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Review: the new Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

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This is our review of the new Hampton by Hilton London City hotel in Aldgate East / Whitechapel.

Over the past few years we’ve seen a number of new hotels pop up just East of the City of London, in the area around Whitechapel and Aldgate. This includes the Canopy London City (review here) – another Hilton hotel – as well as Hyatt Place London City East (review here).

This month they were joined by the Hampton by Hilton London City, which opened a month early (a rarity these days!). It is literally around the corner from Hyatt Place, on Osborne Street, which is what Brick Lane becomes at its Southern end.

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

Whilst the site was previously a hotel called the Arbor City Hotel, it has undergone a complete refurbishment. I don’t think anything is left of the original bar the concrete structure itself.

As the Head for Points expert on hotels in the area, Rob sent me to check it out. The Hampton London City kindly offered to host me. The hotel website is here.

Where is the Hampton by Hilton London City hotel?

As mentioned above, this is a very happening neighbourhood. The opening of 3+ international hotels suggests the area is slowly bowing to the pressures of gentrification but it does appear to be doing so in an organic way – there is no big masterplan here. Whitechapel and Brick Lane still feel rough around the edges, which is what makes them so attractive.

Local attractions include the Whitechapel Gallery (unfortunately closed Mondays, when I stayed) as well as Brick Lane itself, Spitalfields Market and, just up the road, Shoreditch. It is also exceptionally convenient for the City itself.

The closest Tube stations are Aldgate East (District and Hammersmith & City lines) and Aldgate (Circle and Metropolitan lines), with the former just a couple of minutes away. Liverpool Street station is 10 minutes away and gets you onto the Elizabeth Line (useful for Heathrow), Overground and Central lines.

Inside the Hampton London City

Hampton is Hilton’s budget / select service brand, so don’t expect anything too grand.

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

The ground floor of the Hampton is given over to public space, with a range of seating from tables, high tables and armchairs suited to every need. It is akin to a citizenM hotel, with hotdesking encouraged.

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

Check-in desks are immediately ahead and the staff greeted me as soon as I walked in, which was a pleasant welcome.

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

Rooms at the Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

As this is a select service hotel there aren’t a huge amount of room types. Your choice is largely between a standard king room, queen room with sofa bed or room with two queens. There is some differentiation based on view / floor.

I was given a City view room on the 5th floor – the top floor. The view was, indeed, good:

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

…. although as you can see, Brick Lane is still very much underdeveloped, with a large abandoned plot of land directly in front of the hotel. It all adds to the realness of the area!

The rest of the room is identical, I believe, to any other king room. That includes an open wardrobe / luggage rack as you walk in.

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

The bathroom is basic, but features a heated mirror (luxury!) and shower:

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

Toiletries are ‘Spa Therapy’ branded which I think is just a fake generic brand. They were fine although I thought the wall-mounted pumps felt cheaper than the rest of the room.

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

On the other side of the bathroom door was a small mini bar set up. This featured a fridge, kettle, tea bags etc. There was no coffee machine. A safe and hairdryer were also in the drawers.

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

The room itself was a fairly standard size for London. It was small, but not tiny: still plenty of room to walk around the bed.

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

The bed was very comfortable, with two types of pillows. On each side of the bed there were dual-gang sockets as well as two USB-A ports – perfect for 2023!

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

Opposite the bed is a large 55″ TV:

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

Unfortunately, this isn’t a smart TV and there is no option to cast from your phone or mobile device, which is frustrating – you are stuck with live TV. I did raise this with the GM, who agreed and said he is currently in discussions with Hilton to get this fixed. Apparently brand standards is one of the reasons why it hasn’t been done already. Volume was limited to 25% – great for other guests, although perhaps a little on the low side.

Underneath the TV is a small desk although it really is tiny. You’d struggle to get anything more than a 13″ laptop on this. To the left is an armchair:

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

Overall the rooms are very smart. Okay, fittings are in wood veneer, but clever use of lighting and a nice blue fabric headboard as well as some modern framed pictures above the bed elevate the experience. Can’t complain.

