Looking toward London for my latest winter getaway, I was bored by the choice of many characterless hotels. Having stayed at numerous predictable contemporary hotels, there comes a point where there isn’t much different between them. Not able to indulge in the extravagance of the likes of The Ritz or Savoy, I favoured to stay on board London’s only luxury super-yacht hotel – Sunborn Yacht Hotel.
This 4-star hotel is set on the waterfront of London’s Docklands, looking out towards Canary Wharf and the O2. But I hadn’t taken into consideration its location when booking, as it took up to an hour to get to from central London, requiring 3 tube changes.
Finally arriving by DLR at Custom House station, I stepped out and looked over the balcony at the majestic Sunborn Hotel gleaming in the winter sun. Walking towards it, I admired the grandeur of this purpose-built hotel, which had never been a functioning yacht as it was built without an engine. Once it had been constructed in Europe, it was pulled into its home by sea by a mother ship.
Heading towards the entrance, I was surprised to be met outside by only two small lifts to accompany me up to reception. This made me feel a little uncomfortable that should I return late one evening, I would be walking in the eerie quietness of the docks and would need to hasten quickly in the dark towards a lift to take me to a safety.
Anyway, back to the hotel – as the lift arrived into reception and the doors slid open, I was greeted by the staircase of my dreams. The type of staircase I have daydreamed about sauntering down in a flowy gown and sparkly necklace, just like they do in the movies. Under the bright lights of reception, the golden double staircase glistened with an equally impressive chandelier hanging between it. Again, a chandelier I wanted to take home with me!
Peering behind the staircase, I was disenchanted to see only tubby chairs and a little table as the seating area. I would have expected fabulous sofas which you could sink in to, to admire the waterside view out into London. Handed my room key, I headed into the cabin corridors to locate my chamber. Now I really did feel like I was on board a sea vessel with the narrow passageways!
Inserting my key into the lock, I was not disappointed by what I found on the other side of my room door. Staying in the Yacht Executive, this spacious room was equipped with beautiful wooden fixtures. I took most fancy to the glass cabinet above the TV which was perfect to house my ever-misplaced accessories, for the duration of my stay. The large mirrors augmented the size of the room and a private balcony gave way to look out over the Docklands. With a decent sized shower room and the most sumptuous king-sized bed, I certainly enjoyed the luxuriousness of this room.
A few nights at the Sunborn gave me a glimpse into the lifestyle of high ballers who float around in monster yachts as they please. This eccentric hotel ticked all my expectations of staying in a place with character rather than somewhere mundane. I would highly recommend giving it a go if you are also looking to experience a unique stopover, but beware of its outward location to central London!
All the details you need:
Address: Royal Victoria Dock, Western Gateway, London E16 1XL
Phone: 020 3714 8111