The Hilton London Bankside is a gorgeous, large and modern hotel that sits near the Southbank, Borough Market, the Shard and Tate Modern. It has to be my favourite hotel out of all the places i’ve stayed in – especially when it comes to accessibility. I have stayed here five times to date with at least another two stays by the end of this year.
To enter the hotel, there is either a revolving door or an automatic door which lead into a large, accessible lobby and reception area. There are three lifts and multiple desks at the far end of the lobby but unfortunately, none of these have lowered sections for people in wheelchairs or scooters. I do always go with somebody so it personally hasn’t been an issue for me but on the independance front if you were a single traveller, it may be frustrating. I just love the feeling of walking into this hotel; it is warm, inviting, smells amazing and i have never had a bad experience with anybody there ever!
Whenever i stay here, i book via email and communicate with somebody who knows all of my needs when booking a room so that more recently, i don’t even have to say much to her! I am so so grateful though as having to explain what you require to a new person each time when booking can get quite tiring.
I do require a wheelchair accessible room, an interconnecting room and a bathroom with a shower and toilet i can transfer onto via left hand transfer. When walking into the room, straight to the left is the bathroom and wardrobe / more storage and the room itself being fairly large with a long wooden unit on one side including the mini bar, fridge, storage and desk space. The opposite side has a King bed and wall-mounted side tables with lamps overhead, the switches to control all lights are next to the bed too.
The bed is the perfect height for me to allow side transfering from my wheelchair. I know this is a major frustration for many wheelchair/scooter users when hotel beds are ridiculously high and there is no way to get into bed! As you can see from the picture below, there is a decent gap beneath the bed itself for a hoyer lift and with plenty of space to wheel around or get down both sides of the bed.
I only realised when writing this post and going through the images to use that the wardrobe includes a lowered rail with a pole you use to pull it down to wheelchair height! This is so cool as there are still many hotels out there that don’t have this handy feature. I do find the drawers and wardrobes a little difficult to open with my limited finger use as there are no handles but instead i used the side of my hand which worked just as well i would say.
I absolutely love the style and design of this bathroom. I love how it doesn’t feel like your typical ‘accessible’ bathroom with white grab rails or white tiles (judgemental i know but i’ve seen far too many of these!) but gives off a modern, clean vibe.
When i go anywhere, i have to be very cautious about the facilities nearby and what space is available around the toilet as i can only transfer from my left. Fortunately, the Hilton Bankside offers accessible rooms with bathrooms of both layout which is something i was so pleased about (rooms ending in 05 – left side transfer & connect to rooms ending in 07).
The toilet is slightly higher than average and makes it very easy to transfer onto, i do think though that if i use a lowered toilet, i’d be stuck until help came! I would say the shower bench is the same height as the toilet too, is of a non-slip material and incredibly sturdy – i do find it quite worrying when a shower bench is only being held up by thin legs. I really like that the Hilton Bankside gives you the choice of a handheld shower or a rainfall showerhead too.
Out of everything this bathroom offers in terms of accessibility, i personally struggle the most with the lowered sink. It is a large sunken sink with a decent amount of space either side for my own amenities but because it is so low, i am unable to drive my chair underneath to use the sink comfortably. I end up sitting sideways with a washcloth draped over the edge of the sink so water doesn’t go all down me so sometimes, i really feel that not everything related to accessibility needs to be lower, but perhaps to have them at different heights in the accessible rooms.
During my second stay here, i received a welcome package of fruits, chocolates, water and a handwritten welcome back card. It was my birthday during my recent stay in November and i came back after spending the majority of the day in hospital appointments to champagne, balloons and coffee cake! I cannot fault the Hilton Bankside whatsoever for their customer service, everybody is so amazing and helpful that it truly makes a difference to your overall stay.
The breakfast is good but for anybody planning to stay here – the almond croissants, toast (they have a cool toaster) and freshly squeezed juices must not be missed!
I would 100% recommend this hotel for anybody planning a trip to London; great location near the southbank, has helpful receptionists and concierge and facilities for those with all types of disabilities so overall, i think the Hilton Bankside is truly amazing and i look forward to the next time i stay there!
Till next time!