Staybridge, the long-stay brand of Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), made its UK debut in Liverpool in 2008.
The Vauxhall property is its fifth in the UK, and the second in London (after Stratford City, which opened shortly before the 2012 Olympics). It launched in February as part of the Albert Embankment’s Spring Mews development project.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
The hotel’s entrance is floor-to-ceiling glass with revolving doors, and opens to a reception on the left and a 24-hour shop, the Pantry, where you can buy items to eat or cook.
The open-plan effect is homely, and there’s even a hotel dog – Waggles – lounging by reception to complete the effect.
Check-in was friendly, and service throughout the stay was personable, with the staff obviously recognising many guests.
The brand is designed for longer stays, although it is possible to book for only one night, if available. The VAT rate drops from 20 per cent to 4 per cent after six weeks.
Even this early in the hotel’s operation, I was told that the aim was to have 74 per cent occupancy, with people staying at least seven nights, and the rates are designed to encourage that.
WHERE IS IT?
On a quiet street set back from the road (the Albert Embankment), next to Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, which has seen a regeneration in recent years with trendy bars, shops and restaurants.
The 93 rooms are on floors one to five and come in three main categories – Studio suite (28 sqm), Deluxe suite (32 sqm) and One-bedroom suite (36 sqm); there are also some “Easily Accessible” rooms (34 sqm) that interconnect with those next door.
In décor and feel, they are more like hotel rooms than serviced apartments. All feature fully equipped kitchens with a microwave, hob, dishwasher, fridge and kettle, as well as a 42-inch Samsung Smart TV with dozens of channels in different languages and access to BBC iPlayer.
All of the rooms have a good-sized desk and free basic wifi, with an enhanced 40MB data bundle costing £5 per day, or free for platinum IHG Rewards members, and special rates for long stays (£25 for one month, for instance).
There is a three-device maximum, although this can be extended on request. The bedside clock doubles up as a docking station for Apple devices.
The rooms are cleaned daily on weekdays and on request at the weekend, with full housekeeping once a week.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
The Kitchen area (a sort of self-service restaurant for breakfast and a social area the rest of the day) serves a free full breakfast buffet from 6.30am to 9.30am (7.30am to 10.30am at weekends).
There is also a social evening reception three days a week (Tuesday to Thursday) with complimentary drinks.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES
A meeting room on the ground floor can be booked (for a fee) or used informally – it has a flatscreen TV, and board games are also available.
There is a mini gym in the basement next to the self-service laundry area.
For long stays this is an excellent location, with easy connections into central London (or out via Vauxhall station).
Being south of the river and part of a regenerated area, it also allows for some peace and quiet, particularly at the weekend. Great value, and a very well considered offering.
- HOW MANY ROOMS? 93 – 81 Studio suites, three Deluxe suites, seven one-bedroom suites and two Easily Accessible.
- HIGHLIGHTS Good rates, quiet location, friendly staff.
- PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in July started from £180 for a Studio suite.
- CONTACT Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall, 100 Vauxhall Walk; tel +44 (0)20 3096 1555; staybridgesuites.com/lonvauxhall