With half-term underway and limited destinations to visit due to Covid, we decided to have another little staycation. During the summer holidays, we also stayed in London, visiting the Science Museum and Holland Park Adventure Playground. This time, we decided to stay even more local, and visited the recently reopened InterContinental Hotel at the O2.
Date Visited: October half-term, 2020
Location: Waterview Dr, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 0TW
Getting There: Closest Underground is North Greenwich, which also services a myriad of bus routes. It’s roughly an 8-minute walk from the station to the hotel, either via the road or through the O2. North Greenwich has a Thames Clipper stop. There’s ample parking available on site too.
Cost: Varies depending on season and demand, but c.£110 per night at the time of this blog. Add on extra for food, drinks and any shopping you do at the Icon Outlet.
Some of the key search criteria for the staycation was a hotel with a pool, places to eat and family friendly – i.e. activities to keep Cara occupied. A bonus is if it was close to home. Although the InterContinental Hotel at the O2 was closed over summer, it was recently reopened. Still clean with all the amenities as you’d expect from the hotel chain, but now with lots of masks, sanitisers, track and trace scans and social distancing in place. However, not all things were in operation due to Covid. Housekeeping is limited, the Rooftop Bar was closed, and the sauna/jacuzzi were out of action to name a few. You also have to book ahead for most things, including access to the pool as usage is limited to an hour per household. The positive side is that it’s practically empty!
We received a larger family room that had a pull-out sofa bed for Cara, plenty of space for all of us. It also offered views looking out to the O2, as shown in the photo above. Maybe next time we’ll get the Canary Wharf and River Thames view! The hotel room itself was clean, comfy bed (the sofa bed was a little soggy though), and decent channels on the TV. The room had complimentary tea and coffee, with additional mini-bar and in-room service available at extra cost. Bathroom had a separate bath and shower, with a nice rainfall showerhead. All in all, a relaxing and comfortable stay.
Food and Drink
Food-wise, there’s the main Market Brasserie. Decent options for kids, which Cara enjoyed. Based on the photos below, she tried the lunch, afternoon tea and breakfast. Bit more pricey than a standard restaurant, but nothing out of the extraordinary given it’s a hotel. Still cheaper than paying for flights and transfers. If the hotel food doesn’t take your fancy, then the O2 has more options. There’s the usual restaurant chains (Nandos, TGIF, Ask Italian, Five Guys, Gaucho, Cafe Rouge, Wagamama) and a couple of new ones such as Haidilao (Chinese hot pot). Unfortunately, due to Covid, a lot of the other ones have closed which is sad to see.
Although the Rooftop Bar was closed, the Clipper Bar is still open for business. Great views of the Thames and Canary Wharf, with decent drinks and a good selection of nibbles. Cara enjoyed her non-alcoholic cocktail, and we had fun playing Uno whilst it pelted down with rain outside. At the O2, there’s plenty of drinking options, with All Bar One, Slug & Lettuce, Starbucks, and Costa.
Cara would’ve been content to stay in the hotel room, playing Uno or watching telly. However, whilst it wasn’t raining, we enjoyed a few walks around the O2. There’s quite a few choices for the kids to keep them entertained, including Oxygen Jumping, Hollywood Bowl, a Build a Bear Workshop, and a Selfie Factory for the older kids or influencers. Unfortunately, the Cineworld is currently closed due to Covid.
More details: https://iclondon-theo2.com/
Burn Time: 5 out of 5 – spent the entire weekend there, a good break from home.
Value: 4 out of 5 – the InterContinental Hotel at the O2 is not the cheapest, but in terms of value it’s good. When you compare it to an overseas vacation, it’s not too costly! Although, we do miss France and Spain…
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 – Cara loved the pool, food and feeling grown up with her mocktail. We had a great family staycation. Time to start planning the next one.
Been on any nice staycations in the UK? If so, let us know in the comments below! We need some ideas for the Christmas break.