London’s most famous square mile of concrete jungle, The City, can feel isolated after trading hours, but those visiting The Four Seasons Canary Wharf needn’t worry – this warm, welcoming hotel is one of the most well-connected in the world.
I couldn’t wait to review the Four Seasons after years of hearing great things about it from my father. An ex money trader, he’s been flown on business to bustling financial districts across the globe – and The Four Seasons quickly became his favourite place to stay. Upon my arrival at the towering building in Canary Wharf, it took all of five minutes to understand why. Smiling, efficient staff (who impressively remembered my name and which vehicle I arrived in at the drop of a hat) ensured that as soon as I entered the Four Seasons hotel lobby I felt completely relaxed. A glass of Prosecco at check-in sealed the deal – after five minutes in the building I felt pampered and very happy to be there.
A walk around the ground floor told me everything I needed to know about this stylish bolthole – it was essentially created in 1999 to house businessmen with expense accounts and well-heeled travellers, all passing through the finance district for various reasons. The clientele descending the lobby’s ‘floating’ staircase are immaculately dressed and painstakingly polite, complimenting the hotel’s quiet, refined atmosphere. You’ll find no quirky gimmicks or faddy artwork at the Four Seasons – the timeless ambiance would never be tarnished by the transient trends so common to many of its neighbouring East London establishments.
After being led to my room by yet another pleasingly helpful staff member, it was time to explore. My Executive Suite boasted a living room and bedroom, two bathrooms and a wardrobe big enough to please Imelda Marcos. The room’s American black walnut wood and cream walls give off a slightly bland, corporate feel, but this can be expected in a location primed for seasoned business travellers.
Lack of creativity with the hotel room’s design is all but forgotten once you take a look out of the window (I’d definitely recommend paying extra for a river view room – you will not regret it) which overlooks a scenic bend in the Thames and the twinkling lights of our beautiful capital. Wood-framed box windows with cushioned seats are the room’s best feature, allowing guests to sip a glass of champagne and watch the world go by as if floating mid-air. So inviting is this peep-hole, we thought about camping there for the night to drink in the spectacular view at daybreak – until we felt how comfortable the beds were.
Breakfast was an extremely civilised affair – we tried the chocolate chip pancakes, a full English and selection of fruits (we were hungry), all of which were delicious – but beware, if you wish to eat in your room, it will most definitely cost you. An order of tea, juice, fruit, pancakes and Full English breakfasts for two came to the eye-watering total of £130. I felt this was rather a lot considering many other 5* hotels I’ve stayed in offer breakfast in the room for a much, much smaller fee.
Had our stay been during the summer months, we’d have loved to take a rather romantic trip to work aboard the Thames Clipper boats departing from the adjacent Canary Wharf Pier – they offer a scenic voyage across the river to central London, very near our offices. Between the hotel and the river is a gleaming, standalone glass-walled Virgin Active health centre, where guests can enjoy complimentary admission. The facilities include a 20 metre infinity-edge swimming pool plus spa pools and steam rooms, and the hotel also has a fitness centre on the second floor. When I expressed my dismay at having left my gym kit at home, I was pleasantly surprised by the hotel assistant’s suggestion to rent some appropriate clothing from the hotel – yet another well thought-out extra that made a thoroughly enjoyable stay all the more memorable.
Accommodating staff, luxurious linen and utterly breathtaking views defined my stay here. With a myriad of shopping destinations, restaurants, bars and clubs on your doorstep, if you’re celebrating a special occasion in East London, the Four Seasons is a brilliant base. The hotel may be situated in the centre of the action, but trust me, it’s a picture of serenity behind those opulent closed doors.
Amy @ Fashionbite xxSign-Up To FashionBite’s Weekly News