Park Plaza Westminster Bridge

Location: The Park Plaza Westminster Bridge has an envious location.

Location: The Park Plaza Westminster Bridge has an envious location. Go to the Houses of Parliament, cross Westminster Bridge and the hotel is right there. It’s less than 10 minutes’ walk to Waterloo Station, a five-minute walk over the bridge to Westminster Underground Station.

First impressions: The hotel is striking, not just because of its modernistic glass façade but because the building is actually round. Very unusual. The lobby is light, uncluttered, functional, with a concierge and Illy coffee bar on one side, a sushi bar to the other, and an escalator to the reception area. At the top the mood changes. It’s darker, the colours are warmer. The reception staff were courteous, friendly and efficient.

The facts: This is a big hotel, with 1,021 rooms and suites, and a good selection of places to eat. Brasserie Joel, with an ever-changing menu of meats, fish and grilled main courses, is open for lunch and dinner. By the entrance, Ichi is a Japanese sushi bar, also open for lunch and dinner. 1WB is good for meetings over an all-day light lunch or afternoon tea; Primo Bar has live music each evening and a DJ from 11pm. For £39 per room per day you can have access to the Atrium Executive Lounge, for a light breakfast and snacks through the day. It’s peaceful, select and you can have pre-dinner drinks (no charge) in the shadow of Big Ben. A Mandara Spa is hidden away in the basement, which is a shame as it’s a beautiful area, very quiet, very calming, offering massages, facials, waxing or nail treatments. There’s also a 15-metre pool and well-equipped gym.

A good base for: Tourists or folk on business looking for luxury in central London. Sightseers have the South Bank – theatres, restaurants, the London Eye and Aquarium – on the doorstep, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey over the bridge and theatreland a short bus ride away. Business people can let the work come to them – the hotel has 31 meeting rooms and a ballroom for 1,400 guests theatre-style and 1,000 for dinner.

Wow: The view from my suite, number 1023, looking over Westminster Bridge to Big Ben, was breathtaking. Wonderful by day, amazing at night with the twinkling lights of Parliament, the bridge and the cars. The suite (there are 18 one-bed suites in the hotel) was pretty wow as well. I had two stylish large rooms, each with floor-to-ceiling glass windows to make the most of that view, and a large bathroom with a tub, baby-soft towels, walk-in glass shower and mood lighting. One room had a double bed, the other a sofa that opens into a double bed. Each room had a large flat-screen TV, a coffee-making machine, minibar and welcoming chocolate cake bursting with calories. The room is a spoil but you’ll never want to stay anywhere else!

How much: From £109 per room including VAT or £209 including VAT for a one-bed suite with premium view.