Part of the massive regeneration project currently underway in the Paddington Basin, the hotel is located within Paddington Central, a mixed-use development also comprising offices (Prudential and Visa International both have headquarters here), residential apartments and shops. The property stands out from the rest of the development due to its shimmering exterior wall of copper, bronze and gold, while the interior is bright and modern, particularly in the glass-fronted reception area.
WHERE IS IT? The hotel is a few minutes’ drive north of Paddington station, or around ten minutes on foot. Head towards the end of platform eight, and follow signposts towards Sheldon Square, which will take you along the regenerated (and well-lit) canal. Turn left into the Paddington Central development, past Sheldon Square itself, and the hotel is on the left-hand side.
HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 206, including three suites and 32 Executive rooms on the tenth and eleventh floors.
ROOM FACILITIES All rooms at the hotel (aside from the suites) are the same size (around 28 sqm), and feature queen-size beds, flatscreen TVs, wifi internet access (£14.99 for 24 hours), a separate bath and shower (57 Paddington rooms feature larger showers only), tea and coffee-making facilities, minibar, laptop-sized safe and trouser press.
The difference between Superior and Executive rooms is that the latter (available for a £30 upgrade) enjoy upgraded amenities including free wifi access, free local telephone calls, bathrobe and slippers, an espresso machine and a Bose iPod dock. The three suites, which are around 56 sqm, have two flatscreen televisions, king-size beds, huge bathrooms and a Bose Wave CD player and radio.
Views from the hotel are not the most spectacular, although those at the rear do look westwards towards Wembley (I could just about make out the stadium from my top-floor room). The rooms are bright and modern, particularly in the pristine white bathrooms.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS Elements bar and restaurant are both located on the ground floor beyond reception. The stylish bar has seating for 60 people, and was buzzing when I visited on a Thursday evening at 7pm. Features include modern artwork, high and low-level seating and plasma TV screens. The restaurant follows Novotel’s New Generation Elements offering, which features a flexible menu where guests can choose a selection of dishes in either taster, starter or main-course sizes, as well as a standard menu of contemporary dishes. There are also a couple of tables designed for lone diners, which have LCD TVs and headphones so that you can watch a film or catch up on the news over dinner.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The hotel’s meeting facilities are located on the mezzanine floor, with a total of 11 meeting rooms, including two boardrooms holding up to ten delegates, and the Sheldon Suite, which can accommodate up to 150 people theatre-style. All of the rooms have natural daylight, and several can be connected to form larger spaces, while three have direct access to an outdoor terrace. There is no business centre as such, but guest can access the internet for 20 minutes free of charge on the two Apple Mac computers in the lobby.
LEISURE FACILTIES The hotel’s fitness centre has an eight-metre indoor swimming pool, a gym with modern equipment and TV screens, and a steam room and sauna.
VERDICT A modern, well-equipped hotel in an up-and-coming area of London, with great transport links to Heathrow and central London.
PRICES Fully flexible rates for a Superior room booked online, for a one-night midweek stay in February, started from £245.
CONTACT Hotel Novotel London Paddington, 3 Kingdom Street, Sheldon Square; tel +44 (0)20 7266 6000; novotel.com