Jo Fletcher-Cross checks into a room with a view in central London
For those travelling on an early or late flight from Heathrow, staying in Paddington is a good choice thanks to its easy access to the Heathrow Express. But the area has charms beyond its transport links. There are plenty of office buildings, but also some well-thought-out public spaces and lots of bars and restaurants nearby. Even better, the beautiful Little Venice, where the Grand Union Canal meets Regent’s Canal, is moments away, for lovely strolls by the water or boat trips to London Zoo.
Paddington Novotel is only a few minutes’ walk from the station, and these attractions. It’s a contemporary building, tall and glassy, and admittedly a bit dull and anonymous from the outside. Inside, it’s bright and fresh, with cheerful, breezy staff making check-in quick and easy.
Our executive room is on the 11th floor, and while it’s a nice room, small but cleverly designed, the star of the show is the view: we can see Harrods, Hyde Park, the London Eye, Big Ben – the west London vista is a treat. There’s a problem with this window (we can’t quite get it closed) and staff are really helpful sorting it out. There’s a sofa, a little wardrobe and a decent-size desk, plus a huge TV. There’s also a Nespresso machine and an iPod dock (which, admittedly, has an outdated connector).
We’re going out so eat dinner early: the restaurant isn’t open yet but we have a pleasant meal in the bar, along with some very nice cocktails. The bed is very comfortable and we sleep really well; breakfast the next morning is fairly standard hotel fare, with a good selection of cereals and pastries. Paddington Novotel is a strong choice for both making airport connections and enjoying the city.
3 Kingdom Street, Sheldon Square, London, W2 6BD
Rooms are available from £99 per night, room only