By Ching Lee
Update Jan 2012 – Your Holiday Planner once again chose London Marriott County Hall as the base to celebrate New Year in London. This year, the hotel residents at the Marriott were not able to access the private terrace, but the guaranteed spot on Westminster Bridge worked just as well. See REVIEW: Seeing in 2012 with London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks at family friendly London Marriott Hotel, County Hall.
Jan 2011 – Against a backdrop of London’s iconic landmarks – Big Ben, London Eye and the River Thames – this year’s New Year’s Eve firework display in London has been hailed as the best ever.
An estimated 250,000 people watched London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks to see in 2011. However, joining the crowds on Victoria Embankment or Westminster Bridge for hours on end may not be your idea of fun, especially if you have children. So where is the best place to enjoy the fireworks for families?
The London Marriott Hotel, County Hall has prime position of all London hotels when it comes to seeing London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks. Your Holiday Planner has this review:
Overall: The London Marriott Hotel, County Hall offers a uniquely exhilarating way to experience London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks at close hand. It’s perfect for families and couples looking for an easy, but extra special way to enjoy the fireworks and all that the hotel and its location has to offer. Yes, you pay for the privilege, but it’s definitely an experience to remember.
History and Location: Formerly the headquarters of London County Council and later the Greater London Council (GLC), this Marriott 5* luxury hotel is housed in an enviable part of County Hall. The beautiful architecture has been preserved and its restaurants, lounges and bars have stunning views of Big Ben and the River Thames. You get a real sense of history as you walk through the towering bronze doors or as you take breakfast in the Rotunda Lounge.
But it’s the fact that this hotel is right by the London Eye that makes it such a special place from which to view the London fireworks. The Marriott’s private terrace on the South Bank gives hotel residents an outstanding, unique experience. Being so close to the London Eye, ‘experience’ is the right word. From this perspective, don’t expect to see the fireworks slickly choreographed to music, but relish in the magnitude, noise and heart-thumping power of this spectacular display. It’s completely exhilarating and the bonus is that you haven’t had to wait in the freezing cold with the children.
Accommodation: Marriott Hotels are a great choice for families, being able to offer rooms with 2 double beds, or a Kingsize bed with a double sofa bed. There are 200 rooms over 6 floors so there’s plenty of opportunity for a river view room. If river rooms are not available, the Jubilee Gardens rooms give you great views of the South Bank. Our Kingsize room was huge and comfortably furnished. Get a New Year’s Eve rate that includes breakfast (up to two children, age 12 and under, is included in the rate) – the view from the Rotunda Lounge is worth it
Leisure Activities: You can make use of the hotel’s pool and facilities when you’re not watching the fireworks or exploring London. The hotel has a 25m indoor pool. The spa facilities – steam room, sauna and whirlpool – unfortunately are not in the same area as the pool, but found in each of the Men and Ladies changing rooms.
Service: The service we experienced at the Marriott was outstanding. Many of the staff on duty on New Year’s Eve were also on duty for breakfast the next morning and all were charming, friendly and always very helpful.
If you would like help planning your next New Year’s Eve break, please contact Ching at Your Holiday Planner.