Park Plaza London Waterloo Is A Tech-Savvy Hotel With An Eco Twist

The view of London from the Executive rooms at the Park Plaza Waterloo Hotel.

David Nikel

From true online check-in to phone-based room keys, Park Plaza London Waterloo offers a glimpse at the future of London hotels at a reasonable rate considering the good location.

But it’s not all high technology. The hotel maintains three hives on its lower roof, home to tens of thousands of bees. The honey produced by the bees is used by the hotel’s pastry chef and even in a signature cocktail.

This blend of high technology with sustainable touches creates a memorable stay that’s attractive to a younger demographic who live a digital first lifestyle while being increasingly eco-conscious.

A High-Tech Hotel

Online check-in is nothing new. In fact, many other hotels in the Radisson Hotels Group have offered online check-in for several years.

Stylish lobby at Park Plaza London Waterloo Hotel.

David Nikel

However, previous iterations of the system have been buggy and still required a visit to the reception desk to collect a key card, often negating any time-saving benefits.

Park Plaza Waterloo’s check-in process is smooth, with the complete check-in process taking place online. By downloading the accompanying app, guests don’t need to visit the reception desk at all when arriving at the hotel, as the app acts as the room key.

Although it can take an extra second or two to activate, the Bluetooth connection with the door lock and the activation point for the elevators consistently works.

There is one downside to not collecting a physical key from reception, and that’s the lack of opportunity to ask any questions. However, the hotel app contains a lot of information, and offers the opportunity to chat with reception via WhatsApp.

Guest rooms are controlled by touchscreens located in the entrance hall and at both sides of the bed.

Blinds and lighting are controlled by touchscreens either side of the bed and in the entrance hall.

David Nikel

With a touch, the blinds can be opened or closed, air conditioning adjusted, and the lights changed into several modes, including a ‘mood’ setting that’s ideal for unwinding before bed. The touchscreens are off at night, but automatically light up in a deep blue as you move youe hand towards them.

A Home For Bees

London is a greener city than many visitors first realize. There’s no better place to understand this than by taking in the view from one of the hotel’s upper floors, where London’s green pockets reveal themselves.

On the lower roof, three hives are home to tens of thousands of bees, part of a growing trend of rooftop rewilding and urban beekeeping across British cities.

According to the organization Urban Bees, installing such ‘bee hotels’ is “a local and tangible way to restore nature for wild bees and other pollinators, and to increase biodiversity.”

There’s another benefit both to the hotel and its guests, too. The bees provide honey, which is used by the hotel’s pastry chef and even in signature cocktails in the hotel’s Italian-themed restaurant and bar.

The signature cocktail at the Park Plaza London Waterloo features honey from the rooftop bees.

David Nikel

In addition to the rooftop honey, ‘Don’t Touch The Bee’ features gin, lemon, orange marmalade, and Grand Marnier.

A Comfortable Stay On London’s South Bank

Although named after the famous station, it’s easier to travel on the London Underground’s Bakerloo line to Lambeth North station. The hotel is right across the road from the station entrance.

Waterloo underground and mainline railway station are just 10 minutes walk away, while the Thames and Lambeth Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Golden Jubilee Bridge, and Waterloo Bridge are all within easy walking distance.

The attractions of London’s West End are within a 20-minute journey using the London Underground or local bus services, but walking is absolutely possible on a nice day too. Covent Garden is a 35-minute walk from the hotel.

Nightly rates start at approximately $250 for a double room, with breakfast an additional $26 per person.

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