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The unexpected charms of Canary Wharf.

by Rajul on September 7, 2009

The Canary Wharf skyline is now one of London's most iconic views

The Canary Wharf skyline is now one of London's most iconic views

Canary Wharf is London’s ultra-modern financial centre to the east.  It’s typically an area for business visitors, convenient for the small but handy London City Airport.

Not surprisingly, hotels near Canary Wharf were prominent in our recent summary of London’s best business hotels.

But did you know that it’s also a great area to enjoy avant-garde architecture, panoramic river views and a wealth of shopping?

The rather quaint Docklands Light Railway brings you into the heart of Canary Wharf

The rather quaint little Docklands Light Railway brings you right into the heart of Canary Wharf's modern metropolis

Increasing numbers of well-informed tourists are also gradually switching on to the many advantages of booking a hotel in Canary Wharf:

  • Great value for money.  As you’re not in central London you tend to pay quite a bit less, though you can get into town within minutes.
  • Newer hotels and larger bedrooms.  Hotels here tend to be newer and more wired than in the centre since the area is under 20 years old.  The ones highlighted below are prime examples.
  • Accessibility.  If you’re coming from Stansted or City airports, it’s easier to reach Canary Wharf than central London.  You can also drive from Canary Wharf to other parts of the UK.
  • Tranquillity.  There is merit in avoiding the bustle of central London in the evenings, enjoying quiet times with family or friends in a nice hotel.  Canary Wharf hotels often have good leisure facilities and river views.
  • Great shopping far from the crowds.  Canary Wharf is good for shopping as well as business.  Its hundreds of shops will leave you spoilt for choice, with better deals and fewer crowds than in the centre.

People also forget that Canary Wharf is a major tourist attraction in itself.  It has stunning modern architecture including the UK’s three tallest buildings (the tallest is One Canada Square).

You'll see stunning contemporary perspectives in all directions at Canary Wharf

You'll see stunning contemporary perspectives in all directions at Canary Wharf

If you like La Defense in Paris you’ll also enjoy Canary Wharf.  You can watch the blur of “suits” rush by against an inspiring modern backdrop.

The whole area was completed only in the 1990s and is now one of the world’s financial powerhouses.  There are great restaurants and bars in the area, as you’d expect with so many business people around.

The area is convenient for exploring the places where the London 2012 Olympics will be held.  If this interests you, you may want to read this article about guided walking tours of the 2012 London Olympics sites.

What’s your best bet for a hotel near Canary Wharf?  We’ve scoured TripAdvisor reviews and listed the best options below.

River view from a deluxe room at the Four Seasons Canary Wharf

River view from a deluxe room at the Four Seasons Canary Wharf

The Four Seasons Canary Wharf comes within the top 60 on TripAdvisor’s London rankings out of some 1150 hotels at the time of writing.

Though respectable, this may not hit the heights you’d expect of the legendary Four Seasons marque (the Four Seasons on Park Lane is doubtless the chain’s London flagship and is due to reopen in 2010).

Nevertheless, it is still a very good hotel which also has some of the finest river views in London (do also check out these other great London views).  According to TripAdvisor comments, the staff are superb.

Check the best rate for Four Seasons Canary Wharf from 30+ hotel booking sites

However, it perhaps lags slightly on value for money when you consider that its nearby competitor – the Hilton Canary Wharf – is cheaper and currently within TripAdvisor’s elite top 10 London hotels.

The Hilton Canary Wharf is noted for its modern decor and friendly staff

The Hilton Canary Wharf is noted for its modern decor and friendly, well-trained staff

Guests love the Hilton Canary Wharf’s modernity, its large rooms and vast breakfast choice.  That is why it’s clearly ranked as the best Hilton in London on TripAdvisor, ahead of 17 other London Hiltons.

Check the best rate for Hilton Canary Wharf from 30+ hotel booking sites

Contemporary deluxe room at the Hilton Canary Wharf

Contemporary deluxe room at the Hilton Canary Wharf

Our meta-search tool sometimes manages to get the Hilton Canary Wharf for about half the price of the Four Seasons (c.£100 versus c.£200 per night).  For some that may be too big a differential, even factoring in the superb Four Seasons service ethos and its spectacular river views.

But you won’t go far wrong at either hotel, enjoying a standard that would potentially cost around 40% more in the West End.

Get the best-value London hotel deal from 30+ booking sites in 1 click

Photo credits: Hilton Hotels, Four Seasons.

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Four Seasons set to open third London hotel | London Hotel News | Official daily news on London hotels |
January 19, 2011 at 5:48 am
Canary Wharf Hotel Up for Sale | London Hotel News | Official daily news on London hotels |
July 29, 2011 at 4:19 am

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