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

In the basement is a small gym:

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

Breakfast at Hampton London City

Whilst there’s no restaurant at the Hampton, in line with Hampton brand standards all guests get free access to the hotel buffet breakfast which is served in the lobby lounge area.

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

Because it is open to all guests, you can walk right up to the buffet and start eating – no need to register your arrival or wait for someone to seat you. It is fairly basic but crucially includes hot items including sausages, baked beans, mushrooms, hash brown and scrambled egg, although sadly no bacon.

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

There’s also a range of cereals and pastries, and a waffle machine:

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel

…. plus some yoghurts, cold cuts and fruit:

Review: Hampton by Hilton London City hotel


Interestingly, I was told that the current footprint of the Hampton London City is only about half of the hotel. A second wing with an additional 100-odd rooms is due to open at the rear of the building in due course and increase the overall capacity to over 200 rooms.

Assuming the location works for you, you can’t really go wrong with this hotel. Whilst it doesn’t offer much in the way of amenities, the rooms are well designed and you have everything you need on your doorstep, including your choice of hundreds of excellent restaurants in the area.

Rooms start at £170 per night but can top £250-300 at weekends, which is a reflection of London hotel rates at the moment. Redemptions hover around 70,000 points per night. You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.

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Comments (40)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Mike says:

    TVs are a big bugbear with me. I want to be able to easily plug in my Fire Stick. It has my streaming services on, I can easily send media to it to be played in Kodi. So hotels, don’t make it hard to get to the HDMI ports, Premier Inn get this right with their HDMI breakouts. Also, don’t lock out source selection, this just means I end up having to unlock the TV and sometimes I’ll forget to put it back into hotel mode because I’m in a rush (11am checkouts, I blame you).

    That looks like a decent Hampton. One thing some Hamptons do that the poorer ones don’t is acknowledge status. A good Hampton will acknowledge your status even though their rooms are all the same and breakfast is included. How hard is it to say thank you for being a diamond member, all are rooms are the same and breakfast is included but I can put you on a higher floor etc…. It’s not hard to do these small things.

    • Brighton Belle says:

      Cor Someone with the same gripe as me about a plugging in to the HDMI. (Hilton Bankside I’m looking at you.) We get uk telly anywhere in the world this way so being stuck on the local channels is a PITA. Being a gentleman of an uncertain age, TV’s with low sound volume and no means to get more via headphones is the depressing sound of silence. In the old days TV’s gave you an infra red output but that’s gone like my Betamax.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Literally the same for me. Just make it easy to plug in your own HDMI device it’s not exactly expensive to have a hdmi faceplate and a plug

        • Bagoly says:

          Ditto for a socket for headphones (give the individual guest the volume they need without disturbing neighbouring ones)

      • Lady London says:

        usually if there’s a ceiling on the volume the manual controls will override it… feel along the bottom right edge or the right side of it and you’ll find various controls. Try them one at a time, reversing as you go, till you find the volume ones for up and down

    • astra19 says:

      On the opposite end one of my pet peeves about hotels in the UK is when they offer Freeview only, but never do the rescans so many of the channels have stopped working. You need to rescan once every few months yet I’ve stayed in some hotels where they haven’t done it for years. I’ve taken to finding the hospitality mode remote codes and doing it myself.
      Cheap brands, expensive brands, they all do it. Draws attention to the lack of simple maintenance.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        I remember many years after BBC Three went online only it was still in many hotels channel listings, now it’s a linear channel again it’ll probably take ages before it starts to appear in hotel menus. Then like you say there’s always a few channels that still exist but don’t work because a rescan is needed. Some hotels in the UK even had issues with BBC1 recently as they’ve changed to local HD output, you’d expect they’d quickly fix issues with that channel as it’s the first one you usually see

        • astra19 says:

          I’m sure it’ll be not working in a lot of places now for that reason!
          The funniest situation I had was an aparthotel run by somebody who clearly knew nothing about the UK and distributed a genuinely random selection of satellite channels to the rooms. Channel 1 on the list was BBC Parliament. There was no ITV, but there was ITV3+1. There were seven different regions of BBC One in a row.
          Having worked on these systems before it was quite a lot of effort to go to without actually thinking about what channels they wanted.

