Before going on our family holiday to Majorca we ended up having a couple of days in London first. Engineering works on the train lines meant that train tickets were much cheaper on the Saturday rather than the Sunday so we decided to stay an extra night. However, this also meant that we needed a hotel for a night and while there is so much choice in London I like to stay in a chain where possible so I know what to expect. This time, we booked a Overnight Family Break in London at a Novotel Hotel through Buyagift.com.
After the voucher arrived it was time to activate it online and choose a hotel! With this particular voucher you can choose from 5 different Novotel branches in London. Booking honestly isn’t the easiest though. With this particular voucher you first need to call the number provided on the website and they will advise as to whether a room is available on your preferred date. Then, you will be given an email address. You then need to email with all the details of the booking you want, stating that you have a voucher and wait until they get back to you. I emailed a couple of hotels at the same time after realising how the booking system worked and ended up being double booked. Luckily, this was easily sorted and I just cancelled the booking with the hotel I didn’t want to stay at.
Although booking was a bit hard, this is due to Novotel only allocating a certain amount of rooms per night for third party bookings like this, which is understandable really.
We chose to stay at Novotel London Blackfriars as it was in our preferred location and it included one night in a standard family room for 3 people (two adults and one child only), full use of all hotel facilities and breakfast in the morning. Novotel London Blackfriars is located only a couple of minutes away from the Southwalk tube station or a short walk from Blackfriars station as well.
Although we arrived at 1pm (check in was at 2pm) we we got our room sorted very quickly. It wasn’t even mentioned that we were early or that our room might not be ready. Check in was really smooth and only took about 5 minutes. In this time I had a nice chat with the young man checking us in and he was super friendly which was really nice. He even asked about Erin and went to get her some stickers while I signed some forms.
We had a room on the 7th floor so the view we had was pretty nice. The last hotel we stayed in a remember having a view of a brick wall so I was more than happy with this one. When I booked I asked for a bed for a toddler to be set up on our arrival so I was so glad to see this had been done. Erin was so excited to have her own real bed in a hotel room as this hasn’t happened before now.
The room was really quite spacious, even with a double bed and a single bed (chair bed). The main area also had a desk and large lamp, mini fridge and safe along with facilities for hot drinks. There was also shelves and a wardrobe for clothes. I really liked that both of these areas had doors so it stopped Erin from flinging everything everywhere. Something else was that there was actually an iron and ironing board. Usually you have to ask at reception for these so it was a nice touch.
One area I was quite impressed with was the bathroom. When I first entered the hotel room, the bathroom was open and looked as though there were no doors. Luckily, there are but they fold rather than open out. There is a toilet in a sort of separate area of the bathroom but it would have been nice to have had a door on it, rather than it be open and then there was a really large shower and sink area. The shower was quite powerful and the water was really hot, if you wanted it that way. However, on the side of the shower there is a frosted wall which can either be turned on or off, letting everyone else see into the shower. Also, this wall makes it so if you turn the light on in the room, it lights up the bedroom too and this wasn’t ideal for travelling with a toddler.
Use of the hotel’s facilities were included with our stay and that meant we were able to use the swimming pool for no extra charge. After we walked to the hotel from Liverpool Street Station due to the nice weather we were all kind of hot so a swim was exactly what we needed. Towels and lockers with keys are provided in the changing rooms so no need to take your own. The pool is only small and there was private swimming lessons going on during our visit but we still had plenty of space. There was also a small spa pool which I made good use of! My only issue with going swimming was that once we got back to our room we realised there was no heater/ heated towel rail in the bathroom so we had no way to dry our swimming clothes ready to check out the next day.
In the morning we headed down for breakfast in the lovely, spacious restaurant. We were greeted with a smile and shown where everything was. The breakfast buffet consisted of both hot and cold food and there was something that all of us could enjoy. Hotels and me don’t have the best track record when it comes to the American style pancakes but Novotel’s offering was fresh, delicious and I went back for a second helping! The service we received at breakfast was just amazing. Erin was treated like a VIP and was given stickers and a little box of presents to take away with her. To say she was happy is a bit of an understatement.
Although booking was a little bit difficult initially, I wouldn’t hesitate to use Buy A Gift to buy a Novotel break again. As chain hotels go, Novotel really stands out against the rest.
Fancy a better look at our stay?
Disclaimer: We received a voucher for our hotel stay for the purpose of this post. All opinions are our own.
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