BACKGROUND: Lincoln Plaza London is part of Curio Collection, Hilton’s smaller, upscale brand with around 60 properties around the world. This 129-room hotel shares a building (though not an entrance) with a set of apartments, whose residents can also use the gym and pool facilities.
WHERE IS IT? Millwall on the Isle of Dogs, just south of Canary Wharf. The hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Jubilee line at Canary Wharf tube station. My companion, who was laden with bags and keen to minimise walk time, found the website’s instruction to leave the tube via the Jubilee Place exit confusing and ended up having to navigate through an underground shopping centre. If you’re a Canary Wharf novice, make sure you head all the way up to the ground floor on the escalators, walk through the glass building containing Obica Mozzarella Bar and over South Quay footbridge. It’s straightforward from there. Alternatively, it is an easy five-minute walk from South Quay station on the DLR.
ROOMS: Rooms come in a slightly confusing six tiers, with twins, queens and doubles within the categories Bargemaster, Keeler, Lighterman and Tillerman. All come with 46-inch TVs, a mini-bar, a hot drink station with coffee machines, high-quality tea bags and pretty china, and a large wardrobe with a hairdryer, iron, robes and slippers. Having looked around each room category, the only real difference I could discern is the size. I stayed in a Tillerman twin, one of the smallest, which didn’t feel at all cramped. The furnishings felt high-quality, with soft carpeting, a white marble bathroom with a rainfall shower and a good selection of coffee table books. There isn’t a proper desk, but there are properly comfy armchairs (as opposed to decorative ones) and a large coffee table. There is also a lot of seating in the lobby where you could work. The bed was comfy, with crisp cotton bedding. For me, both pillows were too high for comfort, a fact I only realised at a point when I definitely couldn’t be bothered to see if there was an alternative.
FOOD & DRINK: There are a few options, which is handy, as the area is not the most inspiring when it comes to dining destinations. There is the Food Store and deli in the lobby, opposite which is Food Store Restaurant, a casual all-day dining space. The dinner menu mainly features meat dishes, pizza and pasta. We had a very nice breakfast here of scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and sourdough toast with strong coffee and orange juice. Breakfast is an optional cost with your room, which gets you unlimited food and drink ordered a la carte. Alternatively, you can just pay by dish on the day. It is worth a visit to the main restaurant, Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen, which has high ceilings, large windows and brightly-coloured walls, giving it a relaxed atmosphere, although it’s smart enough for a business dinner. The menus are extensive, with drinks including four types of champagne and an array of wines, spirits and beers. Starters include dosas, samosas and tikkas. We tried the mixed platter, with four vegetarian bites including samosas and bhajis, and four tikkas (chicken, salmon, duck and beef), which were all delicious. Mains are primarily curry dishes and I was recommended the Goan Prawn Curry, which had huge juicy prawns and a sweet coconut flavour punctuated by a good kick of spice. For an excellent round-off to the meal we tried a selection of kulfi, an Indian-style ice cream, in pistachio, hazelnut and rose flavours. Upstairs is Jack Speak bar, apparently styled after a 19th century British Navy Officer’s Wardroom.
BUSINESS: There is an underground warren of event space spread across 465m2, with a central lounge area providing access to seven meeting rooms. All are nicely decorated but can’t avoid a bit of a bunker feel.
LEISURE: There is an underground gym, plus an 18-metre pool.
VERDICT: The website enthuses that the “local area is not all business and global headquarters,” but realistically this is best for corporate travellers. It would be a good base for both short and long stays, with the on-site deli and pool particular draws. The property as a whole feels new, spacious and welcoming, and the staff are very friendly.
A: 2 Lincoln Plaza Canary Wharf, London, E14 9BD