  • Mouse says:

    “Whitechapel and Brick Lane still feel rough around the edges” …tending to outright stabby in places

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      Is ‘rough around the edges’ the new ‘up and coming’? I remember years ago I’d often hear of areas being called up and coming. I said that’s just marketing speak for ‘shithole’.

      • Rob says:

        It was ‘up and coming’ when I lived in East London from 1994 to 2007. Well past its funky peak since all the artists got priced out although Whitechapel always missed the boom of Shoreditch and Hoxton.

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          Was that the place in Wapping that you still own? That would have been a good investment. When I moved to London in 2003 I was so convinced house prices were going to collapse (because they seemed to expensive to me coming from Newcastle) I kept putting off buying while prices continued to rise. I’m sure if I bought something the market would have crashed though so probably best I didn’t 😁

    • Lady London says:

      Well my partner being from the area, we watched in horror as the true Brick Lane market, Cheshire Street and around, the car park bombsite with the fish van, the genuine proper Brick Lane market just down and East of the Beigel Bake, were being pushed out in favour of gentrified yuppie fake ‘vintage’ and fake ‘craft’ shops, (ie they pushed the genuine article out and put a fake version in its place).
      People who scraped a living coming up to sell stuff informally and local sellers were pushed out, etc. It was a very interesting market where you could find all sorts of treasures. Now totally ersatz the whole area. This began around 1990.

      Nice to see the old bombsites being developed and of course given the success of the adjacent City it was bound to happen, but things get lost too when this happens.

      • Rob says:

        There were still people sitting on the pavements selling stuff around the top of Brick Lane in the late 1990s.

        The main risk is the Truman Brewery redevelopment which risks effectively splitting Brick Lane into two and getting rid of all the niche retail around there. We’ve already had the effective destruction of Spitalfields Market.

        Since Shoreditch House opened the higher end retail has gone onto Redchurch St which is now bizarrely smart. Hoxton is getting continually nibbled at by the City as it expands north.

        The new Gilbert and George museum will drive a bit of cultural life back into the area though.

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          What’s the plans for the Truman Brewery redevelopment? 2011 was when I finished working in the area and never kept up with it too much (although I happened to be in that area a few times recently)

          • Rob says:

            Too complex to explain but clearly a huge industrial complex with no long lease tenants and with the City encroaching rapidly from the west was always going to end up as a corporate block at some point.

            Redevelopment is odd though. There are still empty derelict warehouses on the riverside in Wapping, owned by Samuel Smiths, which were derelict when I first moved in almost 30 years ago and still are, even though £3m-£5m flats are now commonplace down there.

            (A statement which, I admit, justifies Samuel Smiths decision to let the buildings rot since an entire warehouse conversion wouldn’t have got you £5m back in the mid 1990s, yet alone one unit.)

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            I think it’s likely more to do with the owner,Humphrey Smith being eccentric (or more accurately, a certifiable lunatic) than prescient business genius. His decisions often don’t seem to make any rational business sense, but hey ho, his move into the US export market decades before most other UK breweries made him ridiculous amounts of cash so who am I to criticise…

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        It’s always a shame when people who make a place what it is end up getting pushed out. The city is definitely creeping in, the new BT head office is around the corner and it’s massive. I’d have loved to have seen it before gentrification started.

        After a team dinner many years ago in Brick Lane where half the people were off work ill the next day I discovered the better curries were in places away from Brick Lane itself, I’m sure there’s some good ones there but many would just be targeting the tourists that’ll only be there once.

