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Exactly one year since Mint Hotel Tower of London debuted its jaw-dropping panoramic Sky Lounge, the dreaded Hilton DoubleTree takeover that we announced back in September has finally come to pass. The hotel is now known as the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London- Tower of London (bit of a mouthful, eh?)—and this is just one out of eight Mint hotels across the UK and the Netherlands that DoubleTree plans to re-brand over the coming year.
Second up is the Mint Hotel London Westminster, which is now the DoubleTree by Hilton London- Westminster.
But things aren't looking so bad! Aside from their newly-extended tongue-twisty names, both hotels will get to hang onto the the design elements and amenities that guests have become accustomed to over the past year—like the Sky Lounge, the Living Wall, floor-to-ceiling windows, and the in-room iMacs (phew!) Hilton will extend its HHonors program to both of the Thames-facing hotels, making London stays even more attractive to repeat Hilton guests. And the cookie? Well, we don't mind if we do...
Bye bye free in-room iMac
According to Caterer Search, the chain (seven in the UK plus a new one in Amsterdam) was bought on Friday (for £600m) by Blackstone, which plans to convert them all into the aforementioned Hilton brands.
Ghastly news! What will happen to the tech-savvy rooms, mental special air con, living walls, cheap lunch deals and awesome little walking tours. A cookie at check in won't make up for that. Or the imminent demise of the free WiFi (Hilton Garden Inns offer WiFi for free while Doubletrees typically do not.)
All we can do is hope for the best. Until then, let's have a minute's silence now.
The Tower of London, with the City lurking behind it
It was only last week that Mint Tower of London caught our eye with its appealing-to-the-bosses 45 minute lunch, but now we’re looking at it slightly more fondly, since it’s launching a walking tour of the City of London.
The tours are led by Geoff Boyd, a qualified local guide, and will take in sights like the Bank of England, Royal Exchange and All Hallows By The Tower – the oldest church in the City, where Samuel Pepys went to check out the Great Fire of London – to the Thames, London’s first (17th century) coffee house, and Leadenhall Market, where Harry Potter was filmed.
The City Café at Mint Tower of London
Oh, for the days when a lunch hour meant an actual hour. Mint Hotels are on the side of the boss with their new lunch menu, though - £10 per person for a two course lunch that they guarantee to serve in 45 minutes.
Dishes are pretty healthy-sounding, including chicken breast with roast pumpkin, and mackerel with bok choi, although menus change by the week. We have to admit, we're liking this new trend of quality hotel grub on the cheap. You hear that, hotels? $10/£10 lunches for all!
We've found quite possibly the best place to drink alfresco in London this summer at the Mint Hotel Tower of London's Sky Lounge.
It's certainly got one of the best views. No matter which way you look out you can see a London landmark from every angle. One side you have the Tower of London, River Thames and City Hall. The other side you have a close up of the Shard, the tallest building in London and behind you is the famous Gherkin.
If you want to add a bit of greenery to your view just look down at the hotel's Living Wall the biggest in Europe.
It's only been open for three months but the Mint Hotel Tower of London is keeping things fresh with the addition of one of those cool, eco living walls. And not just any living wall the "the tallest live green wall on a building in Europe".
The wall was unveiled last month and contains 40 species of plants which make up the whooping 184,000 plants that cover 1,025 square meters of the hotels exterior. We wonder what the Athenaeum Hotel will have to say about it as up until now they were the only London hotel to have a living wall. And let's face it the Mint's living wall dwarfs their one which has only 12,000 plants.
Mint Hotels have been pretty busy in the last year. Not only have they rebranded and opened a second London location, but they've also made the decision to open a very special ninth hotel in their chain. The newest Mint will be located in Amsterdam, the very first one outside of Britain.
The website states that the hotel is opening April, however bookings are currently being taken from May 1st, which hints that May could be a safer bet.
As well as 553 rooms and suites, the hotel will feature City Caphea British restaurantand the Eastside Dock Bar, plus Mint’s signature Skylounge with floor to ceiling windows, outside terrace and roof top gardens of course. From the look of the renderings, the latter will boast some pretty ace views over the canals and historic city center. You see, the hotel is situated on Eastern Dock Island, opposite Centraal Station, and what with all of those trains nearby we really hope they've done something towards sound-proofing.
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Last week The New York Times’ Frugal Traveler got scammed after booking an apartment on Craigslist and that sucks. So being the nice people that we are we thought we’d give you a list of cheap London hotels so you don’t have to trawl for a cheap flat and end up getting burnt. Also worth noting: people in London use Gumtree over Craigslist, anyways.
Tune Hotel Westminster
The Tune Hotel Westminster is one of our favourite cheap hotels. It has everything you need from a budget hotel – a bed and a bathroom. There’s also a TV, but, like everything else you need to pay to use it. Even with all of the extras, though, it still works out pretty cheap: under £60 when we stayed there.
It's been two weeks since the Mint Hotel, Tower of London opened its doors, so we thought we’d check in to see how things are going.
The hotel opened on December 20th and it looks like it's all going very well. So far there haven’t been any press reviews of the hotel but there has been three TripAdvisor reviews which are all pretty sweet. All three praise the hotel with one user stating "Overall... cannot find a single fault!”
SkyLounge the hotels rooftop bar and garden, with views over the Thames and Tower Bridge seems to be going down a treat. On NYE the bar was packed with revelers watching the fireworks and incase you missed them they were some fireworks! Check out the view pictured -- we're guessing this will be the place to do cocktails this summer.
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The first Mint Hotel will be located at the Tower of London and is set to open on December 20. Yay! Just in time for Christmas. The hotel will have 583 rooms, a complimentary video library, free WiFi and yes, the iMacs in the rooms will remain. But it’s the suites we're liking the sound of.
The Thames suites have views over the River Thames and the Tower of London, a living room, dining area, separate bedroom and bathroom. But there is only two of these in the entire hotel, so you’ll need to book well in advance to bag one.