Venue of the Month - October - Park Plaza Westminster BridgeWritten by Paul Nov 13 2014
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Venue of the Month - October - Park Plaza Westminster Bridge
Once every decade or so a new hotel is built that changes the game. In London the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge did just that. Its location, design and capacity meant that from conception this hotel was destined to be a big player. If adding a new hotel with 200 bedrooms to a market like London is like dropping a small stone into the pond then the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge equated to dropping in Eric Pickles, from a great height.
Situated at the south end of Westminster Bridge opposite Waterloo, the hotel occupies an enviable position. Rooms on the north face of the hotel command astonishing views of the Thames, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament & Westminster Abbey. Thanks to clever 21st century hotel design the architects have managed to accommodate 1,021 good sized rooms & suites, all with natural daylight. They’ve also situated the checkin desks towards the back of the lobby area, which means on busy days where they may be 3,000+ people in the hotel it doesn’t feel like a cattle market.
A real focus of the hotel is sustainability and energy efficiency. They have their own water bottling facility to cut down on waste and thanks to use of biomass they produce 15% of their own energy. When the previous occupant of the site, the monstrously ugly County Hall annexe, was demolished they recycled the 4,500m cubed of concrete left and used it in the new building. All the rooms benefit from triple glazing and the building is covered in energy-retaining cladding.
As a group Park Plaza is rapidly becoming known as the market leader in modern hotel dining, leading the way in revolutionising the way hotels serve & market their food options*. There are no stale dining rooms here, instead you have a sushi restaurant, proper Italian style coffee shop, a French brasserie and a designer cocktail bar. Elsewhere you’ll find the well equipped Alami spa, a decent gym and a 15m swimming pool.
Of course what the hotel is really known for is the event spaces. The Ballroom space offers conferencing for 2000 or dinners for over 1200. There are numerous other spaces for breakout sessions or smaller conferences, and some great executive boardrooms on the top floor of the hotels with breathtaking views across the capital. Being a modern hotel the rooms don’t have the grandeur of places such as Grosvenor House, but what they offer is brilliant, functional and well equipped conference space for the 21st century corporate client. For too long London had suffered from not having hotels that could host large conferences & accommodate all the delegates, the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge has ensured this is no longer a worry for event planners.
*Their sister hotel the Park Plaza Victoria houses Tozi, a Venetian Chechetti restaurant that is highly rated on TripAdvisor and well worth checking out. I’ve been twice now!