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    Street name is wrong (but I think it’s also wrong on the Hilton website) it’s Osborn Street.

    Back around 15 years ago I used to work at the Sky datacentre located at 1 Brick Lane so this hotel would have been an ideal location for me on days of tube strikes. As an IHG collector at the time I used to stay at what was the Crowne Plaza Shoreditch on days of tube strikes.

    “On each side of the bed there were dual-gang sockets as well as two USB-A ports – perfect for 2023!” – not sure whether this is serious or sarcastic. Plenty of sockets is a good thing, but in 2023 I’d hope to see USB-C. I’m currently at the Doubletree Excel and the sockets there have both A and C options

    • lumma says:

      That was my thought too. Lots of sockets with USB-A ports aren’t powerful enough to charge a modern phone anyway in my experience.

      Until you’re certain that a hotel you’re staying will have the correct USB port for the cable you’re carrying you’re taking a plug anyway (I take a 40w one with two type C and two type A which can charge everything except my big laptop). The only time I see usb power being useful is away from your home country and you’ve forgotten an adapter and you won’t need to borrow one for reception/buy one locally

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        In my experience the USB-A sockets hotels provide can generally charge up the phone slowly overnight when it’s not being used. The USB-C socket here works fine.

        One thing I’ve not yet tried here is charging my laptop using the built in USB-C port. Any experience with that? I’m guessing it won’t be powerful enough for that

        • Michael Jennings says:

          It will depend on the laptop and on the USB port, and is therefore going to vary from hotel to hotel. There are lots of different charging standards within USB, and the two devices will find the fastest / highest voltage standard supported by both of them and use that.

        • lumma says:

          My Dell XPS 15 has a 130w type c charger so it needs it’s dedicated charger (annoyingly for some reason it slow charges my phone if I use it so I need to have both). My surface pro charges ok on pretty much any decent type c output.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yup thought the same. USB-A is very 2019 😉

      Though usb c plugs seem to be getting smaller and smaller Anker just launched the Nano 3 recently.

      • Michael Jennings says:

        Lots of interesting things being done with GaN semiconductors, yes.

  • Froggee says:

    Were the six mini Krispy Kreme doughnuts your welcome amenity or were you unwilling to actually eat the breakfast given the lack of eggs royale?

  • NorthernLass says:

    Is that a glass door to the bathroom?! Just no ….

    • Nick says:

      Glass shower, sliding wooden door to the bathroom

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        Pretty much standard Hampton. The oddity of the sliding door is it covers either the bathroom or the wardrobe. So when you close the door to the bathroom the wardrobe is open

    • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

      Bathrooms without lockable doors are a big no-no for me if travelling with anyone. My idea of “only enter if door closed if an emergency” always seems to differ from others’ interpretation of emergency.

      • lumma says:

        The worst hotel bathroom I’ve ever experienced if sharing was a hotel in Vienna. The toilet was behind a door but the shower was just in the room without even a curtain. If you’re sharing with someone you don’t want to see naked you had to leave the room.

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Perhaps I missed it but what was the noise proofing like? Much exterior / interior leakage? Always find corridors or emergency services sirens outside the real test

  • Phil G says:

    No doubt you will hear all the road noise that Rhys fails to note. Like the Westin London City

    • Rob says:

      There’s very little traffic on Osborn Street. Brick Lane has seen substantial traffic calming measures. Hyatt Place would be far worse.

      Really no excuse for bad soundproofing these days though. I mean …. go to Hilton Garden Inn Heathrow T2/3, which has aircraft virtually outside your window, and you don’t hear a thing.

    • Rhys says:

      There is no road noise!

  • HughM says:

    was that empty tray far left the bacon?
    A baconless Hampton, that’s unusual.
    The line-up may not be complete at a crack-of-dawn start.

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