Joël restaurant

I had the risotto as the main course – pretty good but small. Well, small by American standards that is.

Brasserie Joël restaurant

I had to order something else because I was still hungry after the risotto. This gazpacho was pretty good.

I did take a chance on ordering room service for breakfast the next morning though, and I paid $20(US) for the full English Breakfast which ended up being too much to eat.

london park plaza hotel room service

Room service breakfast: Full English Breakfast.

I had lunch outside the hotel that day, but for dinner I opted for room service again. That meal was good – though a bit light on portion size as well.

ondon park plaza hotel room service

Room service dinner: roasted chicken with tomato soup.

In conclusion, I’m not really sure what my feelings are on the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel. Overall it was very nice, but the dark room really killed the experience for me. I was more than happy to check out and leave when the time came. But I have a strong suspicion that I would have enjoyed my stay immensely if I had a room with a view to the outside world – especially if that view was looking straight at the Parliament Building off in the distance.