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HOTEL


Park Plaza London Riverbank


LOCATED ON THE ALBERT EMBANKMENT near Vauxhall tube station, Park Plaza London Riverbank has recently undergone a complete refurbishment and an extension that saw an extra six floors added to the property. This included 100 bedrooms – bringing its total to 498 – and boosted the hotel’s image as a specialist in large, residential conferences and events.


ROOMS: Each guest room is air conditioned and features free wifi, smart LED TV, UK, EU and US power sockets and work stations with large desks. Suites offer views over the River Thames, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, and there are also accessible rooms available. I stayed in an Executive room, which offers 26 sqm of space. The rooms are stylishly modern, with a back-lit glass wall celebrating London that gives the room a futuristic feel. I was pleasantly surprised by the overall comfort, with the large bed offering a good night’s sleep. RESTAURANTS & BARS: The hotel’s signature restaurant and bar, Chino Latino, serves pan-Asian cuisine with a Spanish tapas twist and Latin cocktails.


18 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TJ • Tel: +44 (0) 333 400 6122 • rppres@pphe.comparkplaza.com/riverbank


Nothing took my fancy on the drinks menu, so the bartender created a bespoke concoction based on my preference for gin and pineapple – an odd combination, but one he pulled off effortlessly. My plus-one and I shared a selection of dishes, including crispy stuffed red chilli and soft shell crab tempura, a whole crispy tempura-fried lobster and a succulent miso-marinated duck breast. We finished off the delicious meal with a scrumptious blueberry and coconut cheesecake and the “zen garden”, which consisted of pistachio nuts, blueberry sorbet and lemon “sand”. MEETINGS & EVENTS: The property offers a selection of 24 meeting and event spaces, including the large ballroom, which can


HOTEL Arlo SoHo, New York


OPENED IN SEPTEMBER 2016, this was the first hotel launched under the Arlo brand by investment firm Quadrum Global. It was created by Brand Bureau and, boy, do they know what they’re doing when it comes to dreaming up a hotel concept that encapsulates New York cool. Located in a recently built property, Arlo SoHo is one of a new breed


231 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013 • Tel: +1 212-342-7000 • arlohotels.com


of “micro boutique” hotels; translation, rooms are on the small side but are designed to the nth degree to utilise space and evoke a luxury feel. The brand has partnered with local businesses to provide everything from uniforms to toiletries.


LOCATION: Set in Lower Manhattan, near the ultra-hip districts of SoHo, Tribeca and the West Village, and the financial district. ROOMS: There are 325 rooms – Kings or Queens with courtyard or city views. I was in a Courtyard King room, which is finished in white paint and tiles, and warm walnut cladding. The layout is exceptionally well thought-out, with a toilet and shower sectioned off with frosted glass. There’s a neat fold-up desk with USB and other power points. Instead of a wardrobe, there is a pegboard, beneath which is a mini fridge (there’s no mini bar). The bed is at the end of the long, relatively narrow room, in the window alcove. It’s cosy but doesn’t feel cramped thanks to its position by the window. There are two sets of blinds, lighter ones that afford privacy and blackout blinds, both controlled by switches. More USB points are located on each side of the bed, which was comfortable with crisp white bedlinen. Additional storage is located underneath and there is a 42-inch TV on the wall at


BUYINGBUSINESSTRAVEL.COM


the foot of the bed. The room is well equipped and includes a hairdryer and a steamer for clothes. RESTAURANTS & BARS: The SoHo Bodega sells juices, sandwiches and coffees, which can be consumed in one of the many communal areas. The Arlo Liquor Bar serves cocktails and more, with the main restaurant, Harold’s Meat +Three, offering Southern American-style meat or fish served with three sides. A continental-style breakfast buffet is also available here. MEETINGS: Visitors can hold informal get-togethers in the communal spaces of the hotel or these areas can be divided off with sliding doors for private meetings. There are three Studio spaces on the second floor that can be screened off or combined to provide more room. VERDICT: Rooms are comfortable despite their wee proportions; staff are friendly; food and beverage are good. A beautifully designed space with a buzzing atmosphere in a great location.


BBT July/August 2018 95


accommodate up to 650 people theatre- style or can be broken into two smaller rooms. It also features an entry area that is large enough for pre-event receptions, with a private cloakroom and bar, as well as dedicated toilet and kitchen facilities. The Plaza Suite can fit 550 in total or can be broken into ten syndicate rooms for educational sessions. LEISURE: The property features a 24-hour fitness centre fitted with Technogym equipment. A new spa and pool offers two treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room and ice shower. VERDICT: While the hotel isn’t quite as conveniently located as its three sister properties in Westminster, it offers a stylish backdrop for residential conferences.


By Becky Ambury


By Molly Dyson


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