You’re probably aware of Hilton’s global hotel brand but may be less familiar with its Canopy brand. The brand is still relatively small, with just 30 or so properties under the umbrella, with more in the pipeline. We paid a visit to the Canopy by Hilton London City, the first property in the UK to bear the Canopy name.
Marred by delays upon delays, the Canopy by Hilton London City hotel, which is just a stone’s throw away from Aldgate tube station, finally opened just two months ago – some three years later than expected.
The lobby area is large and airy, with neutral and earthy tones that complement modern furnishings that range from large sofas and comfy armchairs to tall diner-style booth areas and tables and benches for a bite to eat. Adjoining the lobby is the Freedom Café that is open to the public from a separate.
The concept of the Canopy brand is to ensure each hotel is designed as a natural extension of its neighbourhood offering guests a positive local stay. This can be seen from the offset at the check-in desk, which uses locally made products such as beer and soft drink cans as part of its decorative feature. And as you take the lift to any one of the twelve floors to your room, the grey walls are punctuated with a portrait of a local person paying homepage to the East End.
My room was on the ninth floor, and the staff mentioned it was likely I’d be the first person to stay in the room given how new the Canopy by Hilton London City is and the low footfall thanks to the Omicron variant. And it looked every inch like not a single soul had graced it overnight. Everything was flawless.
The room was generously sized, with an open wardrobe and luggage rack, tea making facility station complete with a Nespresso machine, a table and chair to get some work done and a huge cosy bed to take the weight off my feet. I was delighted to see old fashioned flick switches in the rooms.
I champion those over any touchscreen, which are often always more troublesome than they should. Above the desk is the TV, framed in a case of knick-knacks and commissioned art -all securely glued down to prevent them being ‘accidentally’ taken away as souvenirs.
The adjoining bathroom had a double shower with complimentary Apivita Greek honey-based products. While the box of amenities was devoid of cotton buds, shaving kits and the like, the Canopy ensures a touch of extra cosiness with a courtesy pair of bed socks and an eye mask in the brand’s signature shade of bright orange.
Interior design remains consistent throughout each of the six-room types (Queen Twin Room, King, Queen Premium, King Premium and King Junior Suite.), And regardless of the room, furry friends are welcome, as Canopy by Hilton London City offers a selection of pet-friendly rooms.
Dining at the Freedom Café
Although the Canopy has a number of restaurants, the majority at the time of my visit were yet to open. Florattica, the rooftop bar and terrace should have spectacular views once it opens in the summer, while the Penny Squares restaurant on the ground floor mezzanine level promises to serve some mouth-watering evening meals, and it was open for breakfast.
The only dining option available to me during my stay was the all-day Freedom Café—a hip hang-out for a coffee, lunch, and working space during the day. Come the evening, the space transformed into a cosy swanky hotel bar offering cocktails, nibble and something a little more substantial by way of pizzas, burgers, salad and bowls.
The Menus are printed in a charming newspaper-style fashion and include various facts about the local area. I mean, did you know the word coffee derives from wine? I digress. Anyway, after a quick scan of the menu, I realised some of the options available again pay homage to the capital’s East End.
I’m no vegetarian, but I do enjoy real plant-based food as a healthy balanced diet, so it was encouraging to see a healthy, diverse vegetarian and vegan menu alongside meat dishes. If you fancy trying a few dishes, I would recommend ordering a selection of starters that are bigger than you would expect and won’t leave you hungry. The food was simple, well-executed, healthy and just what I would expect from a good café worth their salt.
The Canopy by Hilton London City offers plenty of additional amenities, including an adequately equipped basement fitness centre, meeting rooms and plenty of space from where you can get a bit of work done as well as relax.
What makes this hotel super welcoming is the laid-back staff, who seem to have struck a good balance between being helpful without invading your space. We are very much excited to head back when Penny Squares restaurant, whose menu is inspired by the international flavours of East London, and when the ‘exclusive rooftop wonderland’ Florattica opens later this year.
Canopy by Hilton London City – Where and How?
Nightly room rates at the Canopy by Hilton London City start from £249. The property is located at 11-15 Minories Street, London, EC3N 1AX. For more information about the hotel, visit www.hilton.com/en/hotels/lonpypy-canopy-london-city/.
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