Marlin is known for its serviced apartments (it is the largest owner-operator of them in London with over 900 apartments in London Bridge, St Pauls, Aldgate, Canary Wharf, Limehouse, Stratford and now Waterloo), but this is its first aparthotel and perhaps preparation for its first full hotel which will open in the centre of Dublin on Aungier Street in 2019.
What's it like?
The hotel’s lobby was quite busy when I arrive, but there was no queue at reception and I was immediately impressed by check-in, not least since the receptionist chatted merrily away to me while dealing with rather a slow IT situation. She explained the hotel’s features and told me how to access the free high speed wifi, where the gym was (lower ground floor) and wished me a pleasant stay.
Where is it?
On Westminster Bridge Road, though the hotel is next to Lambeth north underground station on the Bakerloo line – easily accessible but worth bearing in mind if you are walking from London Waterloo train station (it’s a good ten-minute walk). The hotel isn’t alone in claiming a Waterloo location for itself, around the corner on Hercules Road is the new Park Plaza Waterloo.
The hotel is a new-build (the site was formerly occupied by an office building – Costain House), but the building has a front and back aspect of different heights, so depending on whether you have a city view or a railway view the rooms range up from the first floor to the tenth floor. The higher rooms obviously have better views. There are also rooms that face the interior courtyard, which might be slightly quieter, although my own room, overlooking the railway lines heading to and from Waterloo, had no noise problems, even when the trains started running more frequently in the morning.
There are 236 rooms in a number of different categories. All have wooden floors, a clean but not anonymous design with abstract pictures above the beds along with some photos of local details (the London Eye, various bridges or Big Ben). Entry level Deluxe rooms have a sofa bed option for families, and feature either a twin or a king size bed, 40-inch flat screen TV with Sky/satellite channels, air conditioning and a fully fitted kitchen. Interconnecting rooms are available. Executive rooms have a work desk and armchair – useful for when you’re bored of working and want to look out of the window. I watched the trains coming in and out of Waterloo in the morning which was very relaxing.
The kitchens are fitted with a Nespresso coffee machine. Club rooms have the same features as the executive room without a kitchen, but instead have a mini bar and a Nespresso Machine, and then suites have a separate kitchen area.
The rooms also have Handy freephones – superb if you are visiting from another country or don’t want to use your own data when walking around town – for more details on this see, Free smartphone will be in one million hotel rooms
Restaurant and bar:
There is no restaurant, but there is a good-sized bar in the property.
On the lower ground floor there are nine meeting rooms and there is also a guest laundry.
There is a decent-sized gym on the lower ground floor and of course you are only a short walk from the Thames which is popular with morning runners.
This is an excellent new aparthotel in a good location. The rooms are well furnished and seem to have been fitted out to high quality, and the service was professional and friendly.
111 Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7HR, tel; +44 (0)20 3908 5000